Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Crafting a Goodbye

My friend Sara died Saturday evening after a long battle with Akylosing Spondylitis. I struggle to put into words the impact her life had on me. Sara and I did not have a regular friendship. We knew each other through her blog, Choose Joy.

I know it sounds weird to say you're friends with someone you only know through an online community. But Sara was.not.ordinary. Whenever I connected with her, whether it was through exchanged comments on a post or an email or a card, she was able to infuse JOY, selfless JOY into my day. She was transparent about her challenges, but she refused to be defined by her illness or let the disease steal from her the JOY God had to provide her with through each day's moments.

A quote by Henry David Thoreau describes what she accomplished in her life: "To affect the quality of the day, that is the highest of arts." That is what Sara did. By the attitude she chose, moment-by-pain-filled moment (that stretched on for hours and days at a time), and her artful, thoughtful sharing of that outlook on life through her words, she altered the course of my days many times. She elevated life from a focus on circumstances to a meditation on the person of Jesus. I will never be the same.

I made this card using a video tutorial by Wendybell. I've embedded the video link so you can watch how this is made. It's really quite simple and it's beautiful and unique.

I like that it hides the message you'd like to send in a pocket of sorts, and that the flap tucks into the diamond square in the front to keep it closed. For another occasion, I think it would make an excellent invitation. I really hope the family finds some small bit of comfort from it. It's what I found to do to share in the grief of a large community of people who loved Sara. Oh that my life will leave such a legacy.


Paper Potter said...

Wikipedia says, "Friendship is a form of interpersonal relationship generally considered to be closer than association, although there is a range of degrees of intimacy in both friendships and associations." What you shared with Sarah, because she was so transparent, was as true a friendship as there ever is.

I recently celebrated an online relationship with two of my girlfriends when we decided to meet face to face at Red Mountain Resort in Ivins, UT. We've been together for four years now, and they have been with me through menopause, weight loss of 60 pounds, the death of my mother and two of my sisters, as well as the fun of being a newly wed at the ripe old age of 51.

My sincere sympathy for your loss, Jenn.


Anonymous said...

Oh! Thanks for the sharing this lovely post with us, i have to say this posting is awesome....

Sample Letters

Robin said...

Jenn...I so love this card and the quote you chose has rocketed up my "favorite quote" list.
I love you and I love your heart...
ps...Paper Potter's comment is so wonderful. I want to give that girl a hug!

Julie Smith said...

So very sad. She sounded like an amazing woman and you were lucky to know her as you did.