shannon was diagnosed with melanoma after i was, we had connected right after she was diagnosed through some friends.
she had also started a blog and i have read every one of her entries through the years.
stories about her baby girl. stories about her husband. stories about her fight with melanoma.
the posts have been really hard for me to read lately as shannon knew she was going to be finishing her fight soon.
but knowing that didn't make it any easier on friday morning when i read the post, and it doesn't make it any easier as i feel all of the pieces of my heart clinking around inside of me as i walk.
saying goodbye is so damn hard.
today there was a blog posted that shannon had wrote called "break on through to the other side".
i think that she would like her words being shared with all of you. i think that her words deserve to be heard as far and wide as possible. they are reminders of the things in life that are the most important.
so i have included her words below, exactly as she wrote them.
i will miss reading her words, and rooting for her as she fought. but i wish her peace and am happy that she is no longer in pain. i hope that you will join me in sending lots of love out into the world to her family, her husband, and her little baby girl whose mom was one hell of a fighter.
rest in peace shannon, you will be missed but definitely never forgotten.
"If you are reading this, than I have indeed passed on from this half of consciousness to the next. This is one of the ways the family of one of my dearest friends's looks at death and I love it. One time I am on this side of immortality, and the next moment, I'm on the other side. So beautiful.
In any case, if you are reading this, then I am no longer with you on this side, but I have no doubt that the other side is just as beautiful and intriguing as this side. Its biggest, and most obvious drawback obviously being that the vast majority of my friends and family remain here, on this side. That is the terrible part about dying young. Grandparents and great-grandparents who have had the luxury of time, have many friendly faces to greet them, where I have precious few (but they are so, so precious).
While you are still here on this side, please take the most of your time here. The greatest gift I have been given is the gift of connection. I have met and loved so many amazing people and been given love in return. It may be easier sometimes to huddle up with the cool blue screen, or to simply shut out the world outside entirely, but that is not where LIFE happens. Life happens in the gaps. We close those physical gaps with hugs, kisses; we close those auditory gaps with "I love you's" and those "take care's" that REALLY mean it; We close those visual gaps with "ILY" signs flashed across the room (take the moment to learn "ILY," it's so easy and can make such a difference to a heart) and with warm smiles passed along with a warm coffee. Even taste and smell can cross gaps with more intimate encounters.
But do not neglect any of those encounters. Do not neglect any moment to say "I love you."
It is early morning as I write this and I can say without hesitation that the parts of my upcoming day that I look forward to with most pleasure are the smell of my sweet daughter's hair as I hope to catch a kiss on the top of her running head as she dashes past and the taste of my husband's beautiful lips as we say kiss somewhat more slowly.
So I say to the mama who is frazzled stay-at-home parent of three, just trying to keep his/her coffee warm (ha!): Find love in tousling of your child's unbrushed hair as it runs past. I say to the work-out-of-the-home parent of 2, who is trying to balance it all with impossible work deadlines, stress of the daily minutes, racing to get home before the Big Piano concert: Find love in the smile of your child's eyes as you finally rush into the concert only a few minutes late (you made it!). To the happily single person trying to find love: Find love in giving a gentle, loving smile to your favorite barista or an older person walking down the path. Everyone can find a moment or a place to give love. Even if the world seems unloving and unforgiving at times, send love out love the abyss. It may take some some time for the echo of of to return, but it WILL come, and just keep sending out messages of love in the meantime. You might be shocked.
Do not wait. Life is always trying to rush past us. Grab it in your arms, even as it fights you, grab it to give it a momentary kiss or peer deep into its eyes to really, truly say "I. Love. You." Because life will ALWAYS be trying to escape from our grasp and all we can do it try to grab it for just a moment longer."