Thursday, February 19, 2009

Lost...and found.

When someone you know dies - suddenly, without warning - it is impossible to put words to what you feel inside. How do you begin to comprehend that a vivacious woman with two young daughters is alive one day (and living to the fullest extent of the word) and simply gone the next? There are no words to describe such tragedy.

And yet.

I found out what had happened at story time but refused to believe it until I got home and checked her Facebook profile. Surely there had been some kind of mistake. But no. What had once been a place to connect with people, share photos of her kids, play Scramble, and invite people to her "come as your favorite album cover" birthday party was now a memorial. A memorial that grew and grew as the day wore on and more people learned of her untimely death.

There, on her Facebook wall of all places, were the words I'd been searching for. Clumsy words, heartfelt words, words of anger and love and gratitude. An outpouring of words from friends and family, neighbors and colleagues. Some people, like me, had only known her well enough to be inspired and intrigued by her, while others had loved her so much they couldn't imagine a world without her.

You helped me to open my eyes, smile a little more, and appreciate a good country tune.

I will dance, knit, sew, roller skate, laugh, and cook with you on my mind and in my heart.

You taught me to be a strong woman.

If ever anyone truly lived life to its fullest potential, it was you.

My condolences to all the people who never got to meet you.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Although it's next to impossible not to feel sad when someone wonderful passes away, there was something about all those words that made me feel uplifted. Yes, it broke my heart to think of her daughters growing up without her and her husband losing the love of his life in the prime of hers, but in the midst of all the mourning was a celebration. A celebration of her life and the way that she had lived it.

Through mourning the loss of an incredible woman who touched and inspired so many, I have found gratitude and an appreciation for life right now. I am so thankful that our paths crossed and will remember her fondly as I strive to live my life as fully as she lived hers.

Goodbye, my friend. And thank you.


MarvelousMOM said...

That was a beautiful post. I'm sorry for the loss.

LClaire said...

You said it perfectly. I'm so grateful just for my little bit of life I shared with her too and for all my friends and loved ones.