On the night of April 23 the world lost one of its brightest lights and I lost my only child. On that night, Shanna Sandmoen relinquished her struggle for life in the physical and passed peacefully from this world. She returned “home” to joyously dance with the angels, and I know this as I have seen her dancing.
If you have been following this blog than you know about Shanna’s illness and the courage, optimism, and humor with which she faced each day. The path she chose was a difficult one and it was a path many people found hard to understand. Still it was her choice to make and who is to say that a different path would have led to a happier ending. The truth is there are no wrong or right paths, some paths may be more arduous than others, but they all eventually lead us to the same destination...home.
There was so much more to Shanna than most of you ever knew, she was creative, compassionate, selfless, courageous, intuitive, and talented. She was a born leader and naturally gravitated toward managerial positions. She preferred writing by hand and loved sending hand written letters. She was an avaricious reader who could spend hours exploring a book store. Dogs were so firmly entrenched in her heart that doggy was her first word.
She was passionate about women’s causes and admired strong women like Queen Elizabeth I, the singer Tori Amos, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. On more than one occasion she put herself in danger to help a friend. She talked to angels and had the ability of looking into your eyes and “reading” your soul.
I hope that you have been touched by Shanna’s story and inspired by her words, and I hope that when you think of Shanna, you don’t just remember her as the girl who had cancer. Instead remember her as the girl who was passionate about dogs and vegetarian food, the girl who loved music, dance, poetry, art, theater and ballet, the girl who joyously played the violin, piano, and harp…the angels do love to play the harp!
Most of all remember her because She Loved, She Laughed, She Lived!
I end this blog for Shanna now on it’s two year anniversary in the same way in which it was started, with one of Shanna’s favorite quotes from E. E, Cummings;
“Existing’s Tricky, but to live’s a gift.”
In Loving Memory of Shanna
Shanna's ashes have joined those of her grandparents in the Unity Village Rose Garden.
Her Celebration of Life is being held June 2, 6:00 to 9:00 at the Unity Village Clubhouse.