Val M. Ellison

In the end of January, someone very close to the Magistro family, Val M. Ellison, passed away from cancer at 52 yrs old.

At his funeral I learned so much about this great man, and I wished that I had gotten to know him in this life.

He dedicated his life to helping others, his mission statement, and what he continually offered to people, was "an invitation to live an extraordinary life, to rise to the next realm of your existence. To dramatically improve your life in a very short period of time."

Even without knowing him, he has inspired me.

I was a little nervous about going to the funeral. I had never met Val, and I didn't want to impose on other peoples grief -an outsider looking in. The other reason why I was nervous was because the last, and only other funeral I had gone to, was for my mother.

However, I needed to be there for Michael, and I didn't know it yet, but I needed to be there for myself as well.

The funeral was heart-aching, heartwarming, touching, inspirational; it was beautiful. I think everyone there felt the comforting spirit. Everyone I saw was crying, including me, but they weren't the wrenching sobs of despair, but the sweet tears of hope, inspiration and realization.

Michaels sister, Mia, had the chance to work with Val for many years. He asked her, Mendy and Michael to sing a melody of their Project Heal songs at his funeral. It was beautiful.

Mia had written a song a few years ago for a different funeral, they sang it at Val's as well. Here are some of the lyrics:

Goodbye for now, it's not the end, our Father needs you this day
There's work for you, so we must wait, a life eternal we'll have.
Always, we love you and in our hearts you will stay,
All of our days on earth we'll walk faithful,
For the day we'll see you again.
One day we'll see you again.
-Lyrics by Mia Magistro

Having experienced how it feels to lose loved ones in my own life, I wished I could reach out and comfort his wife, and children. However, I know -and they know- that someday they will see him again.

In my life, I hope to be able to touch peoples lives, make a difference, and leave a legacy of goodness.

1 comment:

Stacey Bringhurst said...

I was feeling a little discouraged today, so I decided to google a person's name in my life, who was my greatest inspiration, the person who invited me to rise to the next level of my existence; Val Ellison. It brought tears to my eyes and warmed my heart to read your post. Val Changed my life!! No, Val helped me and guided me to change my life! I am a recovering Heroin Cocaine addict, I used to live homeless and on the run, on the streets of SLC. only living for my next high. I have done around 4 yrs. in Ut. County Jail, I'm thankful for all that today, because I got to meet Val, and take his class many times. After the first time I took it I viewed the world I lived in completely different, but I didn't find sobriety right away, but everytime I found myself in jail, beaten down, sick, and lost; Val was there to put me back together again. Because of Val and the things he taught me about myself, I was able to find sobriety. One day in class Val asked us, " If you could be anything, nothing was stopping you, what would you do?" I was so embarrassed to answer, because here I was in an orange jumpsuit, facing felony charges, but I answered anyway," I want to own my own rehab center for addicts someday, I want to be a therapist." Val replied, " You would be good at it too! Do you even know what that looks like Stacey, do you know what you will have to do to do that?" I didn't... It was a dream, not even a dream, a glimpse. Because Val helped me to see what goals were and how to work them, I am where I am today. I am sober, and have been for a while now,(which is a miracle in and of itself, because there was a time when I couldn't put a couple hours of clean time together.)I am now only three classes away from having my L.S.A.C.( Licensed Substance Abuse Counselor)I am a mother again, I have healthy relationships, I have and hold boundaries, I have a job, etc. etc. etc. I owe it to myself and I owe to Val. I will carry Val's message. Whenever I have a hard time, I think of Val, and I feel inspired again, he lit a fire in my heart that will last forever!
I want to thank you for your post. Like I said I was having a tough day. You mentioned you hadn't met Val, but I think you did! The feeling you described was around Val all the time! That was him! I can't wait to see him again someday, I know he'll be proud of me! And I'll wrap my arms around his neck and say, "Thanks!"