I didn’t know Lisa Bonchek Adams personally; I only followed her words on her blog and Twitter. However, in that weird but wonderful way of this community, I felt like I knew her. Even though her writing focused on her metastatic cancer, even though she was very clear and direct about her prognosis, I still was stunned to hear of her death this weekend. Lisa was a force; a bold, funny, fierce, and compassionate woman. It does not seem possible that there is anything in this world capable of silencing her. I have a letter I began to her, never finished, about how her writing affected my life. Even though she wrote about dying, she taught us how to live. I wish I’d finished that letter. I wish I’d gotten the chance to let her know how much she moved me.
I kept going to her site this weekend. I wasn’t sure why; nothing changed, the beautiful picture of her with the news of her death was still the only thing I saw. And then it hit me- I wanted to hear her words. I wanted to hear her view on the end, on how it felt, on her family, on what the next step was like. I wanted to hear her final wrap up, her cut-to-the-heart truth.
Perhaps it is selfish, to want that. But it just seems impossible that she doesn’t get the final say.
I read and copied this quote awhile back; I am not sure where I came across it. But it kept echoing in my mind this weekend, whenever I thought about Lisa.
“There are stars whose radiance is visible on Earth- though they have long been extinct. There are people whose brilliance continues to light the world even though they are no longer among the living. These lights are particularly bright when the night is dark. They light the way for humankind.” ~ Hannah Senesh
In honor of Lisa: please make your doctor appointments. Find a bit of beauty in the world, and share it. And consider donating to her research fund.