“My only son was killed at age 17 by a 14-year-old gangbanger,” confided the keynote speaker in a hauntingly hushed voice at a Hospice of the North Coast Light Up A Life (LUAL) ceremony celebrating the memories of loved ones. Already dealing with their own sorrow, bereaved audience members were initially stunned, then inspired as grieving-parent-turned-passionate-peace-activist Azim Khamisa recounted the forgiveness, compassion and hope he created from his despair so he could carve out a meaning within his loss; a purpose and path for his life.
“There is nothing quite so painful as a broken heart,” he disclosed with a quiet emotion that drew people closer to him. “But a broken heart is an open heart.”
Mr. Khamisa’s soft-spoken but intense message resonated deeply. People nodded in understanding when he said, “We are the co-authors of our loved ones’ epilogues.” Many determined that they, too, could perform “good compassionate deeds” in the names of their departed.
Being human is tough and yes, our hearts will be broken. But we have a choice: we can choose to let the experience break our heart … or we can choose to make our broken heart into an open heart.