Kelsey Halterman & Garrett Barker

Death is an interesting leveler of playing grounds. It makes every one of us equal, in that it does not pay attention to race, creed, gender, age, education level, or financial class. It merely comes when it is time, takes the person whose time it is, and leaves behind those whose time it was not. In times like this, it has been found that, often times, the thoughts and questions of one “survivor” are much the same as the next…

Why them instead of me? Why did this happen? How do I understand this? How am I going to go on without them? 

If the person who travelled on with Death was still young and vibrant, there is a deeper level of angst added to the experience. These “survivors” often are thinking (or speaking) things like…

But they were SO YOUNG! I shouldn’t have to bury my child. They had so much of life ahead of them.

Yes, Death is a common experience that each human will go through. And, although Death comes to everyone, and even though there can be found many common themes of thought and word, there is no way to understand what each individual is going through in their experience of death.

Throughout my life, I have also witnessed another way that Death levels the playing ground. The state of mourning the passing of a beloved is the perfect opportunity for Victims to wail and gnash their teeth loudly and incessantly, not as a way to mourn and grieve, but rather as a way to pull attention to themselves and away from the situation at hand. The parade of Victims calls in those who are most comfortable as Villains, giving them opportunity to lay into the Victims and victimize them further. And then the Heroes, in beautiful shining armor, come in to save the day. The dance around the Ego-Try-Angle is nearly unstoppable in a group of people that come together, day after day after day, to mourn and plan the services of their loved one who has walked off this dimension while holding hands with Death.

As I have spent the last 40+ hours trying to believe the utterly unbelievable tale of Kels and Garrett, however, another thing I’ve noticed is… Death intensifies natural compassion, caring, nurturing, loving. It levels the playing field because everyone in that space realizes that everyone in that space is there because of the common denominator: Someone I love has died. Great acts of kindness and gentleness fill the space. There is a lot of hugging, a lot of caressing, a lot of soft pats on the back, a lot of gentle smiles. Each person becomes a tender holder of space for all the others in the room.

The death of Garrett, Kelsey, and Sage has taught me that Love truly does prevail. It has shown me how living a life committed to being fully alive and vibrant, loving those around you, and giving selflessly to humanity – and the animal kingdom – creates waves of unending Love. I’ve witnessed the global effect created by Garrett and Kelsey’s love, combined with Kelsey’s mother’s magnanimous commitment to Love and Joy and how these three beings have moved the world with their love. From all over the planet, I have watched as Love has poured in to this space where “survivors” are mourning the loss of their beloveds. I have watched as this Love has filled this space and overflowed out into the world to grow and move and fill other spaces. I’ve watched as it has ignited a movement of Love, understanding, and compassion.

That is what Life is about. And, sometimes, just sometimes, Death leads the way.

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0 Responses to Death

  1. I always love reading your beautiful words, Angie. My heart aches for the people who are mourning Kel and Garret and their unborn baby. It is so difficult to understand why things like this happen. I keep sending love to everyone mourning this beautiful couple. May peace be with them.

  2. Elaine says:

    Angie, I loved your explanation of this. Always remember that Garrett, Kelsey and Sage will always live within their love ones heart. This is very sad, but then again their journey is a new beginning. This young couple has touched many of lives and they will continue to do so. People will need to grieve and morn, but we must remember we will all meet again one day. It is hard for awhile for the ones that are left behind and their are all the questions, but in the end they have been called upon and we never know when that time will be but they are on another journey and it will be beautiful as they will continue to bring all the kindness and love around us.

  3. Death does sometimes lead the way and how I wish it was not so. Sending much love to all.

  4. I was saddened by this news when I heard it a few days ago. It has obviously put its heart wrenching hand into the chests of many people I know & love. My heart is going out to all of you who have felt this loss. It is a devastating trauma. I wish I could reach out & take away the pain of loss.

    I appreciate you sharing your perspective about the victims, villains & hero’s. It reminded me of my cousin who took his life a few years back on the 16th of Jan. At the funeral his girlfriend wailed loudly & acted dramatically trying to draw all the attention on herself…I found it disturbing because I sensed it was all about her in a way & it wasn’t genuine…it was too staged, too dramatic…we believe something had happened between them the night he did it, but we weren’t really sure what it was. This month is a difficult time for our family a lot of highs & lows . There are anniversary of loved ones deaths yet life always continues though, the day after the anniversary of my nephews death my new niece was born on the 17th.

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