Deep breath, Ahhh…Let me collect myself.
All right, I understand you may be confused why my writing would start like this. Puzzled to the direction of this literature. Recently, I had a friend pass away and I stayed up for hours until about 4 am channeling my pain into a cathartic piece about her and the emotions I was experiencing.
It was a beautiful, articulate dedication to her life and spirit. But I suppose during emotional distress I didn’t take notice that I saved the document to a guest user login, which ultimately deletes when you log out. Yes, you guessed it- I failed to transfer and salvage the document.
So here I am, trying to retrace my thoughts after crying hysterically to Apple Support and begging them to recover the impossible. This made me so mad because I poured my heart and soul into it. All that passion just erased.
In a blink of an eye it was gone…Just like her.
Losing what I wrote felt like losing her all over again and the grieving process followed. It was as though this experience mirrored the reaction I had when I initially heard the news.
When it vanished,I thought,
“Oh great, add this to the list.”
I screamed, cried, felt panic, and beat myself up about being so careless.
Then I thought what the hell am I doing? What would she do?
She wouldn’t exert all this time and energy on something already done that couldn’t be changed. She would simply take out her computer, ensure it was on the correct username and would write again. This time making it more raw…more real, to the core of what it’s really all about.
So I shall turn off my phone- Okay, just the ringer and put it all on paper once more.
What else can we do? We struggle and fight everything in our lives so much. Whether its deadlines and procrastination or relationships and breakups or scenarios we just have no control over…like death.
We get so lost in our madness and story we create, that we are no longer present to the beauty in the problem and the thrill to find the answer.
She had a face that lit up a room …a contagious laughter…and her eyes squinted with cute little wrinkles when she smiled big. Everyone who met her was touched by her positivity, fortitude, and character. It didn’t matter if you knew her a minute or years- She left an impression.
She had who we thought was a doting husband, the most loyal friends, two small children, and the world at her fingertips. Then the C word changed her fate. I am not talking about the C U Next Tuesday kind of a word, but the one so painful to hear, write, and acknowledge that it can only be said with a giant F Bomb in front of it. F$%^ Cancer!
She didn’t let that stop her. No, she didn’t think negative thoughts or go to the worst case scenario like most of us do. If anything she became more determined to beat it and be an advocate to others. She survived breast cancer and we all cheered.
More health issues associated to it came her way and she tackled one by one without a frown. Honestly, death didn’t even cross my mind with this Warrior. Sadly, she fought as hard as she could and lost the battle in the end.
Her journey in this physical body was over and transitioning to the next place she would leave her mark.
As much as I felt comfort that her pain and suffering was gone, I still found myself angry. How can another life be taken from cancer?
I know a handful of people recently diagnosed with some sort of cancer, tumor or life threatening ailment and it’s just too damn prevalent. What’s next? Who’s next? And I feel the best lives are cut too short.
I started questioning God, even though I witness his miracles everyday in my own life.
“Why did this one have to go? There are so many assholes out there who should leave this earth. Why this one?”
Then my mom called me and did her best to comfort me off the floor from this devastating news. She said,
“The only thing that makes sense to me is that they are courageous brave souls here to teach us how to live and love.”
Her courage truly was commendable. We would all be so lucky if we had half her strength in this lifetime. To learn how to be more present and optimistic through any struggle we endure.
I am most crushed that her two little girls will not be able to grow up alongside this woman everyone admired so much. That they will only hear her stories, see pictures and videos, but won’t be able to hug and kiss her goodnight.
Her children won’t know her in the same way we did, but I am confident they will feel her every single day as their courageous angel. And that gives me some solace.
And here is the wonderful community who stood by her side and showed the true definition of friendship. Not friends of convenience or opportunity like most will encounter in LaLa Land. But the ones who show up when life ain’t pretty. When it ain’t easy. The ones who brought raw ice cream and goodies; Those who covered healthcare costs… Stuck on fun tattoos for a giggle, took her outside for fresh air, and the ones who held her hand until it became cold.
I can’t even imagine how the closest to her feel right now…as I am in shambles and only witnessed from afar. But I can declare it is who stood by her, thought of her, and prayed for her that genuinely matters. NOT the diagnosis, not the treatments, not the medicine, or the tests. But who was there for her. Who held her and let her know her girls will be looked after. Reminded her what a blessing she and her life have been.
The gratitude of real friends and undying love.
In the end this human body is only temporary. Merely a vessel to which we explore and learn. All things in this lifetime impermanent and ever-changing.
One minute we could be healthy and successful and the next minute sick or broke. We have to just surrender that this is our life…the good and the bad.
That our sickness and woes do NOT define us. What defines us is our character, our strength, our courage, our resilience …our heart, soul, friends, and love. Because that lives on when this human body passes. Her spirit is alive in all of us and we can be reminded in every hug, every tear, and every problem we solve.
So, here I am again in front of my computer translating a myriad of emotions into what I hope are coherent sentences. Luckily, I have no regret or remorse of not saving my last piece, for it’s engraved in my heart and a valuable lesson going forward. Yes, I saved this document a thousand times throughout and will email my final draft as backup.
None of that noise is important anymore, the only thing I hope is whoever reads this version will feel some peace and contentment. Maybe less fear about death or less resentment about circumstances.
Because whether you knew her or not, she represents something far greater. We all have known, do know, or will know someone like her.
Let us not forget what these lives give us. She left a profound gift…she is gone, but not forgotten.
I honor your beautiful life and soul, Stephanie Gentry Trincanello, and pray for your loved ones. May your story be told, cherished, and everlasting. May we all learn to live and love like you.