life, love and loss
Recently, my company helped self publish a book called life, love, and loss: Pathways to Peace and Possibilities. I worked on the project with Richard (Dick) Hallstein (author of the book) and his sister-in-law, Patty.
The book is a powerful and a worthwhile read for everyone. It’s a simple, quick read; yet will make anyone who reads it think, feel, and give each of us a little something different. What’s more is that Dick wanted all of the proceeds of the book donated to the Maine Women’s Fund in honor of his late wife. It’s a true sentiment to how deeply a person can feel (and if I’ve convinced you already, you can buy it here.)
The book is utterly phenomenal – I really can’t say enough good things about it – but what I’d like to dedicate this post to is what it taught me.
Life is messy and it’s not a straight line. Life won’t always pick you up when you’re down, and it might kick you a little while you’re there…just for good measure.
But every moment in life is beautiful. Every moment is worth cherishing. Every moment is worth learning from.
It’s cliché, but life is too short to simply float through. It’s too short not to be present in each and every single moment. Mindfulness is one of the keys to living a truly joyous life, and Dick said it best here:
With intent, attention and daily practice, each of us has the opportunity to gently and lovingly bring ourselves into full contact with each present moment. And we will be ready to deeply experience, with our loved ones, the joys and losses that life brings our way.
This year I fell in love. A deep love that equally wrenches my soul and makes me blissfully happy all at the same time…the kind of love that undoubtedly has and will change me for the better. It’s been a whirlwind romance, but I wouldn’t change a moment of it and I’m thankful for him every day.
As I learn more about love and what it means to be in a meaningful relationship, I remember this beautiful quote from the book I’d like to share:
A practice of love requires full-hearted commitment and attention. Love is the reward itself.
Love is the reward itself. That resonates with me; and as far as I’m concerned, it’s why we’re all here.
Shortly after the book was published, Dick wrote to tell me that he’d received a cancer diagnosis after feeling under the weather. Just one month later, I received news that he’d passed away.
I desperately wish I could use the right words here.
I never met Dick in person – we only ever spoke to me on the phone and via email – but I quickly found out that he’d be a person who would touch my soul. He was one of those beautiful people – few and far between, it feels like these days – whose words spoke more than he actually said, whose meaning bore deeper than he meant, whose actions spoke louder than words.
The few conversations we had and the words he wrote in this book were more powerful and meaningful to me than I realized at the time, and I grow to learn what that means each and every day. RIP Dick…I can only fathom how much you will be missed.