When someone dies unexpectedly how do you capture their life, their impact, their affect on others, with mere words?
As a writer, I think words are some of the most powerful things on the planet. They can tear down and build up. They can cause joy and anger, ignite passion, empower, encourage, hurt and deceive.
But as I think about the unexpected loss of 18 year old Michael Alfred Cuello, I can't help but feel words are not enough.
I did not know Michael well. In fact, I only met him once. He is the brother of my cousin's wife, and I met him briefly at their wedding. As I read the words left on a memorial facebook page created by those who knew him best - words of love, inside jokes, promises to see him again one day - I am reminded just how precious and fleeting life is.
And so I say, words are not enough.
I do not mean to diminish those who wish to honor him, need to grieve him, want to celebrate him, or forever remember him through letters, and poems, songs and stories and messages on facebook or elsewhere. Those things are important and need to be done, just as I am writing this post as way for me to sort through this tragedy, to cope with the ache I feel for his sisters, his mother and those who love and knew him best.
But I am also writing - with these words that today, do not seem to be enough - to ignite. To inspire. To encourage you. To go out and live. Today. Right now.
Do not wait to...
Hug your family and friends close to you.
Tell the people you love that you love them.
Honor those you love.
Heal old wounds.
Do not wait to forgive.
To call that friend you've been meaning to connect with, but just haven't been able to find the time.
Do not wait to sky dive, take surf lessons, to take that vacation.
To write that book.
Do not wait to be...
Do not wait to be all the things you've always wanted to be.
Do not wait to love.
And do not wait to live.
In memory of Michael Alfred Cuello, who knew how to live.
Michael had a contagious smile, an infectious laughter, and a big heart that will be missed by many. He loved spending time with his family and many friends. He enjoyed skateboarding, the beach, surfing, skim boarding, playing sports, annual family reunions, the Miami Hurricanes, and trips to Miami.