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I drew this card this morning, before attending the funeral of someone that I consider to be a soul brother. My BFF's big brother. A man that I've known for 28 years. This card, Upheaval, has stayed on my mind all day.

Last week, the day after he died, our country experienced one hell of an upheaval with the attack on the White House. With this card, my mind was all over the place. What type of upheaval is coming next? What's going to happen later? Tomorrow? I knew about the white cowards who were gathering in our state's capitol this weekend...was the card warning something? Was it talking about something else? That card was all that I could think of as we drove our 35-40 minutes to the funeral home on the West Side of Columbus.

Upheaval. In the picture it's a tree uprooting, and the crows flying off to find a perch more stable, safer, and gain a new perspective of what's just occurred...

January 5th, he died--killed in a brutal work related accident. Michael Maloney. Today was his memorial and wake. Today the funeral home was filled with many people--in person, virtually, and in thoughts and spirits--who were blessed with knowing him. Our room was very diverse in culture, race, class, belief systems, gender, sexuality, in political views, and various other differences. All of these people, unified, were there to honor and celebrate another light extinguished from this world. Today we relived some memories and learned more about what an incredible light in this dark world that he was. More than we had already known. Michael was very kind. Non-judgmental. Fearless. Caring. Protective. Encouraging. The life of the party. He made everyone in a room feel like a star. Feel special and accepted. When he saw someone alone or looking uncertain, Michael would approach them. Make them comfortable. Help them. Befriend them. Help them with a problem. That's just how he was he was. Is. He lifted so many people up.

His death was the upheaval. The uprooting of many worlds or so many of us thought... But we realized the light that was Michael Maloney IS. That light is not gone. It's energy...cannot be destroyed, only transformed, as another of his friends wrote on his Facebook wall. Today was a day of learning and reliving. A day for healing and gaining a more stable perch and gaining a better perspective. I know that I certainly want to be more of the good that Michael was. I want to be less anxious and timid. Less scared of rejection. I want to be less judgmental and more compassionate. I want to be that person who helps another feel welcomed and not alone. To help them feel safe and comforted. I hope to be at least half that light that Michael was in this world. Years ago, Kuan Yin gave me a vision. I was a candle maker who gave candles to those in need. The last candle given, I'd light it from my heart. Hearts never grow weak from giving, they only grow stronger and brighter. To be mean and selfish is too easy, and is a sign of a weakness and hurt. But to be compassionate takes strength. Michael is a Candle Maker. Once Hekate gave me a quest to sort through and heal my shadows. I found my unlit torch and I learned to ignite my inner flame. My torch blazed brightly against the darkness that threatened to swallow me. I stood tall in the darkness, unafraid.

"TORCH BEARER!" Persephone cried. I made my way through the darkness... I found another who was alone and afraid, lost in their shadows. I extended my torch to them, not for them keep but to guide them to their own healing quest, so that they could ignite their inner torches and find another, struggling in their darkness. Michael is a Torch Bearer. Michael's flame, he has given to each of us. His torch light guides us. Has helped many of us discover our own fire and ignite our torches. Go out, my friends and family. Go out and spread that light that Michael Maloney shared and showed us. Imbued in us. For me, the Upheaval wasn't his death, it was the immense change Michael has brought into our lives. In a world that encourages hate, division, judgement, and fear! Be that upheaval, be that love, be that strength that inspires our communities to be better and love harder. Leave fear behind. All of these people, unified, were there to honor, celebrate, and continue to carry on another light that brightened this world. May those who were truly touched by Michael not just carry that light, but give it to others, as he did for us. May the world steadily grow brighter with love, compassion, strength, and fearlessness.

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