I didn’t want to go. I knew they would all be there, and I didn’t want to go.
Since February, I’ve been working on the most demanding project of my career. As part of a safety road campaign, we decided to dive deep into the pain of losing a child, a brother, a best friend, in a car accident. We interviewed five families and created four videos to tell their stories. They have opened up their heart to me, and I’ve been carrying their tale since then.
Last Thursday was the big day most of us were expected: we were finally launching the project. And I didn’t want to go. I hate launches. Trust me, I will do whatever I can to miss them. I love creating the vision, making people all work together and into their zone of genius towards it, but I hate when it’s all done. I don’t want to talk about it anymore, I don’t want to get congratulated for my work. My head’s already thinking about the next big adventure, pretty much like the passionate traveller who’s ready for his next trip the moment the plane lands.
But I had no choice. As the main link with all the families, I had to be there. That’s in fact the very reason I was trying to escape this event: it was way too overwhelming for me. It was so intense to do the interviews with one family at a time, I dreaded having to face them all reunited in one place.
I apprehended the moment we would watch all the videos together, one after the other. I was right. It was one of the most emotional afternoons of my life. We sat, and we watched, and we cried. We were immersed into the depth and pain of humanity.
It was tough, very tough, but at the same time, it was beautiful. We got to see that underneath it all, underneath the representation of ourselves we show the world, the labels we identify to, we are all the same. We are happy about the same things, the simple pleasures of sharing a family life, then all forever changed by the lost of one of our closest ones. Underneath it all, one big heart.
What I realized is that it hurts. Life hurts when you get attached. Like crazy. Like you can’t even imagine. But at the same time, there is really no other choice.
“A life lived in fear is a life half-lived.”
When I’m biking with clipped shoes, I am so damn scared. I am scared because I’m literally attached to the bike, and I have very little room for maneuver if I fall to unclip and protect myself from being hurt. But at the same time, it is this precious attachement that makes me able to climb the steepest hills. It is the very same attachment I fear that makes me stronger.
Playing with my goddaughter on Saturday night, I felt this strong loving bond. I do not want to lose her. Leaving her for the night makes me heavy-hearted. I can’t even imagine how much it will be profound that connection will be once I am a mother. But again, there is no choice. It is in those moments where we feel the most vulnerable that we also feel the most alive. In those moments where I get so scared of losing her, of losing the people I love, now I simply tell myself that a life lived in fear is a life half-lived.