There are moments that the words don’t reach/There is suffering too terrible to name/You hold your child as tight as you can/And push away the unimaginable/The moments when you’re in so deep/It feels easier to just swim down” – Lin-Manuel Miranda, “Hamilton“.
This week marks three years since the staggering loss of James. My world still feels shaken and every July, my emotions grow increasingly turbulent. I have less patience, I am quick to anger, my sense of worth plummets, and depression sets in. It is as unpleasant as it sounds.
I have been thinking back on what has helped the grief before. After we lost James, we set off on a series of internships for Kyle’s schooling. It felt a little insane to leave my support groups and stability but it felt so good to move, to do something. I have found a great deal of peace in the idea of moving forward, living onward after grief. It gave me purpose and perspective; it brought peace.
The past two years I have struggled with how to mark James’ death. How do I give it purpose and make it a day of healing, rather than a day of sorrow? It hit me after a very sad 2nd anniversary, that I needed to DO something in his name, something positive. I want to extend the influence of his short existence, to give it purpose.
I have often referred to this as The James Effect with close friends and tomorrow I want to start a tradition of a day of service in his name. I mentioned this in a post last summer, but this year is the beginning of a larger effort in making the world a little bit better on his behalf and hopefully making the day a little bit brighter for our family.
Tomorrow I hope you will join me and my family in a random act of service. It can be as simple as returning a grocery cart, picking up litter as you play Pokemon Go, giving a compliment, holding a door open for someone, or writing a note to a friend. It can go as far as tipping 30% to your waiter, making a meal for a family with a new baby or someone going through a hardship, you can send flowers to someone who might be sad or lonely, donate blood, write random notes of encouragement and put them under the windshield of cars at a grocery store.
I would love it if you could share with me what you do. You can leave a comment, send me an email, write a message on facebook or take a picture and post it on instagram (#thejameseffect). Whatever you do will be perfect because no matter what it is you choose to do, you are extending that ripple in the water a little further. You are bringing joy and light on his behalf. You are helping me to see that this heartache has purpose and that the world is a better place, even just a little bit, because of James.