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Chris (aka Editgirl) Celebration of Life

Charissa's picture
Charissa
Posts: 124
Joined: May 2016

I was able to attend Editgirl’s (aka Chris) Celebration of Life on Thursday, February 22nd.  It was held at a beautiful winery called Viaggio, in Acampo, California.  There were many in attendance, celebrating with complimentary wine, which Chris loved, and a beautiful lunch served outdoors.  As we had come to know, through her many posts, she was a woman who lived life to the fullest – before cancer, during her treatment of cancer, when NED, through her reoccurrence, and until she lost her independence to this awful beast.

I was honored to stand before her family and friends to represent us (Cancer Survivors Network).  Our group was mentioned previously, in her brother’s tribute, testifying to the many friends Chris had made around the world – including her recent Germany visits.  I brought to everyone’s attention how she had touched each of our lives in a special way, encouraging many of us, offering us hope through her alternative treatments and informative posts, remaining committed to our group, being a source of strength to many, demonstrating bravery, how she was a ray of light, informative, a comforter, always cheerful, and warmly welcoming to the new-comers.

As I explained to the audience, our group is like an extended family.  No one understands what a person goes through, unless given this diagnosis.  Most of us do not want to burden our friends and family with the details of our disease and the many questions they can’t answer.  Our group is a place we can come together, be transparent, sharing our anger and frustrations toward this disease, banning together to fight it with as many weapons as we can gather through various studies, resources, clinical trials, and sharing effective traditional and alternative treatments, We strengthen and encourage each other, openly discuss personal and intimate topics, joke together, and most importantly respect each others differences and choices in treatment.

I left with peace and a heart-felt understanding…just as much as Chris was precious to our hearts, we were the same to her.  In fact, I sensed our group was a place she could be real about her struggles and blessings.  A place for her to safely and openly share her journey - findings, concerns, discouragements, blessings, strengths and weakness.  A place she could come and know we were all in this together.  A place she cherished and held precious to her heart.  I sensed we knew her more intimately than those in attendance – more transparency was given to us, than others outside this group.

As I pondered this, I came to understand that I too feel the same. This group is my safety net.  I get busy with my family, homeschooling and raising my two sweet daughters and caring for my hard-working hubby, but you are my go-to, when I have spare time. I love coming here and seeing those who are committed to welcoming the newcomers, those who share new effective and hopeful findings/treatments, those who have remained NED, and most importantly seeing encouragement toward each other, and reassuring each other we’re not alone on this journey.

Chris demonstrated what a courageous warrior looks like.  She marched forward, never in fear, but instead determined to get the most from each new day.  She was still swing dancing in Lake Tahoe in October 2017, performed at the Cruisefest with her band playing instrumental surf and garage rock in November 2017, and even wrote on January 2, 2018 on social media “2017 was a difficult and challenging year for many reasons, but it was also filled with some great times with many of you.  Here’s hoping that 2018 brings peace, love and good times to all of us.” 

As each of us have come to understand, life is fragile.  None of us are guaranteed tomorrow.  Even in Chris’s last days and hours, she remained optimistic, never surrendering to defeat.  Let us live like Chris, enjoying each day to the fullest, seeking new adventures, opportunities, and not let our previous/current diagnosis rob us of our daily joy and sharing love.

Rest in peace, our sweet friend.  Until we meet again, you will be forever in our hearts.

 

Charissa's picture
Charissa
Posts: 124
Joined: May 2016

HorseLvr's picture
HorseLvr
Posts: 102
Joined: Nov 2017

Love this, Charissa. I didn't know Chris as I'm fairly new here, but what I saw of her, she seemed really nice. I'm sure she's watching from whatever is after this life.

CheeseQueen57's picture
CheeseQueen57
Posts: 757
Joined: Feb 2016

Thank you For representing us and your wonderful tribute to Chris. God bless you. 

ConnieSW's picture
ConnieSW
Posts: 1367
Joined: Jun 2012

 I'm grateful you acted on our behalf. 

Soup52's picture
Soup52
Posts: 871
Joined: Jan 2016

Thank you Charissa so much for sharing. 

TeddyandBears_Mom's picture
TeddyandBears_Mom
Posts: 1448
Joined: Jun 2015

Thank you Charissa for representing us and for the wonderful words you posted. Chris is loved and missed very much.  I feel honored to have been a part of her journey.

Love and Hugs to all!

Cindi

NoTimeForCancer's picture
NoTimeForCancer
Posts: 2484
Joined: Mar 2013

Thank you, Charissa.  Having gone to Becca's memorial last year, it truly is an HONOR to represent this group.  Prayers for her family and friends, and for all of the warriors.

Kaleena's picture
Kaleena
Posts: 1892
Joined: Nov 2009

With tears in my eyes, I say thank you Charissa.  Thank you for representing us at Chris' memorial service.   

Hugs to all!

Kathy

EZLiving66's picture
EZLiving66
Posts: 1286
Joined: Oct 2015

Thank you so much, Lanette. The tribute and the picture are beautiful.  Chris was a remarkable woman and although I am sad she is gone, I am happy I got to know her.  Thank you for representing us at her memorial!

