Deb was a remarkably sweet, caring and giving person. The room was decorated — to the hilt — with butterflies, hearts, and ribbons, all in her favorite color purple, and has been covered in notes of love and admiration from students, colleagues and parents.

During and after the ceremony, I was overwhelmed by two feelings: the unbelievable compassion and caring that Deb exuded, particularly towards her family and students. It was real, and suspended in the air long after the ceremony was concluded. And second: the burden of the effect she had on each the people she touched throughout her life. A friend of ours was remarking, after the ceremony, how blessed Deb was in a place to connect with, support, and serve a lot of people during her time here.

All this has gotten me to thinking about how much most people get caught up in our own day-to-day anxieties and struggles, and how challenging it can be, sometimes, to see over your dashboard, so to speak. Myself included. It’s really easy to become hung up in our personal struggles, desires, frustrations, anxieties and disappointments.

The wonderful irony in this, is one of the best ways to escape your own shit, is to place yourself in the rear seat and concentrate on serving others.

Each time I have managed to do this in my entire life, the result hasn’t only been to supply some type of useful help (I hope), but also to quell the inner drama. There are tons of ways to do so, many of which come naturally through the course of your daily life and are only a matter of reframing your mindset, rather than finding something new (though that is important too).

After Deb passed, we could not help but notice her in the end, and the sunlight, and the evening mist. Her energy could have left her body, but it certainly has not left the world. And what I am trying to do is recall the energy of her energy, and the value of using whatever energy most of us have, now and tomorrow, in the service of others.

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