If this blog post is a bit scattered, I’m sorry. It simply reflects where I’m at with this life and figuring things out with so much going on.
Life is… Complicated. Always. There is good, there is bad, and there’s a whole lot of in between. I think, for right now, that’s okay. Because I don’t think it’ll ever change and if these past few years have taught me anything, it’s that.
My cousin got married last weekend in Colorado with a beautiful ceremony, surrounded by all the people who love him and his wife. It was lovely, to spend time outside of my day to day life and be with family, fresh air and a bit of distance.
Coming back to my life, however, has been less straightforward. You see, this week is the Week of Welcome, that WOW thing I’ve been preparing for throughout the last year. Well, here it is!
The Awareness Galleries, they turned out beautifully. All of the content, the tech, the designs, they all came together in a way I couldn’t have imagined. And while some schedules may have been off and people were stressed here and there, I think every single person who went through those galleries got something out of it. Something intangible.
A few students even came up after they walked through and told me how much of an impact it all really had. That was more than enough for me. That, and being able to see my new roommate to preface her group before their walkthrough too. It was a nice surprise and she seems like someone I will be lucky to know this year.
CCE has also been a bit of a wild-card this year. For WOW, I haven’t been in the middle of it the way I have been for the rest of the year because the other two Facilitators who are here for the Week have been responsible for CCE. And they have done wonderfully. It’s a beautiful thing to work really hard on something with other people you trust enough to be apart from the process when it’s time to make it happen while still being able to fully trust them to do it and to do it well.
Because now, I have grand WOWies. And I care so much about every single one of them. There is something about the way I live my life, I need to connect with people and be tethered to a lot of other lives in a positive way, otherwise I feel unfulfilled. With my Orientation leaders and my WOWies who are now leaders themselves, I get that impact and those connections coming back to me tenfold. I would do anything for them and that makes me feel grateful. Grateful that I have people like this to love, that they exist here, and that they have a chance to be positively impacted by this program.
Because it’s so much bigger than each of us and that means the world to me.
After all, there is only so much control we have over what happens in our lives. Things like getting involved with Orientation and doing my best to positively touch all these lives, I get to do that myself. Other things, not so much.
There’s nothing like being witness to deep loses and tragedy of so many young people over the years to remind me of all of that.
Over the past two weeks, my small hometown of Folsom has lost 4 alum all from the Class of 2017. And I do not know how to comprehend that. I don’t even know how long it will take me to do so.
In the process, I have caught up with and talked to countless old friends this week to check in or just to talk and sometimes I forget what it was like to grow up the way I did in Folsom. I had my hand in so many pots, from countless AP classes and arts to almost every sport and club I could be in, that the amount of people I love and hold connections to sneaks up on me sometimes. With so many connections, it can be hard to keep up. It can also leave me with a higher chance of losing people.
Folsom, it isn’t that small. But the way I know I love people and the way so many of us cared about one another or were teammates with so many others of us, it makes us all pretty tight-knit when it comes down to it. That’s just how things were. So these losses, they have ricochet between all of us and the lives we have lost, holding love stretching between Folsom and almost every corner of the rest of the world.
And it’s tragic.
Because death is inevitable. But the death of the young, it hits differently. It’s not something I think I will ever get used to or fail to be changed by, even in such a short period of time.
In the way I write, forgive, hope, support, love, live, and breathe, I see changes in myself that I think will change even more as I move forward from here. Each of us have been altered. I’m sure you’ve seen it just through these weekly posts in the past few years.
So I hope you know that I will take it as it comes, whatever happens next. And if you’re someone in my life, I probably appreciate you more than I can express. So thank you, for sticking around and listening. For being here.
As for Austin, Luca, Len (Lemon), and Josh, you are all so so loved. Just like Maddie, Cinnamon, Bryce, Ronin, and too many more of you always will be. I’m sorry I cannot give you more time than you had, though each of you lived so wonderfully in 20 and sometimes less years that it takes my breath away. Just know that your lives are missed and loved and will live on through the rest of us. Always.
This weekend will not be an easy one, but it is through the love that we hurt and we move forward when we can. No matter what it takes, what time it lasts, or what people we need to hold to get us there. This no longer belongs to just one of us anymore. They lived too large for that.
And we loved them for it.
In good time, we keep moving even when the world never stops. Maybe that’s the hard part, that the world keeps turning while some people’s cannot for some time.
Sometimes, it’s worth it to slow down for just a little bit and take it all in while we still can. If you’re reading this, don’t forget to breathe in the life you are living and remind the people you love that you love them still today.
Here’s to the weekend. And to the four we have lost so quickly, rest easy my friends.
6 thoughts on “To Love and to Lose”
This is Luca’s Braga mom..I am deeply touched by your words. It feels like I was writing that letter. That’s exactly how I feel right now. I don’t know how i will leave the rest of my life without my son , all tge pain and sadness I have right now , its surreal, unbearable..I pray I have the courage and strength to move forward..I would love to meet u!
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Though the path forward will look different to anything you have ever walked before, I can almost say for certain that your feet will find it as you take your steps. That is, whenever you are ready. I know everyone takes their own time moving forward or staying still and I think that’s alright. I hope your support system is there for you now and as you do begin to process all of this; know that your son was someone worth missing to so so many people. It would be lovely to meet you.
This is Josh Bohart’s dad. I am in the midst of my grief and heartbreak and I find your wonderful blog. Thank you for your beautiful words and thoughts. Life is different now. It will never be the same for me and my family that is true. But there is a tomorrow, as painful as it might be we are gifted with it. We are all gifted with it until we are not. The question remains for all of us, what to do with them. Take Josh and all of your fallen class mates on your adventures and your journeys. Show them all of the amazing things that you accomplish. They will be with us. Cheering us on until we are reunited.
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Hi Karina, Thank you…my thoughts are exactly how you wrote it…thank you for this beautiful article…a touching tribute to the beautiful lives we lost recently all within a matter of days…so hard to comprehend…I along with the two other moms (Josh and Austin’ s) got the chance to connect…I know somehow our boys connected us and we just need to somehow find a purpose as to all this…❤️
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Hi Karina, thank you…my thoughts are exactly how you wrote it…thank you for this beautiful article…a touching tribute to the beautiful lives we lost recently all within a matter of days…so hard to comprehend…I along with the two other moms (Josh and Austin’ s) got the chance to connect…I know somehow our boys connected us and we just need to somehow find a purpose as to all this…❤️
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I am wishing all of you the best as you make your way through this, every day is a new adjustment. There is a before and an after, but may both be beautiful.