Turning Grief Into LifeGiving Action – Remembering Michael

Hello, friends. I hope you are doing well this morning. Today is a somber one for me and anyone who knew and loved Michael. Today marks the third anniversary of his taking his life. The memory is still as fresh and painful as the day it happened but my understanding of it has deepened over the past three years. While there are still, will always be, plenty of tears at the memory, my resolve to focus on the many loving memories we had over 23 years of friendship strengthens. I remember Michael’s great capacity to love. I remember his bright and unique laughter;  those big brown expressive eyes. It’s easy to remember his compassion and his many ways of bringing beauty into the world.

I also want to honor Michael by also asking you to consider two things.

First, please consider supporting The Trevor Project,

The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) young people ages 13-24.

I have researched and talked with the incredible leaders there, and The Trevor Project is an amazing resource that is saving lives.

Secondly, please think about and do what you can to help end religious discrimination and stigmatization of LGBT people. If your church or religious organization is not willing to affirm all of who you are, including the LGBT part, and offer you equal access to resources and opportunities as any other son or daughter of God, it’s time to lovingly, graciously, take a stand. Specifically for my siblings in Christ, our faith in Christ is as authentic as anyone sitting next to us in the pew, and it’s time to take our rightful place in the Body of Christ.

Some of us may have the courage to take our talent, energy and donation money elsewhere. Good! There is plenty of need and opportunity in this great big world. Some may boldly choose to engage church or denominational battles. More power to you; how can we help? Others of us will bravely leave invalidating and sometimes abusive environments. How can we best support you and your transition?

Let’s choose to invest in “the Kingdom” by living honestly, loving God with our whole being and loving others with sacrificial service and humility.

Do what you have to do, but please do something.

In closing, I want to share this dream again. I had a dream shortly after Michael’s passing that completely reframes how I see this situation. In it, Michael came to me, held my hand, and we sat on a bench in a beautiful park surrounded by sunlight. He was radiant, and he sang the most beautiful otherworldly song. I believe our Heavenly Father allowed that to happen so that I would remember the beautiful Michael and not let the tragedy of suicide define him in my mind. Holding his strong hand, hearing his amazing song.

Michael’s song, his life in this world and the next, is so clear, so vivid, and beautiful, … just like him.


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