Love, Loss, and Learnings
October 25, 2011 § 11 Comments
Sometimes life doesn’t seem to make any sense at all. No matter how we put the pieces together they just don’t add up. We are left scratching for meaning, desperate to find some hidden realization below the surface.
I’ve already been exposed to much loss in my life. I’ve always been able to come to terms with it one way or another. But this loss has struck me hard – my dear friend Erin passed away last Monday after her courageous 3 year battle with breast cancer. Always optimistic and a beacon of hope, it is hard to believe the unthinkable happened.
Erin taught me so much, it is hard to take it all in. I learned the most from her as I watched her fight cancer – diagnosed at stage 4, she lived every moment to the fullest, continuing to realize her hopes and dreams. Even going on to get married to the love of her life in a castle in Spain. She was unstoppable.
Thinking back, it was actually Erin who first introduced me to veganism years ago. At the time, I didn’t pay much attention to the facts she was giving me but now realize the profound effect they had and will continue to have on me. She had just been diagnosed and decided to meet that diagnosis with a fight – her new world consisted of juicing and yoga daily as well as a mostly vegan diet.
In fact, my newfound veganism was renewed while reading Crazy, Sexy, Diet by cancer survivor Kris Carr. Erin introduced me to the book a few months ago, and I have no doubt it will continue to influence me and my food choices for the rest of my life.
I think its normal to find yourself filled with regret at the loss of a loved one. There are many things I regret; ironically, or not, my biggest regret is not cooking for her the last time I saw her. Her cancer was spreading and making it difficult for her to perform basic tasks around the house – including cooking. I had just taken her to her last radiation appointment and tried to convince her to let me come over that weekend and cook for her. She said not to bother, she’d be OK. Unfortunately, I listened.
If you’ve found this post – please take the time read Erin’s story in her own words here. No woman should be diagnosed at stage 4. I hope what she went through will be a lesson learned for all young women to take signs of risk seriously. And if you’re thinking of cooking a lovely meal for someone just because – do it. I wish I had for her.
Erin, I miss you.