Last week, my friend, Amanda, began the long and difficult journey of living her life without her 16-year-old daughter. Her daughter, Amelia, was killed suddenly in an automobile accident.
In times like this, it can be difficult for those around us to know how to respond and even what to say to those grieving their loss. We offer heart-felt words of condolence, but we sound like everyone else around offering the same words of helplessness and pain. When a young person dies, we are at an exaggerated loss for words.
By all accounts, Amelia was an outstanding young lady. She was happy, uplifting, encouraging and had a very positive and nourishing life. Many mourn this young life while sharing seemingly endless stories of what an impressive life she led.
In my search for words and thoughts of how to best honor Amelia, it occurs to me that her death has left a tremendous void and an opportunity for the rest of us to honor Amelia in a myriad of ways. Living a healthy, happy life is often a choice. Living a life that lifts others up, instead of tearing them down, is most definitely something we consciously choose at every opportunity. My challenge to us is that we make these choices in our daily lives. There is so much that Amelia will not be able to do, but it doesn’t mean that many of those things must remain undone.
Let’s set about living change.
- Say a kind word to someone.
- Forgive someone.
- Talk to the quiet person who has difficulty reaching out.
- Say thank you.
- Smile at someone who obviously needs it.
- Lift up someone who is feeling down.
- Hug someone who needs to feel loved.
- Listen to someone who needs to feel heard.
- Choose the healthier option.
- Laugh out loud with someone.
- Cry with someone.
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
- Hold the door for someone.
- Stop a bad habit.
- Develop a good one.
In every act or sentiment, we have an opportunity to allow the young, vibrant, and loving example of Amelia’s life to live forward. Our collective greatest hope cannot bring Amelia back to our physical world, but our collective best can honor her memory to help create a world that is more than it was.
Rest in eternal peace, Amelia. We will work to honor your sweet life through the lives we live, goofy laughs and all.