What do you do when you lose someone who was monumental and important to you? All of us are different in how we process this deep loss, and anxiety and depression can accompany overwhelming grief. I have learned with time to breathe in deeply the life that they lived and the memories that I have of that person. I savor who they are, and I grieve while using life skills and giving myself grace.
According to a family spokesperson “After a 32-year battle with Parkinson's disease, Muhammad Ali has passed away at the age of 74.” Around the world people are breathing in the life of Muhammad Ali and grieving. They are remembering his triumphs and his uniqueness. His spice and tenacity linger in the air. Memories and appreciations are uttered from presidents, to scientists, to fellow athletes. I encourage you to join me and the rest of the world in taking time to remember Muhammad Ali. His legacy stretches over many decades and has impacted generations. He was strong willed and made bold moves in and out of the boxing ring. His public approval rose and fell, but he was truly admired and adored by those who knew of him and by those who knew him well, and this is an honor.
President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama released a statement offering their memories and adoration for him. They talked of his greatness and his accolades. One thing that caught my attention was how they respected and embraced his self assured declarations, that he was the self proclaimed “greatest” and that he knew he was something special. How many of us take time to value ourselves and to accept our greatness while we are alive? Too many times it is our loved ones who linger in memories after someone has passed, when the lingering leads to doubt in relationships and feelings of regret. I hope that when we grieve for Muhammad Ali we are also able to light a fire of self-proclaimed greatness in ourselves. Muhammad Ali lived and he lived fervently, he embraced and perhaps even tackled his potential, pushing his body and the world around him to the limits.