Some friends become family. That was Shawna. She was “Sissy” to me, and she was “Wifey” to my sister, Julie. We lost her one morning in May, and the void she left in our lives is vast and dark. I think we’re starting to shine some light into that darkness, though, as we remember her significance, our friendships, and the bonds between us that will always remain. That dark space is becoming brighter with each day that passes as we process the shock and the tragedy of her loss and remember to appreciate her for what she was to us: a brilliant, beautiful, talented, funny, and generous friend, soul sister… family.
Julie wanted to share a part of her journey with all of us:
This morning I made a conscious decision to not use my usual “I don’t like morning people. Or mornings. Or people.” coffee mug because this one made me smile. It’s been a hellish week and I needed a swift kick in the ass to make today awesome.
It was a Christmas gift from Shawna a while back…I laugh because she hated shopping with me unless it was at Victoria’s Secret or in my personal closet. But coffee and booze? Yup. Sometimes together. Always with laughter, meaningful conversation, and a healthy dose of inappropriate humor.
I’m missing her easy, comfortable friendship today and remembering some of the valuable lessons our relationship taught me.
Be strong. Believe in your convictions. Be fiercely loyal. Be successful despite your struggles. Surround yourself with good friends. Protect the relationships and things that are precious to you. Be proud that you are damn good at what you do. Learn how to accept help. Learn how to ask for help. Don’t forget how to act like a kid.
And the sweet face staring back at me from behind the mug is one of my daily reminders that love, passion, silliness, and friendship should be my daily reassurance that I’m on the right track.
Thank you, Julie, for sharing your heart. Shawna, we miss you now, we’ll miss you always. And we’ll see you again.