Birth, Death and In-Between

My brother Mitchell and me

You might have noticed you didn’t find The Weekly Journal in your inbox for the past two Mondays. Two weeks ago was my birthday and I took a week off. Last week, there was a tragedy in my life; my brother died suddenly of an undiagnosed infection. One day he was here. The next day, without warning, he was gone. I didn’t have it in me to gather my thoughts, let alone put together The Weekly Journal.

While writing the previous paragraph, it dawned on me birth and death have entered this space, the cycle of life. Life is to be revered—a paltry word for this grand mystery.

I’ve experienced the death of many people in my life, some closer to me than others. It began early; more than ten people I knew died before I graduated high school—those who went to Shaker Heights High know.

My brother’s death uniquely touches me. I am the last surviving member of my nuclear family. I felt safe because he was on the earth. We stayed in touch and talked at least twice a month, frequently more. We laughed often. Our conversations usually weren’t full of depth; we talked about the weather, his job, and his latest project on his new house. He caught up on bits and pieces of what was going on with me. Depth of conversation isn’t as important as connection. Our connection was deep and long. And strong. He held me in his heart, and I had him in mine. We will be in each other’s hearts forever.

I’ve had some of the expected reactions when someone close dies unexpectedly. I’ve made declarations of how precious life is and how I will make changes to fully embrace all that is available here on earth for however much time I have left.

Looking deeper, I realized that I am already living that life for the most part. The conventional journey from birth to death is not one I’ve followed. Living a life that I didn’t need a vacation from has been my way. I don’t remember the last time I used an alarm clock. I remember working a temp job in San Francisco back in the ’80s in my early 20s. One day while riding the elevator, someone said, “Thank God it’s almost Friday.” At that moment, I vowed not to live a life that waited for relief at the end of each week.

As time has gone on, I’ve embraced change. I’ve been sober for close to two years. I’ve removed suicide from my back pocket and taken it completely off the table. I’ve studied addiction and trauma and have dedicated my future to helping others find relief from their unhealed pasts. I’m meeting and embracing life. EVERY DAY. And I’m so excited to be here and feel deep gratitude for all that is.

My brother’s death has reinforced certain life lessons; two so far. First, about control. I don’t have control over life, death or the actions of others, secondly about sharing my grief. I give thanks every day that I have dear friends, colleagues, family, and fellow travelers who have held me through this week. They have listened to me, received me and witnessed me. They have spent time on the phone with me, ensuring I’m doing okay. I have recognized the value of picking up the phone, not isolating or suffering alone. Allowing grace and love to enter my life. It’s such a blessing to experience the truth, as I was told on my 45th birthday by a higher power, that I am never alone. Here’s a video of me telling that story.

Lastly, I would like to share this with you. There’s a new website coming and a name change; Amy Glin Coaching. I’m stepping fully into my life’s work. Arriving here has been an incremental journey, and I’ve gained wisdom from experience. Go as far as you can see, and then you will see further.

In a past newsletter, the Quotation of the Week from Karen Lamb was “A year from now you’ll wish you started today.” I can feel that truth in my bones; I took those steps. You’ll never get anywhere if you don’t begin. Let me know if assistance would be useful on your journey.

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