Wednesday, January 4, 2017

#CelebrateLife @MichelleGAuthor

Hi all! Michelle Graham here and I'm so excited to be a regular contributor in 2017. Thanks to Kacey Hammell for inviting me!

Since I’ll be blogging here on the 4th of every month, I went on a search for different National Days (granted the days are probably American, but we’ll play along anyway) for inspiration. Did you know that today is National Spaghetti Day? And National Trivia Day? Both of those could be fun, but on one site they also listed some of the National Weeks and that’s when I decided my topic.

January 1-7 is Celebrate Life Week.

I’m writing this as 2016 comes to a close. It was a year marked by what seemed to be an extraordinary amount of loss. At least once a week I’d log on to Facebook to see yet another celebrity had passed. As the cries of, “Fuck you, 2016!” rose up among the internet masses, yet another group of people began to criticize the mourning of those celebrities as insensitive since many of us lost loved ones, people actually in our lives, during the year.

It’s true that a personal loss will hit close to home, but it’s also clear that even though the vast majority of us never had a relationship with these celebrities, their contributions to our lives were numerous. They touched our lives with their beautiful music, brilliant writing, and heart wrenching performances.

Not long after each loss, the tributes would begin – articles, pictures, and videos celebrating the lives and contributions of those who had passed. Whether for a celebrity or someone’s grandmother, I love seeing these and getting a glimpse of the impact of those people on my own friends and family.

So for Celebrate Life week, I think it’s important for us to remember that we mourn because people have touched us. Just because we haven’t met them doesn’t mean our grief is unfounded. And those who’ve experienced a more personal loss will tell you that the pain eases when we tell others about why those people meant so much to us.

Celebrate the lives of those who have touched you. Share stories and pictures. Do all you can to remember them.

But don’t forget to also celebrate the lives of those who are still with us. Spend time with your loved ones. Let them know you care. Treasure the time you have to make new memories.

Celebrate Life.

Lots of love,

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