The only life worth living is the one that is intensely personal…

“Only people who are capable of loving strongly can also suffer great sorrow, but this same necessity of loving serves to counteract their grief and heals them.”

Leo Tolstoy

The past 48 hours have been some of the longest and most surreal of my life. On Thursday night, my little brother suffered a major cardiac event, and despite the heroic efforts of the seven emergency responders who rushed to his aid, he lost his earthly life. It is hard for me even to write these words and realize that they are real. In all honesty, I keep wanting to wake up from this dream/nightmare and pick up the phone and hear his voice again. Unfortunately, it isn’t a dream, and the opportunity to listen to him speak will have to wait until we meet again in Heaven.  

I share this here because it is intensely personal, and because it is the stark reality of the world in which we live. We will suffer loss and pain, and nothing we can ever do will prepare us for losing someone we love.  

My brother, Kenneth Grayson Holcomb, or “Gray,” as I called him, was 40 years old and far too young to be leaving this earth. He was simply one of the best people I have ever known, and anyone that knew him would echo that sentiment. He lived to serve others and was always happiest when he could drop everything and help someone else.  

My Dad, my brother, and I spent all of our formative years as a triumvirate doing anything and everything we could do outdoors. Hunting, fishing, camping, hiking, etc., you name it, and we did it. We shared the same passions and hobbies and had dreams of one-day going elk hunting together and were looking forward to lots of fun times with our families camping in the mountains.  

In preparation for today’s blog post, I read many quotes and did a lot of praying. I uncovered so many great words of wisdom in my research, and I had a hard time choosing the right one. Ultimately I decided on this quote because it reminded me that while it is risky to love intensely, it is the act of loving someone else that provides healing. I chose to love, and I have been overwhelmed by the love and support that I have received from so many people in response to Grayson’s death. I have never felt more loved, and I consider myself blessed to have so many people in my life than can love so strongly.  

Life is short, precious, and beautiful. We cannot and should not take one moment or one relationship for granted. Hug those you love tighter tonight, and make sure they know exactly how much you care. It is only through love, intense love, that you will find the strength to carry on in immense sorrow.  

I love you Grayson, and I am going to miss you. I’ll see you in Heaven, brother…

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” Matthew 5:4

Grayson is survived by his wife, Donna, and their two children James (11) and Marie (9). If you want to do something for them, I created a GoFundMe page for the kid’s college education, and you can learn more about that at this GoFundMe Link

Kenneth Grayson Holcomb: 2/11/1980 – 12/10/2020

True wisdom comes from giving…

“He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has.”

Epictetus

This might be one of the best definitions of wisdom I have read in a long time. The wealthiest people I know are those who are satisfied with what they have. These same folks are the ones that always, and continually seek to find ways to serve more, do more, give more. They are indeed the wisest people that I know.

We all have the opportunity to give, serve, and help those that aren’t as blessed as we might be. At the end of my life, I would prefer the measure of my success here on this earth to be in what I have given to others, not gained for myself.  

Test your limits…

“Consider how much more you often suffer from your anger and grief, than from those very things for which you are angry and grieved.”
 
Marcus Antonius

Why is it that so much of what bothers us in life isn’t the thing itself but is instead how it makes us feel? We look to be wronged, persecuted or diminished as opposed to seeking understanding and growth. Very few people look for ways to fail simply so they can learn and grow. Choosing to learn from failure is something that comes through wisdom and experience. Seeking opportunities that push you so far outside of your comfort zone that failure is almost guaranteed at some point is the only way you can ever understand your limits.

What on earth does this have to do with today’s quote? Glad you asked. If failure is the thing that creates anger and grief for you, then how will you ever be able to find out how far you can go? It isn’t the failure itself, it is how you respond to it that matters. Failure is a gift when you choose to learn from it. Learn and grow? Or anger and grief?  You choose…

 

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dusty

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