I've never experienced this so poignantly as the past couple of days. A fairly-new friend of mine passed away unexpectedly 2 days ago. Well, she was a writer. A great one. She wrote articles and had a (private) blog that she'd been gracious enough to let me see. I started reading her blog just last week. I loved it - the honesty, the rawness, the emotion. And when she passed away, I found myself drawn to it again, to get to know her better, posthumously. There's something eerily beautiful about reading her words NOW, in hindsight, knowing how quickly her days would come to an end. And knowing she had no idea.
I'm committed to reading her entire blog, entry by entry - so I can get to know her, "backward."
Also powerful were the written messages that people have been leaving on her Facebook page - heartbroken messages TO Shannon, from friends, family, students. Wow. That page has been turned into a memorial. We visit her page, knowing she's not there anymore. Knowing she'll never post another status again, and that's sobering. But, her words live on. Her blog and her articles and even her Facebook page are permanent digital fingerprints she left behind. Little gifts she left to those who are mourning right now.
THAT is the power of writing.