Last October we had to watch as a family said good-bye to their cherished wife, mother, sister, daughter…and we said good-bye to a very special friend. The tragic incident that took the life of Carolyne Mattingly truly shocked our family and we have mourned for her loss and for the intense loss of her family since.
However through the pain Danny and I were unbelievably moved by the celebration of life that followed. The ways in which they honored Carolyn, the stories they told, the memories they shared….. not only was their comfort in knowing the beautiful life she lived, but inspired to go out and make the world a better place. Carolyne inspired people, touched people, and lived her life with purpose – something so greatly desired and so very hard to achieve. She set goals and met them, she made people of all race, nationality, health status, age, socioeconmic status – feel they mattered and had a friend. So often people love to talk the talk, but Carolyn honestly walked the walk.
Carolyn and her family were committed to making a difference. Dedicating themselves to causes was a way of life. And now, at the time of this family’s own need for healing, they decieded to take this tragedy and prevent it from happening again through their own Foundation – The Luv U project. This foundation will focus on a lot of the charities the Mattingly family had spent many years supporting – with a concentration in the role mental illness plays.
The landscape of mental illness is huge. There are so many varying degrees, factors, needs, questions – all with one truth: it can affect us all. Often mental illness is at the root of many of the issues that are facing the world today and it is one of the hardest topics to address in an open and honest way. To be able to solve the problem – you must be able to understand it and only that will come with dialogue. Removing the stigma around the discussion of mental illness, and laying a foundation for honest examination will be the best place to start – and so The LuvU Project begins.
Two weeks ago Danny and I were honored enough to be at the kick off event. Joining Carolyn’s family as they shared the amazing work they have already completed and what the future can hold. We learned of the goals they created, the partners they have gained, and the healing they are striving for everyday….. as far away as it may seem. Just a year after this tragic time, and they have already brought so much joy and honor to her memory. Danny and I were in awe of the life Carolyn led, that was even more inspirational than the parts we already knew. And then to witness this amazing movement by her family – we are so in awe of the love and strength they have carried with them. Rich and Christin, we know nothing will ever bring back the person you want most in this world by your side, but please know we do stand with you and wish you nothing but amazing strength and blessings on your new mission.
Please check out The LuvU Project and if you are able, consider getting involved or supporting this organization.