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A Sad Farewell To Our Girl Libby

885524_10200246963650690_1031184110_oThere is no easy way to deliver the sad news that our young friend, Libby, has lost her brave battle with cancer. On the evening of Sunday, March 17, Libby spent her last few hours mercifully free of pain, surrounded by the friends and family whom she so dearly loved.

I will admit to struggling for some time with the crafting of this post, wanting my words to do Libby’s life justice. I was desperate to seek out and find the good within the tragedy, to find meaning in the joyous birth, brief life, cruel illness and untimely death of this beautiful young girl. Twenty-four hours later and the words still struggle to come.

My first attempt at a post was meant to be a memorial to Libby’s life and her legacy of positivity despite adversity. Luckily for me I was blessed to know Libby personally, and as anyone who knew her well will tell you her positivity wasn’t hard to find. Both spirited and stubborn, quick-witted and compassionate, Libby’s energy and light drew in everyone around her.

Yet despite being a direct recipient of her love and energy, my words failed me. There just weren’t adjectives enough to describe all that Libby was in life. Every turn of phrase was deemed woefully inadequate. Naturally, I started over.

My next pass at a draft focused on the struggle to seek out the positive in loss, even a loss as tragic as the death of a child. I crafted nearly a page of generic comfort words, each sentence painting a picture that paled in comparison to the miracle that was Libby. Needless to say that draft never saw the light of day either.

I had all but given up when I decided to take a break and update Libby’s Wrists Around The World page, hoping to regroup and get a handle on just what it was I wanted to say. As I read down the list of names on her FRIENDS OF LIBSTRONG page and saw pictures in her GALLERY of wrists of people from all over the world, it hit me-

You. Me. All of us. WE are her legacy.

Strangers who with a click of a mouse became family. Writers who donated their work for her benefit. Readers who bought books for her cause. New friends the world over who donned wristbands and thought enough of a child thousands of miles away to carry her with them, to memorialize her struggle in a snapshot. It became clear to me in that one, glorious moment that the very best way to honor Libby and her life would be to live our lives well, to continue to give of ourselves freely, selflessly, and to demonstrate daily the good that resides in us all.

Libby’s bravery brought out the best in all of us. What better way is there to honor her than to do our very best everyday? As long as we are brave enough to answer that question, Libby’s life will have meaning. Libby, within us all, will live on.

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37 responses

  1. ourchristianwalkinfaith

    Very beautiful tribute to Libby. I pray that God wraps his arms around each one of you during this difficult time. Amen @ each one of us being intentional each day to do and be our best. To let our light shine. God Bless..

    Like

    March 18, 2013 at 9:58 pm

  2. Well said, my friend, well said.

    Rest in peace, little one…god speed.

    Like

    March 18, 2013 at 9:58 pm

    • She’d have liked you, Ginger. She was sassy too.

      Like

      March 18, 2013 at 9:59 pm

  3. Tom Elias

    Beautiful and perfect. She will be missed.

    Like

    March 18, 2013 at 10:00 pm

    • Yes, she will. Thank you for your kind words as well. It means a lot.

      Like

      March 18, 2013 at 10:13 pm

  4. Your words did her justice and what a beautiful tribute. What a terrible loss for one so young, but may her memory live on in those she touched. God bless.

    Like

    March 18, 2013 at 10:26 pm

    • She touched so many people around her that I don’t think she will ever be truly gone. Thank you so much for your kind words.

      Like

      March 18, 2013 at 10:30 pm

  5. Amen, God Bless You for writing such a wonderful message ♥

    Like

    March 18, 2013 at 11:13 pm

    • Thank you for your kind words. Libby was all too easy to love.

      Like

      March 19, 2013 at 4:59 am

  6. Anonymous

    This is beautifully put :) needless to say, we are all going to remember her fondly :).

    Like

    March 18, 2013 at 11:16 pm

    • Yes, we will. She was too wonderful to forget.

      Like

      March 19, 2013 at 5:00 am

  7. *hugs* So sorry HE

    Like

    March 19, 2013 at 4:09 am

  8. Very sad indeed, my thoughts go out to her family. When you are in that much pain and there is no chance of recovery, it may not be right but at least she doesn’t have to suffer anymore. If anything, this reaffirms that we must seize the day and make the most of the precious time that we have to enjoy ourselves, wherever and whenever possible. We must make it our mission to bring happiness to others by any means possible, through writing, through our actions and above all our attitude towards others. That is Libby’s legacy and one she can be proud of.

    Like

    March 19, 2013 at 5:33 am

  9. Lovely tribute – may she Rest In Peace.

    Like

    March 19, 2013 at 5:50 am

    • Thank you, GFB. I had a lot of good material to work with.

      Like

      March 19, 2013 at 8:17 pm

  10. You hit the just right tone. As usual. Peace to Libby’s family and friends.

    Like

    March 19, 2013 at 7:47 am

    • Thank you, John. She was quite an inspiration.

      Like

      March 19, 2013 at 8:46 pm

  11. Red

    You nailed it. It was her message, and you carried it well. Godspeed, Libby. xxx

    Like

    March 19, 2013 at 1:52 pm

    • Thank you, Red. I hope I did her justice.

      Like

      March 19, 2013 at 8:49 pm

  12. vanillamom

    well…for one who struggled with what to say…you said it beautifully. My heart breaks for the loss of one so young, and I offer you and her family my deepest condolences. May Libby live on in all of us.

    nilla

    Like

    March 19, 2013 at 3:02 pm

    • Thank you, Nilla. Libby truly did bring out the best in all of us. :)

      Like

      March 19, 2013 at 8:50 pm

  13. Well spoken, H. My thoughts are with you and with all her friends and family.

    Like

    March 19, 2013 at 9:07 pm

  14. Eloquent, and apt! You have the truth of it. I….we all, will live my life better, to honor the presence, and passing, of such a beautiful light.
    My apologies for inadvertant poor timing. This is far more important.

    Like

    March 20, 2013 at 3:02 am

    • No apologies necessary, Archon. Your email was just what I needed exactly when I needed it. You words mean a great deal, and we are honored to receive them.

      Like

      March 20, 2013 at 6:43 am

  15. I had the same problem when writing about the death of my wife from cancer. There were words aplenty to choose from but none seemed to adequately express what I wanted to say. In the end, you have written a beautiful and moving tribute to this young woman!

    My condolences to her family and friends and to all whose live’s were changed for the better from having known her and who are now feeling the pain of her loss

    Like

    March 20, 2013 at 3:49 am

    • Thank you, Duncan. It’s times like these that we can use all the support we can get. Please accept my condolonces on the death of your wife as well.

      Like

      March 20, 2013 at 6:47 am

  16. Pingback: Liberated | Tom Elias, Writer

  17. I have lost too many this way. The list is too long and the pain to close but I wish you all the comfort there can be in sadness such as this.

    Like

    April 4, 2013 at 5:02 pm

    • Thank you, and please accept my condolences on your losses as well. It’s a tough disease but the support of others who’ve been through the same makes it a little less tragic.

      Like

      April 4, 2013 at 5:53 pm

      • When I think of them there is a deep sadness and then I think I am so glad for those moments I had with them and I cherish them even as I miss the physicality of them. This was a beautiful post!

        Like

        April 4, 2013 at 5:55 pm

        • I know what you mean about being grateful for the time. It’s tough to lose someone, anyone, but having the chance to spend time with them makes all the difference.

          Like

          April 4, 2013 at 6:02 pm

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