I thought I would take this evening to remember my friend Erin. You met her many years ago on several of your visits out West.
Today is the eve of her 51st birthday. Last weekend I came across the book, that has all of the journals she wrote, when she was dying.
The title of the book is called, “My Wonderful Nightmare”. There are daily entries relating to her journey with cancer from February 9th, 1998 to August 25th, 2000.
At the age of 31, Erin was diagnosed with Ovarian cancer. She fought relentlessly for 2 years and 9 months.
“A diagnosis of ovarian cancer at thirty-one throws Erin’s body into crisis but it becomes a time of enlightenment for her soul. As she faces The Beast head-on she uses her journals as a form of therapy and through the process of fearless self-discloser her true purpose begins to awaken from within”….Alma Lightbody.
When I picked up this book again, I thought very hard about the title. I had conversations with Erin many times about how she was feeling. I know exactly what this title meant to her.
A good friend Karyn, also video taped Erin. “It was a very special afternoon, that was intimate and inspiring.”
“Erin was a natural storyteller, her powerful presence was as captivating as her boundless spirit. She was determined to spread her message: to help other people learn to listen to their bodies, become empowered by their own health, to trust their inner voice, to learn as much as you can and to embrace whatever life throws your way. Erin was smart, insightful, generous and kind.”
“For Erin, the teacher was cancer but for the reader, the teacher is Erin.”
Personally and for many, Erin gave us all a gift. At a time when we were all so busy with the “details” in life, Erin was truly focusing on what was most important. I alway knew this, but I very much recognize this now.
Throughout the book there are many beautiful quotes. Erin was seeing the world in a whole different way then any of us could even imagine. Karen, none of us can really ever begin to feel or understand what you are going through. But Erin could.
These journals that Erin kept are a gift to everyone. She writes about her emotions, her treatments and her daily experiences. It is gut-wrenching reality.
I am going to reread this book. I strongly feel that her messages will resonate with me in a different and more powerful way.
Below are some of my favourite quotes…
“Spirituality is always there. It’s when you make friends with it (your soul) that you become who you truly are.”
“No matter what you look like physically, just look into your eyes and see your soul and recognize that although your physical body may be changing, the beautiful you still resides inside.”
“Leave what is in the past in the past and grow today, as the person that you have become instead of carrying your wounds in your back pocket for life – pulling them out whenever you need an excuse for something in your behaviour or development.”
“Support groups give cancer more power than it deserves. By whining and complaining you are allowing the cancer to run your life. Don’t let it. You run your life, not the cancer!”
“Sometimes I write because I hope the truth of my soul will come out, sometimes I write because I am angry. Sometimes I write because I am lost. And sometimes I write because there is good news.”
“We’ve never been taught to listen to our body and it’s tragic. I somehow knew the results of surgery before they told me. If I had been more in tune with my body I wold have known earlier. I hadn’t paid attention and didn’t know how.”
“I want to write about beauty, hope and fear. I’m not even sure how this differs from journal writing. I guess I just want it to be different somehow, something really special, something others would be interested in reading – something worth writing because this is not just my own therapy, but my gift to the world.”
Erin, on this day and always, I want to honour you, and your teachings. I want to continue to share with others what you taught me.
Thank you my beautiful friend. Oh how we loved to laugh xo
I miss you.
I love you sis,
ps. Karen, I truly believe that recognizing the death of our parents, Erin and so many others, as a gift. Your life as well. Your courage and strength is so inspiring. Thank you for giving me the gift of truly knowing how precious life really is xoxo