“I don’t want anyone to be sad when I die – I want them to be glad that I lived” – Johnna Stahl
I never expected to lose you so soon. It came as such a shock. I certainly am glad that you lived. And that we shared a parcel of time together. I am sad. You meant so much to me. Oh how I will miss you. And so I cry. For the loss of my dear friend. But I do rejoice in you having finally found peace and a release from your never-ending pain.
You gave so much of yourself to us. Always at the ready to offer comfort, support, encouragement. During my personal struggles you shared a remedy of music specific to my distress, or a funny video clip, many words of wisdom delivered with your wicked dose of wit. And while I would bemoan my own illness, you never ever complained about your pain! You never judged me – a rare occurrence in a bipolar’s life. In fact, you asked questions with a keen intent to learn and understand. What a generous gift! You challenged me to look at things differently. And I want you to know… your ‘BlueBird’ has applied these lessons. Your wisdom has made an imprint on my life.
I admired your diligent, passionate advocacy for the chronic pain community. I loved your photography and enjoyed sharing your cyber-walks. I will always remember you in the beauty of details, of blue skies and clouds passing by, of the smell of yeast as a loaf of bread bakes. Butter, butter and more butter…. with chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate. And how will I ever forget you…. each time I scrub (or don’t scrub) my toilet.
I’m glad that you lived, because I am a better person for having known you, my friend. I took this photo for you from my room with a view, half a world away in South Africa. While the sun may have set on your life, your memory will shine bright in my heart.
And of course, as music lovers, I have to end with one of your songs
A family tribute to Johnna Stahl