For Whitney

On June 17, our lives were forever altered by the sudden loss our daughter, Whitney Jean Anderson. She was 34 years old and had a sudden and massive brain bleed – unpreventable and unpredictable. Whitney was one of those persons who lit up a room and collected friends wherever she went. She will be missed beyond words. Here is my attempt to pen a portion of my loss.
Whitney,
While I did not have the honor of giving birth to you, I loved you – and always will – as if I had. Deb paved the way with her unending love for you.
While I did not have the honor of watching you grow from a child to the woman you are today, (other than the year I was your 5th grade teacher), I did have the honor of sharing in your growth these past four years as a parent, daughter, and friend.
I will not have the honor of sharing in so many future moments we planned to spend as a family; but I will continue the honor of loving your dad, Chase, and Harper for the both of us, as we experience those moments without your physical presence.
Yesterday, I wept with the hospital chaplain and told her, “I can’t imagine our life as a family and our world without Whitney. How do I move forward from here?” She shared with me a saying,
“You make the path by walking it.”
It reminded me of a saying by Rumi:
“We are all just walking each other home.”
So tonight, Whitney, I will begin walking that path by walking you home. Kevin, Chase, and I – along with hospital staff – will be beside you as you are led to your donor surgery. Your choice to be a donor was made long before we lost you, and as we muddle our way through this tsunami of grief, we will remember your choice with pride.
My darling, sweet Whitney, there are not enough sentiments or words to express the depth of my love for you. You lived your life with such compassion, joy, and commitment to others that we are all the better for it. I will carry you with me always.
And it will forever be my honor.
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