Tragedy is interesting in that it can bring out the very worst and the very best all at the same time. It reminds you of what’s important and often puts things in perspective, even though it’s still blurry. Grieving and coping will look different for each, but often times it’s so helpful to share in that process. One of our CFP members, Joey, reached out to Brandon and I with a beautiful letter he wrote to our CFP family during this terrible, senseless time.
Thank you Joey for these words! We sure hope you find comfort in this letter, as Brandon and I did. May we lean on each other as we grieve and cope the loss of our sweet Amanda and love hard on our brave Coach Cory. #flyhigh22
Dear CFP family,
I don’t know about you but I’m really struggling with all that has happened this week within our dear CrossFit family. The senselessness of it all . . . Anger, fear, sorrow, sadness, heart broken, pissed off at the injustice of it all. . . Well I could go on and on, as I know you are feeling the same way. As one of the “elder” folks in the family, a Christian, and someone who has dealt with a decent amount of loss, you would think that I would know what to do, but I’m not sure that I do. But there are some thing that I do know, and I wanted to share with you a few things as we travel these uncertain times of life together as family. FYI, this is a cathartic exercise for me, too.
Don’t be afraid of your feelings. Own them, share them with other people. Be real and honest. It’s even okay to be mad at God for all of this. He can take it, but also he can get us through this together. If you’re a follower of Jesus, you’ll know that God had to watch his only Son die. Sorry for being so christiany, but it gives me something to hold tightly to. Find an emotionally healthy way to get to whatever our new normal will be.
Love Cory well. This can mean a lot of things. Everyone responds differently to traumatic life circumstances. Don’t have expectations for him and let him grieve in a way that’s good for Cory. You do NOT “know how he feels”. If I hear anyone tell him this, you are required to do 1,000 burpees, without a break, with no water, outside in the summer Charlotte heat. Sometimes just hanging out and not trying to say the right thing is what people need. I call it the ministry of presence. Let’s rally around our brother, not smothering him, but in a way that’s best for Cory. Pray for him daily, and through that, we’ll learn the best way to love him through this. Don’t be afraid to talk about Amanda with him, but let him take the lead on this. Don’t put your timeline on him. He will need time and space. Give it to him.
Let’s celebrate Amanda’s life. The more I hear about her, the more I wish I would have known her better. Let’s take the time to get to know each other and care for each other. There is so much more to all of us than an hour at the gym each day. I think Amanda would want us to do this, as we can see the impact that she made on many of us in just a few months at CFP.
We are in this together! God placed us here on this earth for a reason. Even though we only see each other a few days a week for an hour, when many of us can’t breathe or talk because of the WOD, let’s invest in each other. Life is too short to miss opportunities to encourage someone who may need a “great job today” or even “are you doing okay, you don’t seem yourself today?” What’s the risk?
The way we respond to this incredible injustice will tell us a lot about ourselves. I want to personally come through this a better person, to love people more, to be stronger on the other side, and to know that we have taken care of our adopted CFP family well, especially Cory.
One of my favorite verses in the Bible is found in 1 Peter 5 and gives me hope. I hold tightly to this:
“So keep a firm grip on the faith. The suffering won’t last forever. It won’t be long before this generous God who has great plans for us in Christ—eternal and glorious plans they are!—will have you put together and on your feet for good. He gets the last word; yes, he does.” (The Message)
I love you guys and I am praying for you. Spend time today holding tightly to those that are dear to you.