What I Chose After Two Deaths

I remember a colleague in the industry asking me about a year and a half after my brother’s tragic passing if my business had grown (that she had this “weird” feeling it had). 

I told her she was right and we proceeded to talk about that…that you can be heartbroken but fill that partially broken heart by helping to fill others’ lives/hearts.

I always got that intellectually, but never really got it in my bones or understood it emotionally as much as after opening myself up vs. closing down after loss…and then doing it again after my Mom’s unexpected passing two years later.

The reason that a business, a marriage, a motherhood or friendships can continue to grow or blossom, I now attribute to one thing — and that’s what you see on this post it, which was not written by me, but by Nolan (13).

I’ve never really talked about openness in an outright fashion with him, however, he has lived the experience with me which doesn’t mean it’s always been pretty or hasn’t been confronting to him. 

I’ve never hidden my tears, nor how I feel about any uncomfortable thing (or any wildly ecstatic thing, for that matter, p.s. spoiler alert: opening vs. closing down brings ecstatic feelings eventually). 

Losing my Mom after Dino only gave me more room, or more of a chance or opportunity to test this out some more, the ‘can I stay open’ bit…can I? And it’s not just open as in sharing, it means open as in expanded or expanding opportunity, continuing to say yes to your creative projects, to meaning and to living life larger than you maybe had before.

I am open.

So often when we lose anything, a job, a friend or family member, we can feel (especially at first), in the first months or years that we want to close up, that we want to hide or we don’t want to show how messy we can be inside of the feeling body we’ve been given…

But to choose to stay open or optimistic, even a crack at first, doesn’t simply help you heal, but helps others connect to you [relation-ship] and connect back to themselves and humanity (which today, we need more now than ever). 

I am open.

That was Nolan’s intention yesterday morning. As I shared the other day, he writes his intentions on Sunday nights or, sometimes, Monday mornings. Yesterday though, we forgot to write it on his dry erase board, so as we were leaving the house, I grabbed a sharpie and a post-it note and had him write his chosen intention on the way to school.

Not that he really needs the reminder, however, I still play his mom and reminded him to write something that might be helpful for his last final and, of course, for how he wants to feel the rest of the week. 

This is what he wrote down and now I have it as a reminder in the car from my own week ahead.

Life intimates life, doesn’t it? And our kids imitate us.

They may or may not listen to our words all the time, but they feel us and see us and boy do they watch intensely… 

They do absolutely understand what we’re trying to teach them, but it’s more through our actions and the decisions we make for our own lives than those we make for theirs. 

I am open.

I will stay open.

And the world will open —

Make happiness your business by creating your authentic brand…enjoy your business, enjoy your life! 

Life is good,

Michelle Ghilotti
Success Designer, Brand Activator & Social Entrepreneur 

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