As many of you know from my recent posts on social media, my baby brother Tommy passed away last month. He was only 44. Our family is heartbroken. We are healing, day by day.
He was a father, a brother, an uncle, a friend, an artist, a lover of life, and my safe haven in many ways
He had so many more beautiful experiences left to share with all of us. And his absence will be felt deeply by his family, children and friends.
His cause of death was morbid obesity.
There were many seasons over the years when my brother lived with me while he struggled with his weight, his sobriety, and his private pain. One time, he even managed to lose almost seventy pounds. Ultimately, he was never able to love himself enough to make his own health a priority. Self care is so difficult for so many.
When I first learned of my brother’s death, I was angry. I was angry at him for not taking better care of himself so he could be here… with us… for us. Then I felt terrible for feeling that way. His death just feels so unnecessary. As I’ve been working through that pain, I’ve been trying to focus on meeting his spirit with compassion. His struggles were his own and I meet his departure with painful compassion.
This devastating loss has changed the trajectory of our lives and strengthened our bonds as a family. I know that time will lessen our pain and every day will present new opportunities to heal. We are closer today as a family and surrounded by an abundance of love.
My prayer is that this tragic loss will serve as a clarion call that promotes awareness and encourages change. Sometimes, pain can lead us to a better place – if we let it. Tragedy changes us and hopefully awakens us a bit more.
It definitely motivates me to deepen my commitment to take care of my body. Perfection is not the goal. It’s strength, energy, health, longevity, and continued connection. I am driven to lead by example for my children and be here for them for many years to come.
I share all of this with you because I want to be honest and live out loud. I’m not afraid to face the reality of cause-and-effect. As you all have heard me say, we have one place to live, and taking care of it should be a priority.
Don’t do things that harm your body.
Don’t allow immobility to become your norm.
Don’t let extra weight put too much stress on your heart.
Don’t neglect yourself for so long that you can’t find yourself again.
Obesity is a killer. Don’t go willingly.
Self care is not natural. It’s a daily practice. Fight for your health.