Dear Friends, BALMers and Readers,
As many of you know, my cousin, Alex Schachter was killed in the Parkland shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on February 14, 2018.
I dedicated my book to his memory and wanted to share what I wrote along with a poem he wrote a few weeks before his passing:
Though the shooter stole ALEX and the other 17 souls from all of us physically, they live on in our hearts.
Alex was a gentle light-filled soul who taught us all how to live in love throughout his life and left us this legacy of having a moment by moment appreciation of life in this poem he wrote a few days before his passing. First introduced to Alex’s family and friends at his funeral by his brother Ryan and then to the world on CNN by his dad, this poem has a profound message for everyone.
Neither Alex nor anyone in his immediate family has or had a use disorder, yet he was not a stranger to trauma or to renewal. He lost his mom Debbie at four, yet was blessed several years later with his new mom, Caryn, and two new sisters, Morgan and Avery.
Perhaps this poem, innocently written by a 14 year old who loved roller coasters, can help us all take hold of our opportunities to live and love fully in each moment without judgment, fear, or malice, being there fully for ourselves and each other, as we are learning to do through our practice of BALM.
Alex’s brilliance lives on through the words of his poem and in all of the memories of those who loved him…Though we cannot bring him back, we can find comfort in his words, hoping that when his roller coaster stopped, he was renewed and on his way to the next leg of his journey. We can also easily imagine his loving nature living on, guiding him to wish only healing and hope for all left behind.
Thank you Alex. Your sweetness and light shone brightly during your days on this Earth and continue to carry us through our loss of you. May your words of wisdom touch each heart that sees or hears them.
Life is Like A Roller Coaster by Alex Schachter
Life is like a roller coaster
It has some ups and downs
Sometimes you can take it slow or very fast
It maybe hard to breath at times
But you have to push yourself and keep going
Your bar is your safety
It’s like your family and friends
You hold on tight and you don’t let go
But sometimes you might throw your hands up
Because your friends and family will always be with you
Just like that bar keeping you safe at all times
It maybe too much for you at times: the twists, the turns, the upside downs
But you get back up
You keep chugging along
Eventually it comes to a stop
You won’t know when or how
But you will know that’ll be time to get off and start anew
Life is like a roller coaster
Thank you so much for the kind and compassionate words so many of you shared since Alex’s passing and for your generous donations to his gofundme site as well as your generosity of time, patience, presence, and spirit along the way.