The hardest part of saying goodbye is having to do it again every single day. Every day we face the same truth. But life is fleeting. That our time here is short. And to honor the fallen, we must live our own lives well.
As I drive around this town, this small New England town that I’ve called home for 21 years, I can’t help but stop and remember everything that has happened during those 21 years. I’ve had the opportunity to be amazed and inspired but also I’ve had those opportunity for hard but meaningful lessons taught to me along the way. But nothing could have ever prepared me for what happened on December 11, 2016. There are no words, no lessons a teacher or parent could teach you. You’re helpless, vulnerable, numb to your core. Because no one can teach you on how it feels to lose someone you’ve known most of your life to a gun’s bullet.
6 months almost 7 months have passed since that December night but there are no adequate words. I keep finding myself attempting to pick up the pieces of my heart that have broken into tiny shards, I’ll likely never find them all. 6 months ago I, and so many of us from the town of Groton and all over the state of Connecticut, lost an incredible human being. Joey Gingerella. Joey was one-of-a-kind. Fearless. Funny. A man who still had that kid spirit inside of him. His smile was as bright as the sun and envisioned a better future for our world. He was one of the most genuine human beings you could have ever met. He was authentic and inspiring. He was an incredible brother, a loved son, a loyal friend, and a damn good man. I’m devastated and at the same time I’m deeply grateful to have known and loved him, and to have had him in my life. I was so looking forward to seeing what his life would be like today but unfortunately that will never happen.
But what will happen is the legacy that Joey and his family started called Community Speaks Outs. An organization to support, educate, and encouraging people who are suffering with addiction. Please remember that our time on this Earth is not guaranteed. Life is precious, so very precious. So please tell those you love that you do. Right now. This very minute. Please send a kiss to the sky for my friend Joey. His energy is so big and so bright, and it’s all around us, so put some love toward him and his family, then hug your loved ones.