Monday, April 25, 2011

It’s okay to cry.

Unfortunately, with the addition of reality TV and the internet, occasionally I find my heart being broken by the deaths of people I have never actually met.

When Adam Goldstein (aka DJ AM) died, I took it really hard. Addiction to drugs and alcohol are close to my heart because I really understand the stigma/difficulty with getting proper mental treatment. The downhill spiral of self medication and poor life coping skills will take a shiny, tender spirit, and evaporate it until it is unrecognizable. A recovering addict, Adam was not only beating his addiction, but had begun one of the most powerful intervention documentaries I have ever seen. Tragically before the season was over, Adam was found dead in his hotel room after a relapse. It has left a hole in the life of his family, friends, and the people he intervened with and whose lives he saved. I am grateful for the opportunity to mourn with them over his tragic and untimely death.

Captain Phil Harris from Deadliest Catch (we call it “Danger Fishing” at our house :) My whole family mourned the loss of this father, captain, and fisherman when we lost him. Not only was he the Captain Phil, he was every father, every fisherman, farmer or miner, every man who does something extraordinary, does it well, and nobody knows who they are. He was flawed in all the typical ways, and made up for it completely unexpected ways. We LOVE Captain Phil.

Then, just last week, director, film maker, and photojournalist Tim Hetherington was killed amid the fighting in Libya.

You might know his work from the brilliant documentary Restrepo where he put his life on the line to document what our boys in Afghanistan are doing to serve our country in the single most deadly region of the war there.

I mourn with his family, but I also mourn for humanity. We all want to do extraordinary things with our lives, but this was a person who was actually doing it. He was killed by people whose stories he would have liked to tell, whose lives he would have liked to share, with you and with me, to make us better people in our regular days.

I guess I just wanted to take a second to say that I’m glad I know these people died, because it means I know that they lived.

You can see one of Tim’s last video journal entries here. After watching it, I don’t feel depressed, I feel a sense of great loss, but I also stand up a little straighter. It makes me say to myself that, for the extraordinary people whose time was cut too short, I am going to LIVE. MY. LIFE.

1 comment:

Brookelyn said...

This was written so well, is full of so much truth and sadness and hope that all I can do is thank you for it. And be thankful for the brave souls who live and share and risk everyday.