Last week I lost a friend. When I heard the news I couldn’t move. I couldn’t think. I couldn’t speak. So I cried. For a number of hours that was all I could do.
And then the thoughts started racing and the words started coming but they needed someplace to go.
So I wrote. And wrote. And in the end, I put together a long piece on the life lessons I had learned from my friend. And it is being published. It will be something that others can read to get a glimpse of the magnitude of this unbelievably special person the world has lost. It is a piece that can be printed out and given to his six young children so that they know the impact their father had on my life and countless others. And because it was written, it will last. It will remain. And it will forever capture the thoughts and feelings I had the day we lost him.
I am sharing this because I feel so blessed as a writer that I had my writing to turn to. It saved me. It allowed me to process. It helped me try to make sense of the unimaginable. And it gave me the opportunity to find the words, to choose the words and to decide exactly what he meant to me and how I wanted to share that with others. As I wrote my piece, I went back to the exchange of messages I had with him. I found a powerful voicemail I didn’t realize I had. I discovered things I likely would not have had I decided not to write the piece.
When I began writing, it was only for me. By now it has nothing really to do with me. It is for everyone else.
And that is the power of writing. It is therapy. It is solace. It is creativity. It is meaning. It is sharing. It is a process of self development, expansion and understanding. It is connection. It is necessary.
My hope is that each and every person recognize this conduit they have within to tap into their deepest thoughts and feelings and then relay them, in a permanent way, to themselves and to the rest of the world. Everyone can write. Everyone should write. Everyone must write.
As I often quote from E.M. Forester, but experienced in the most powerful way yesterday: “I don’t know what I think until I see what I write.”
In memory of Yudi Dukes who left this world way too soon at the age of 39, leaving behind his incredible wife, Sarah, and their six young children. Sarah shared their journey through his COVID battle through her unbelievable writing, thus impacting thousands worldwide, and creating an army of support for Yudi and his family. May his memory be for a blessing.