Message from our Executive Director, Chelsea Laliberte on the 6th anniversary of Alex “Lali” Laliberte’s death:
6 years ago today, Alex Laliberte took his last breath. From that moment on, all who knew him were changed in different ways. I won’t attempt to detail that because no experiences were exactly the same. The only perspective I can speak of is my own.
I woke up today like I do every morning, grateful for this life. A few years ago, I didn’t know it was possible to feel contentme
nt of this kind. I lived in a bubble in Los Angeles where I was still trying to figure out who I was far away from where it all began. It was really tough, but it was where I forged the strength to accept Alex’s fate and myself, flaws and all. The culmination of that experience was this: when I was able to start really fully dealing with Alex’s death, I found myself again. Instead of being mad at him or obsessed with trying to analyze every little idiosyncratic detail of the last year of his life, I started talking to him. Soon enough, he started speaking back through songs, experiences, feelings, dreams, relationships, food, culture. He was there. He still is.
It took a long time to get here but I now remember Alex not as this character we talk about because of his choices or his illness, but as a person who brought light to many people, especially me. I am LUCKY to have had Alex for a brother. His death may have been tragic, but don’t be fooled by his way out. There was a lot of worry, but he was NOT a burden. Those 20 years were spent in the best of company. So, I am going to take today to express gratitude to him.
Alex, thank you for your kindness and youthful spirit. Thank you for your sensitivity and intuition. You always knew how to make things better, sometimes just by smiling. Thank you for being authentic and unafraid to express yourself creatively; music was your religion. Thank you for always saying “yes”; your dedication to your family couldn’t be altered. Thank you for your huge heart of gold; always looking for someone to help or relieve. Thank you for trying. Trying to fight what your mind and body were telling you to do, trying to summon the strength to get the words out. Thank you for never wanting to leave a room angry and always saying “I love you.” I know you meant it. Thank you for taking care of me when I was sick or talking me down from an emotional precipice by simply saying “don’t worry about it.” Thank you for not taking life too seriously, it helped make our life together so much more enjoyable. Thank you for going the extra mile to get a laugh, even if it almost left you detained in Mexico or stuck at a gas station in the middle of nowhere. Thank you for keeping secrets. Thank you for showing me that sometimes silence is enough.
Thank you for waking me up in the morning with the strongest fire in my belly. Thank you for helping me to sleep soundly knowing that the work we are doing is affecting change by saving lives and enlightening people. Thank you for everything you were and everything you are. At the end of a long day, all I have to do is look at your face and know that everything is going to be alright. Til we meet again, I will always be thankful. Save a seat for me.