Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Do Not Wait

Sometimes there are no words. 

When someone dies unexpectedly how do you capture their life, their impact, their affect on others, with mere words?

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. 

Mend fences.

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.


  1. Agreed! So sorry about the loss of Michael. Being a South Floridian, I've got quite a few Hurricanes fans in my life. Glad he lived his to the fullest.

  2. SG, I'm so sorry you're struggling and hurting. I am praying for Michael's family and for you, too. I recently experienced a loss and I waited too long to say the things I needed to say. I wish I hadn't waited and I urge everyone else to heed this warning. You don't get those moments back.

  3. From the way you describe him, it sounds as though this post is the perfect tribute to him. Well done.

  4. So sorry to hear about your friend Michael. This is a beautiful post dedicated to him. I love that he had an infectious laugh and a big heart. He must have lived a good life. Take care, SG!

  5. I'm so sorry for your loss. And his family's. This is a beautiful tribute to him, and an important message.

  6. I am so so sorry for such a great loss.

    My family has yours and his in our thoughts and prayers.

    Your post is a wonderful tribute.

  7. I'm really glad I read this tonight. You are absolutely right. I lost a very close family member one month ago today and I've been thinking all of these things. Very well said.

    My thoughts go out to all of Michael's friends and family...it sounds like he will be truly missed.

  8. So sorry to hear about your loss. There are no real words of comfort, but your post is beautiful and very true.

    I lost my oldest brother in 2005 to a car accident, and it changed my life. I stopped taking everyone and everything for granted, and I stopped sweating the small stuff.

  9. No loss is easy. When seeing one taken in the prime of his life, it is especially hard to make sense of. hmmm... I don't really know what to say...This was beautiful

  10. This was very nice to read.

    I lost a friend to breast cancer when she was just 30. She left behind her 2 children. It's been 4 years now and I don't think a day goes by that I don't think of her in some way.

    These things do matter.

  11. "Do not wait to forgive."

    This one is especially good. I've always had the "don't let the sun set on anger" mentality. Even when it's hard.

    I've lost too many people in the last few years (suicide, murder, cancer, you name it) and hate the idea of one of them leaving with drama between us.

    Hugs to you.

  12. This past winter, one of my former students committed suicide at the ripe age of 20. Everything you said - don't wait to love, to forgive, to live . . . I know exactly what you're saying. Great post.


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