Sherri Baby: I’m glad you packed well

by Mei on May 10, 2011

A friend of mine passed away recently. It was in her sleep. Sudden. Unexpected. She was but a few weeks shy of her twenty ninth birthday.

A life lost too soon? Yes.

A life wasted? No.

You see, she was a funny and loyal one, Sherri was. It wasn’t uncommon to find her playing guitar dressed up as a giant felt deviled egg on the beach, driving hours up and down PCH in the middle of the night looking for her best friend’s favorite $2 thrift store hoodie, or decked out in armor and blue facepaint at Medieval Times. And up until the day she passed, it also wasn’t uncommon to find her driving 80 miles a day to the hospital to look after her mother who was dying of cancer; driving 80 miles a day to take care of her elderly father who was losing his wife, and unbeknownst to him, about to lose his daughter, as well.

At the memorial service, although her loved ones were mourning their loss for having lost her, they were also celebrating her exuberant, larger-than-life personality and her extremely brightly concentrated, over-the-top life that overflowed with joy, laughter and sheer honesty.

And it was this honesty that made me realize that no matter where any of us are headed, we will all ultimately arrive at the same destination; the end of our physical time here on Earth. Unlike what most people think, death isn’t a sentence. It’s just a given; an inevitable part of life. However, what isn’t is the path each one of us chooses to take in the meantime until we get there, and what we decide to bring with us to help, or in some cases, impede us on our journey.

Some will choose to lug around baggage that is overstuffed with bitches, assholes and jerks. Naysayers, negative-Nancy’s and Debbie-downer’s. Over-dwelled upon regrets and self-critical litanies that weigh them down, slow them down, and ultimately bring them down. Others will simply shed themselves of the excess they don’t need, pack lightly, bypass the check-in lines, and opt to only carry-on the essentials: an internal compass of peace, love, hope, self-trust and an open mind. And in the case of an emergency, these brave and savvy voyagers will have their backs strapped with the well-wishes, love and support of their loved ones that will help glide them to safety if or when they fall.

Because at the end of the day this life is finite and it is up to us to make it count in our own books. It is our responsibility to find the beat of our own drum and march to it, from cradle to grave…from departure to arrival. I know Sherri did.

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