As we gather together this holiday season with our friends and family, sharing stories of Christmas and Hanukahs past while making new memories with those we love, let’s also celebrate the love we share with those who have passed away.
The holidays are often a difficult time of year for people, especially when someone we’re close to has died. As we celebrate this season, we shouldn’t be afraid to celebrate the lives and memories of those who are no longer with us. We can do this in many ways; we can keep them in our thoughts and prayers, honor them by helping others and we can share the stories of how these special people touched our lives.
In the course of 14 months, I lost my wife, my 17 year old daughter, my father, my brother in-law and a close uncle by marriage. People often ask how I deal with such loss. There is no secret. I cherish the time I was given with all of them and consider myself graced by God to have had them in my life, no matter how long or short that time may have been. They helped shape who I am today and I treasure every moment I had with them. I’m blessed to have had them in my life. I’m one of The Lucky Ones.
While speaking with a friend about the loss of our wives and how lucky we were to have been married to such wonderful women, we came up with the idea of creating a place for people from all walks of life to share their stories about a special someone in their lives and tell us why they’re “One of The Lucky Ones.” We decided to build a streaming web platform to host stories told by people celebrating their continuing bonds with friends, mentors and relatives in short video interviews.
Having interviewed close to one hundred people since we launched in June, one common theme prevails. Everyone describes how the person they were lucky to have known made them a better person. Most express their gratitude for being able to speak candidly about a loved one. They tell me how cathartic and liberating it is to speak freely about someone who had such a major influence in their lives. This defies conventional wisdom in our society. We assume speaking of the dead will make others uncomfortable. But why, why should we be afraid to talk about those who have died? Why shouldn’t we celebrate the love and happiness they brought into our lives? They’re still with us. They’re still a part of us.
Sharing our common humanity in such a simple way as telling these stories, is life affirming. It gives meaning to who we are. It puts things in perspective. It helps to heal our souls and make up for the loss we feel. There is one truth that will forever remain a constant - we will all die. How we lived our lives and how we are remembered is all that will remain of our existence. Telling stories about someone who’s influenced who we are brings them to life, allowing others to experience their generosity and love.
A young woman named Tabitha shared her story about her great-grandmother Miracle who adopted her and her siblings, sparing them a life in foster care.
“I probably would fit the statistics of the kids that are in the foster care system but because of her. She taught me to work hard, respect myself. She was an honorable woman,” Tabitha said.
Bill spoke about caring for the late actor Christopher Reeve — best known for playing Superman — as his private nurse and what a humbling experience it was. “His generosity encouraged me and inspired me to be a better person,” Bill said.
And Hannah, with the enthusiasm of a child, celebrated her Girl Scout leader Scotty and how she instilled in her girls a sense of service to others. All the girls in Hannah’s Girl Scout troop ended up going into service jobs where they help people.
Our world is full of these wonderful stories about the goodness in people and what they meant to others. We want to help people share these stories. To celebrate the achievements and contributions of those who’ve touched them in a special way, impacting how they think, how they behave and how they view the world around them. It’s that special person in our lives who’s shaped who we are that makes us “One of The Lucky Ones.”
So, in the spirit and joy of this holiday season all around us, make sure to celebrate the continuing bonds with those you’ve lost by telling stories and sharing with others what made that person so special to you - and why you’re one of The Lucky Ones.
About Joseph Alvaro
Joseph Alvaro is the Creator and Executive Producer of The Lucky Ones.
To watch stories visit LuckyOnesTV.com or follow @LuckyOnesTV . Joseph Alvaro is a 2020 Thought Leader on Best Ever You.
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