Erika Petrelli
Erika Petrelli

You know how there are weeks that go by hum-drum, with the day-to-day business of life so unremarkable it can be hard to tell one day apart from another, and then there are other weeks—weeks with News?

Last week was a week with News.   The kind of News that leaves your brain scrambling to make sense of things, your breath catching in your throat, your hands helpless with what to do, and your heart aching—for the News itself, and for the people that are most directly and forever devastated by it. News where “I’m so sorry” just doesn’t even begin to cover it.

There are really no words that cover it.

There are no words that fully hold this truth of life—that it is heart-achingly beautiful and unbelievably gut-wrenching and miraculously breathtaking and shockingly fragile.

I guess when News comes that re-awakens us to this truth, it is okay that there are no words… because our heart carries it, and we can see it in the eyes, or feel it in the embrace, of another who feels it too.


There will be a funeral this week. It will be a day where the impact and legacy of a truly remarkable human being will be honored and celebrated.  The sorrow in this goes without saying.  The blessings in this are there, too. There will be blessings in the gathering of childhood friends sharing memories and moments that shaped us. There will be blessings in the opportunities to take inspiration from the way he lived, and to be reminded of the way we want to live. There will be blessings in hearing stories we’ve never heard and meeting people we’ve never met—all a testament to how much one person can affect a community, for good. There will be blessings in the amount of love that fills the room and spills out into each of our hearts.

And in the end, I think that is the truest and best thing we can do… just love each other. Love each other fiercely. Love each other like hell.  

So whether you are holding News in your heart right now too, or you’re having a hum-drum kind of week, I hope that you know that you are loved. And I hope those that you love know it, too.

How will you love through this heart-achingly beautiful and unbelievably gut-wrenching and miraculously breathtaking and shockingly fragile life?



Erika Petrelli

By Erika Petrelli

Erika Petrelli is the Senior Vice President of Leadership Development (and self-declared Minister of Mischief) for The Leadership Program, a New York City-based organization. With a Masters degree in Secondary Education, Erika has been in the field of teaching and training for decades, and has been with The Leadership Program since 1999. There she has the opportunity to nurture the individual leadership spirit in both students and adults across the country, through training, coaching, keynotes, and writing. The legacy Erika strives daily to create is to be the runway upon which others take flight. If you enjoy these blogs, you should check out her interactive journal, On Wings & Whimsy: Finding the Extraordinary Within the Ordinary, now available for sale on Amazon. While her work takes her all around the country, Erika calls Indiana home.