As many know, the Melang family suffered a terrible loss in my nephew last week. It is hard to put into words such a beautiful life, almost like losing my child. What do you do with a tragedy?
You start with the lessons learned. When both of my children asked what happened, I said,
"You cannot do drugs. Period. Not even recreationally. In this day and age you do not know what is in them and what could be in them could be deadly. Drugs are different now, there is nothing pure anymore and you cannot take that chance."
I hope this lesson sticks with them. If there is that time something is offered, and possible peer pressure involved they will remember this moment and stand strong. There are bad people out there that want to harm others, don't give them that chance.
How do you make sense out of it? You don't. You believe in God and trust God's plan even when tragedy takes place.
What has Death taught me about life?
Life is precious. Tomorrows are not guaranteed. Nothing in life is guaranteed. If you are going to do it, do it now. Don't wait until conditions are perfect because you'll use that excuse for the rest of your life. Hell, I ski at a North Carolina Ski Resort, if I waited for perfect conditions I wouldn't have as much fun as I do now.
You have a bigger impact than you believe. Sometimes we can feel alone out there but watching the outpouring of support to the Melang family, this is a testament to a bright life, that he lived and touched others. Cherish these memories, and each time you talk about them, that person lived. I have never been more proud to call myself Melang in watching this amazing family band together, support each other and grieve the only way Melangs grieve - together.
Tell that person you love them, add in the hug even if it is awkward. They will not remember the awkward moment, they'll remember you hugged them.
Be part of those pictures, I know everyone hates having their picture taken, but you'll be glad you did. And those that love you will be glad they have the pictures.
Be happy, be positive. Do things that make you happy, walk away from those that don't. Shed positive light to others around you and they will reflect it back to you.
It's OK to get mad, then you have to get over it. Anger is a cancer, it eats away at your joy until there is nothing left. You best thing against this cancer is to let your feelings flow then let them float away.
Be the first to forgive, be the bigger person even if it hurts. This can be hard but forgiving is giving you freedom, giving yourself permission to move on.
Don't leave unfinished business between two people. Hammer it out now. Say what is on your mind then let things move through to finished business. Always end the day with one "I love you."
Set that goal and go for it, don't wait until tomorrow. And that means putting yourself out there, as scary as it seems, looking back years later you'll thank yourself. This also means accepting accolades and criticism and putting each in their place.
Surround yourself with people who love and accept you, you don't have time for those who don't. And let those people know you love them, especially all my crazy friends who make me laugh!
Speak and be your truth. Those close to you will support you, and will not settle for anything less.
Give yourself a break, you don't have to be perfect, no one is looking for perfection. Mistakes are our way of learning, making us a better person.
Love is the greatest gift we can give to each other. Say that kind word, do that kind deed. There is nothing better than helping others reach their goals, giving that hand up, supporting along the way. Each kind deed is a golden memory in your mind, and when you combine them all together you get something really beautiful.
Be good to yourself, you're the only you you got!