Saying Goodbye

This week began with a very bad start with the news of the sudden passing of one of my friends, Zandi. The week seemed surreal as the entire campus (students, faculty and staff) grieved the loss of such an amazing and positive person. Walking into Janse Hall and seeing the outpouring of love people shared on a huge poster of her that her boyfriend made was so inspiring and touching. It started to feel more real after reading all the messages from people that were very close to her to people that had the chance to witness her beautiful smile while passing in the hallways.   

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Friends of Zandi

It was very refreshing and touching to see the outpouring of love from the faculty and staff that also felt the loss but also knew the loss the students were feeling. Everyone was unbelievably understanding, which can demonstrate the camaraderie we share on the campus. Among all the hustle and bustle of studying and worrying about clinic numbers, a large number of people attended Zandi's memorial service on our campus. The program that her close friends put together was so beautiful and couldn't have been more perfect. We all felt Zandi watching down on us with that big smile on her face. After the program, individuals had the opportunity to pay personal tribute to her with funny and touching memories of why they loved Zandi so much! It definitely made me contemplate what people would say at my memorial!

One of my memories actually relates to this blog. Zandi and I emailed me prior to her attending NUHS with questions about campus life to Chicago life. Well, one day I was walking on campus and I see this woman approaching me with open arms. I was a bit petrified as I looked around and realized that she was running towards me and no one else was around me! I braced myself as she embraced me with the best and most genuine hug ever. Then she said, "Hi Miravone! I'm Zandi!" (ha ha) We both started laughing as I explained that although she knew what I looked like from all my pictures, I had no idea what she looked like! :)

As we celebrated her life and mourned her death, I still attended clinic and had patients to care for. It was a rough lesson to learn--moving forward no matter what.

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Ryan's surprise birthday party.

On Sunday, the day of Zandi's funeral in Raleigh, N.C., I threw my husband a surprise birthday party, celebrating his life. It was bittersweet to realize that Zandi was being put to rest while we were having family and friends over for a get-together celebrating another year of Ryan's life, but it was the best therapy I received.

Ryan was completely surprised and so appreciative of everything that was done behind the scenes for the past two weeks for him. It was definitely what I needed this week as well. I was able to grieve over everything at the beginning of the week and then celebrate life at the end the week. It was the best medicine I could take. I hope everyone has a great week and remember to celebrate life every day!

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Blissor: Life! All my complaints, problems, blissors, etc. are all worth it because I get to live! :) I need to work towards leaving an amazing legacy like Zandi did. 

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