This afternoon, I opened instagram & found that my entire feed had turned red. Nearly every other photo that I thumbed through was adorned with the hashtag #redballoonsforryan.
I have no personal connection with Ryan’s family other than Instagram, where I follow his sweet blogger-mama, @babyboybakery, so I’ll keep with the brevity of the message shared on Ryan’s GoFundMe page:
“Last Friday night, while playing out front of a family member’s home, Ryan was hit by a truck and went home to be with Jesus. It all happened so fast and he was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. A simple excitement to grab the frisbee that had escaped into the road was met with a tragic loss.”
I still have a difficult time justifying my reaction to things like this. Though I’ve never met this family, though the only way I know of them is through a photo feed, I curled my knees into my chest in our red papasan and wept for nearly an hour.
Working & living as a blogger has opened my heart to the fact that we are never truly alone (even though physically, geographically, literally we may be).
There’s a common frequency connecting us. While we might spend the better part of our lives bumping blindly around the planet, there are these constant, invisible (yet palpable) waves of energy that can be tuned into, if only we know how to turn the dial on our hearts far enough to feel them.
It’s the reason we can be so fucking devastated by a tragedy that, until moments before, we had no knowledge of. That we are in no way connected to. Whether it’s a tsunami halfway across the world, or a single life suddenly lost in the street, we’re still strangely torn in two over the whole mess, as if it were happening to us.
These moments of connection – especially in times of great sadness – serve as mirrors, reminding us how fragile our own lives are. They prove that all of these humans bustling around the skin of the planet are rather similar to us, even if only in the way that they bleed, and they love, and they lose things just as easily as we do.
Bow your head and allow pure gratitude for this subtle connection to fog out your loneliness.
We can use this frequency to strengthen our connection to ourselves; to those around us — strangers, friends, family alike. Tap into it in any way you can. You don’t even need to find a local community to connect with on a physical, I’m-right-here-with-you level (though admittedly, nothing beats that). You can reach out as a blogger. As an instagram follower. As a fellow Spirit on the path. With a love letter, a note, a comment, an emoticon, an email, a phone call. Strengthen that frequency. Tune into it often, and know, dear one, that you are not alone.
My friends, a heartbeat is a fleeting, fragile thing. It’s here, and then it’s gone, in the blink of an eye. It can be easy to spend our days feeling alone. Trust me, I’ve been there and back time and time again. But it’s nice to remember that there’s an entire planet of people that love you, simply for the fact that you, too, have a heartbeat.
You can click the photo above to donate to Ryan’s memorial service.