The butterfly effect

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Many months ago I came across Mom2acat's sparkpage and was immediately captured by her story - battling very advanced cancer. She showed so much grace, strength, and ... I guess, serenity ... in her posts. I marveled and admired anonymously from afar. I just could not imagine being so brave in her situation. I never commented on her blogs because words seemed so inadequate.

About a month ago I finally left a comment, I think more for myself than for her. It felt good to articulate my admiration for her, and how witnessing her courage in facing unimaginable difficulties gave perspective to my life and a deeper appreciation for the people I love.

I kept visiting Mom2acat's page, but her blog posts became less frequent. She arranged for hospice care. And today, I learned from her friend's post that she passed away nearly two weeks ago.

Life online is a strange thing. While we are all real life strangers, there's a freedom to reveal ourselves here that may not be possible in real life. And, it's possible for an online stranger to impact us in completely unexpected ways. I will never really get to know Shari Larsen, aka Mom2acat, but today I joined her large group of mourning online friends. I'm glad that she's no longer in pain; I am glad she had loved ones with her at the end. But I am still so very sad for a life cut short much too soon.

And I can't help imagining so many other Sparkers who have been as moved as I by Shari's life. And I think that many of us will hug our kids a little more often, will compliment our friends a little bit more, will be a little more patient with strangers - because we are just so very lucky to be able to do so. I think of Shari's memory creating subtle ripples through the ether, into all of our lives, and changing us every so slightly - or some, much more than slightly. It's like the butterfly effect, and Shari's our butterfly.
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  • no profile photo CD1338628
    So sad! Sorry for the loss of your friend! This is what I love about Spark! You do become great friends and interested in each other's well being. The support, even if only online, is fabulous! I've met great friends here, that I hope I will be lucky enough to meet in person on day.
    2024 days ago
  • no profile photo L_DROUIN
    This is a very beautiful tribute. Shari will be missed, but not forgotten as it sounds like she touched many, many hearts.
    2024 days ago
    very nice for you to share your feelings here! It is true, people ( all of us) can be fairly anonymous and tell things here that we would not in our "real" lives! Such a nice opportunity! Still very sorry for your loss!
    2024 days ago
    I became aware of Shari's story when one of my SparkFriends, in her status a couple of weeks ago, asked for prayers for MOM2ACAT, which led me to Shari's page to see what was wrong. There I read her story for the first time. I had come across her comments on others' pages but had never been aware of the life and death battle she was engaged in. She just seemed like another nice SparkPerson who wrote nice comments. When I went to her page, I was so moved as I read her story and looked back over a few of the blogs she'd written over the years. She was so courageous in the face of all she had to go through for more than a decade!

    I was very sad to learn of her death, even though we never met. You are so right! There is certainly a ripple effect in this life, and I love your analogy of the butterfly--beautiful, powerful, and true. Thank you so much for honoring Shari with this eloquent tribute.
    2024 days ago
    Beautiful tribute emoticon
    2024 days ago
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