For the past two months I have had a hard time posting to this blog. As per some of my previous messages, the death of my dear friend Richard Carlson has been heavy on my heart and dominant in my mind…especially when I think about writing anything. After my posts, emails, and newsletter about him, his life, and his death most of what I have thought to write or post here has seemed irrelevant or insignificant. Not that appreciation and gratitude are not important…they are, and Richard constantly told me to be even more BOLD with my expressions of appreciation and with my work. One of the last times we got together, when he was giving me feedback about my manuscript as I was in the final editing process for my book, he said to me, “Mike, you have to be even more passionate and clear about how essential appreciation is to the quality of one’s life. It is not just some nice thing you do once in a while or when you feel like saying ‘thank you,’ it is a way of life and one of the most important aspects of happiness and fulfillment. People have to realize this!”
That being said, in light of Richard’s tragic death, I have found it difficult to write much of anything that seems to have value or importance. With that in mind, I decided to sit down late tonight and write what was on my mind and in my heart about death. Death seems to be both tragic and magic at the same time. There is the tragedy of the loss, the finality of it, the sadness, grief, and loneliness that come along with the passing of a life. When someone dies who is young, vibrant, and so full of life, like Richard, it seems that much more tragic and perplexing. Why would God take someone who seems to have so much to live for, so much left to give, and so many people who love them and count on them?
And, simultaneously there is so much magic in death…even with its sadness and confusion. Our hearts open up, we remember what is truly important, we momuntarily let go of most of the bull shit that we allow to run our lives, we get in touch with the deepest parts of our soul and spirit, and we are reminded of all there is to be grateful for in life. Death reminds us of the gift of life. Richard’s death has been one of the most tragic and at the same time most magical experiences of my life. And, I have learned so much about him, about me, and about life these past three months. I would give back all of these lessons and all of this magic for him to be here on earth with us right now…and, I know somewhere deep down in my soul that there is a reason for everything that happens, there are no accidents, and that Richard’s time on earth was done and he chose to go home. Well, at least I want to believe that.
What I do know for sure is this…If each of us lived our lives on a daily basis a little more aware of our own death and the deaths of those around us…we would all live very differently.
There is so much magic, even in the midst of the tragedy that is death.
I am grateful to be alive. I miss Richard.
With Love and Gratitude,
P.S. The memorial website for Richard continues to be updated…it is beautiful https://www.richardcarlson.com