Love,

Eldri

Northwoodsgirl
Posts: 486
Joined: Oct 2009

Charissa, What a wonderful and eloquent tribute to Chris’s life. Thank you so much for sharing your eulogy. You have expressed so well how we feel and what Chris and all of us have experienced as we fight for our lives.  It takes courage and strength to share the truth. Well said my “sister”. We all are better for having known Chris on this forum. ((Hug))

Lori

 

derMaus's picture
derMaus
Posts: 504
Joined: Nov 2016

Let me echo other's sentiments: this was a moving and incredibly eloquent tribute to Chris, and to our community. Thank you for representing us and thank you for summing up how important we are to each other. Chris' smile was beautiful, I wish I'd gotten to see it in person. Thank you again, B

Armywife's picture
Armywife
Posts: 193
Joined: Feb 2018

Beautifully written, and so meaningful to know that we matter to each other.  I'm thankful to have found you all.

Red Corvette
Posts: 105
Joined: Jan 2016

Thank you Charissa for your elequent words for our friend Chris. Just beautiful and know that Chris is smiling down on all of us.

Red

Abbycat2's picture
Abbycat2
Posts: 639
Joined: Feb 2014

and captures- like her engaging photograph- the essence of Chris’s gentle and loving soul. I will miss her as I am sure we all will. 

Susie2's picture
Susie2
Posts: 15
Joined: Nov 2017

Charissa, thank you for the heartfelt tribute to Chris and your wonderful representation of the ladies on this board. Although I didn't know Chris personally, I've been inspired by her courage and the experiences she's posted along her journey. 

rcdeman
Posts: 256
Joined: Aug 2016

Charissa, I'm glad you were able to attend Chris' memorial service. Thanks for representing the ladies on this board. What a beautiful portrait of Chris they used-- her smile is so bright and lovely.

SF73
Posts: 240
Joined: Oct 2017

Charissa, thank you for representing us at Chris's memorial. I love reading your post and learning more about Chris's life. It inspires me to do more, live fuller. Thanks again for writing this beautiful post. 

janaes
Posts: 705
Joined: May 2016

Thank you so very much charrisa for representing us. I can still remember when i first arived on this site. Chris and others wete there for me. She guided me as i was so confused and angry. Charrissa i remember you were in the middle of what was going to be your future treatment about the same time.  I do appreciate you taking time to be there for chris and for us.

Lots of love

Janae

Charissa's picture
Charissa
Posts: 124
Joined: May 2016

Janae, we were going to be chemo buddies. In a sense, I felt like I let you down, when they told me I was able to bypass that part of treatment.  And, I felt horrible to have even posted it, because I felt like it was adding salt to already open wounds - in questioning, "Why me and not her?"  Yet, everyone rejoiced and celebrated with me, which clearly showed me everyone's hearts here - pure, kind, loving, and supportive. 

Anyway, you hold a dear and precious place in my heart. I am always elated, when I get on here (which isn't often) and see you posting. It comforts my heart.

I usually get more time during holidays and summer to get on here. But, please know, all of you are always in my mind, heart, and prayers.

janaes
Posts: 705
Joined: May 2016

Charissa, yea we were almost chemo buddies. You know though im glad you got to go forward with out. Our stories work out differently and thats okay.  Im glad your still here.

txtrisha55's picture
txtrisha55
Posts: 676
Joined: Apr 2011

Thank you for representing this group of women.  The strongest women I know.  Here's praying for a better year for all. Trish

Charissa's picture
Charissa
Posts: 124
Joined: May 2016

It was a great honor and privilege to share of our close-knit group at Chris’s Celebration of Life.  Again, just as much as Chris touched each of our hearts, each of you were invaluable to her during this journey. 

Again, she found it a safe place to come and share, a place that no one outside this group understands, offering her purpose in attempting to try new treatments, not only for her benefit, but hoping to pave a way for us – those dear to her.  This group gave her courage, strength and a determined purpose to be a productive warrior – again, not only to help her, but us too – this tribe!!!  I envision her passing that fiery-arrow to each of us.  She would desire nothing more, but for us to continue on.  Let us glean from what we learned from her and pay it forward.

In other words, NEVER underestimate what you offer this group.  Please know, each of you bring a special aspect forth.  It makes it complete, when all contribute - no matter the length of membership.  Even a small reply lets us know we are being heard and not alone on this journey.

Lastly, I sincerely apologize that I'm not better at getting on here more frequently – my life get so busy outside this forum.  But know, my heartstrings sing when I get on and see those who are committed to daily support of others and the newcomers.  Know, that your position here is invaluable.  It gives others the hope and comfort they need, knowing our diagnosis is not always an immediate death sentence.

I feel so blessed to be a part of this tribe!!  We are all warriors, in one form or another, when called to this journey.  Let us remain banned together in support, love, respect, and encouragement. 

Have an amazing day.  Remember, life gives no guarantees. It is uncertain and unpredictable.  Don’t let “C” define you!  It is our absolute duty to make the most of each new day – seek out your blessings!  Love and hugs to each of you sweet “Igidos" (aka "Sisters" in the Native Cherokee Indian language).

KatnHat's picture
KatnHat
Posts: 22
Joined: Jan 2017

Thank you for representing us, Charissa! It sounds like a wonderful celebration of life and hearing from you and others about Chris tells me I need to be checking this site more for the wonderful support from everyone. We all share that bond, as much as we might not want to! But it does make us "Igidos." Wishing us all peace, courage, strength and healing.

 

survivingsu's picture
survivingsu
Posts: 134
Joined: Apr 2013

Charissa,

Your beautiful words of inspiration magnify a million times over.  I'm so glad I read your words and all the words of our sisters.

Thank you,

Thank you,

Thank you,

Susan

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