A friend tragically lost her husband, the love of her life, last week. He was just forty years old. I have seldom met two people more goofy-in-love, even after 8 years of marriage. They were perfect together. Really & truly. And now she’s a widow, at 39, a huge hole ripped into her heart, if not her heart ripped out altogether, and the prospect of life without him stretching out ahead of her.

It’s a terrible, unimaginably fucked-up situation you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy, let alone a dear, dear friend.

And yet.

And yet in the midst of the horror, the unthinkable pain, wow, so much goodness.

Because: #squad.

She is held fast in the embrace of her husband’s squads – the surfers, the musicians, the clients, the colleagues, the life-long friends, acquaintances, let alone family. All those strong relationships her husband cultivated throughout his life, all those have come to her aid now. And she is held up too by her own strong squads.

When something Big, sometimes terrible happens,  you want to be able to lean back, safely,

on strong squads.

It occurs to me, as I sit by her side and help her try to sift through the wreckage of this tragedy, that #squad is so much deeper than just your posse, your girls, your BFFs. Your #squad will be there, if/when you die, to help your beloved through the pain, to share in the anguish, to bear a portion of the burden. 

You owe it to the people you love to build strong squads while you’re alive. Your squads will be there to care for, help, love on your beloveds when you’re gone. Just as their squads will care for you.

You owe strong squads to the people you love.

It all matters: every interaction we have is potentially squad-worthy, could come back to the aid of our beloved when we're gone.

As I move through this experience of being on a squad, it strikes me that we need to be developing two kinds of super strong squads:  a #lovesquad and a #prosquad. Your #lovesquad is your friends, the ones who’ll be there, thick or thin, to do whatever task needs doing, day or night, in a time of crisis – change diapers, drive to the mortuary, make coffee, pick up milk, pick up meds, pass the tissues, whatever. Your #lovesquad will be there to wrap their arms around your beloveds, so they can lean back into their grief, feel their feelings, knowing that the details, details they can temporarily no longer fathom, are taken care of.

And you also need a #prosquad. These are your banker, your financial planner, your insurance broker, your attorney, your doctor, your assistant, should you be so lucky, and more -- all those people who hold a piece of the "business" of you, who can come together, work together, to ease the pain and transition of your beloved. Believe me: you want to build this squad for the people you love. You do.

Your strong squads carry your legacy.

I am heartbroken by my friend's loss. Like I said, I wouldn't visit this horror on my worst enemy, let alone someone I adore. And yet. And yet there has been so much sweetness in all these people who have shown up, told stories, helped out, cried, hugged, stood strong. So much tenderness and care and love in all of these people from every aspect of this man's life, who've shown up to extend their gratitude and assistance to his widow. That is such a beautiful thing to witness. That is the legacy of a life well-lived.

We just never know what might happen. So I'm adding it to my list, taking care of this straight-away: making sure I'm developing those squads for my beloveds. May they be taken care of, may they be able to lean back and rely 100% on those strong, strong squads. This is how I can keep on loving them. This is legacy.

xo

#buildupyoursquads #makeyourlife #doyourthing

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