It's been an intense emotional roller coaster for us this past week.
Such is grief.
Such is life.
As you might have heard, our summer intern, Coach Elijah Stickley, died in a car accident last week. Eli helped us run our Youth Camp last month and other classes at ORTHDX.
As I write this, I don't even really know what to say. I only know that some of you have known Elijah. I also know that some of you have experienced some intense things recently.
I also know that some of you carry pain and even uncertainty every day.
What I want to say is that, our lives our somewhat entangled in community. Whether we like it or not. For the better and for the worse. The good, the ugly, the difficult, the funny, the joy, the pains, the successes and the failures --- shared LIFE and even, shared experiences in losses. For the worse, well, I think we all know and have also experiences in that.
But being able to talk about difficult things -- even just to acknowledge it, is what makes community real...... and beautiful.
Elijah's Celebration of Life is on Saturday. Here's a link to his obituary and if you didn't know Elijah personally, please read about this young man's short yet incredible life.
"Time is ungovernable, but grief presents us with a choice; what we do with the savage energies of bereavement? What do we do with the memory - or in the memory - of the beloved?
Some commemorate love with statuary, but behavior too is a memorial, as is a well-lived life.
In death, there is always the promise of hope. The key is opening, rather than numbing ourselves to pain.
Above all, we must show our children how to celebrate existence in all its beauty, and how to get up after life has knocked us down, after life has knocked us down time and again. Half-dead, we stand. And together we salute love. Because in the end, that's all that matters.
How hard we loved, and how hard we tried. G.B."