RBG & Filling Seats

September 19, 2020

Putting politics aside, an influential woman has passed away. Ruth Bader Ginsburg, deceased.

A mother is dead. 

A grandmother gone.

A friend. A wife. A sister.

A person who made a noticeable difference.

Have you forgotten those things? 

How can you fill a seat that is still warm to the touch? 

How can you fill a seat of someone that hasn’t even been laid to rest?

How can you discuss filling a seat while family members are still breathless with the fresh grief of losing someone they love?

My mother passed in 2017, and her seat still remains unfilled. To be honest, it always will be. While my mother’s seat was simply a seat at a holiday table, a seat where she cuddled her grandchildren, and a seat where we enjoyed each other’s company, the sentiment isn’t lost on me. 

Ruth Bader Ginsburg has the kind of seat that must be filled. I understand that importance. But I also know the impact of grief. I also know the ache of loss and the disbelief that surrounds you when someone dies. Right now, those that loved her are hurting. Those she inspired are numb. People are grieving. Grief is powerful. If you don’t know that truth, consider yourself lucky. 

Today, I’m not getting political. I’m not going to call out the hypocrisy of the things I’m seeing. I’m not going to make this about the left or the right, Republican or Democrat. Instead, I simply want you to pause. Take a deep breath. To recognize the impact of death. 

If you’re lucky enough to still have your mother, look at her today. Really look at her and then ask yourself, if she passed away would you want the world to replace her immediately? Or would you want a minute to just be. To take it all in. To accept what is, and what will never be. To grieve. 

If filling seats is your priority, then somewhere along the way, you forgot that there are actual humans filling those seats. Living, breathing, real people. People who are loved and missed, immediately upon passing. People with families, lives, and influences beyond the professional spectrum. 

Today, the world needs patience, empathy, and a few moments to breathe. 

Can we please all agree on that?

xox, Chels

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Chelsea Ohlemiller

Chelsea Ohlemiller

A thirty-something wife, mother and educator who has Indiana roots and a passionate spirit. Chelsea is a sappy romantic, coffee junkie, book collector, and person who wears her heart on her sleeve. She’s sarcastic, full of jokes, full of tears, and enjoys writing most when life gets messy or complicated. In 2017, Chelsea's mother passed away. Through her grief journey, she decided to take her mother’s advice and share her writing with the world. One day she gained the courage to honor her mother's wishes and write. It turned out to be one of the best decisions she's ever made.

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