Death has always made an impact on me. I remember when my Great Grandma Bassham passed away when I was about 17, and finally learning in the funeral about her life, the life of this woman who I barely knew—I only saw her a couple times a year, and she had Alzheimer’s during the last few years of her life. Mourners during the funeral told of an adventurous once-young woman who traveled extensively, including going on a motorcycle tour of the US with her husband with their first newborn baby in tow. That’s the moment I realized I wanted to live more deeply than I had been, and experience far more of life and the world than I had been.
Even as an adult, I found myself finally processing and healing from the death of my Great Grandpa Jack, who had died when I was a child. I had always felt a bit of guilt for not feeling more sad when he passed away, but I was a child, and it just didn’t fully click. I found closure when I was 22.
On October 11, I got online to look up some recipes and updates from an acquaintance of mine, a woman who I had met at the beginning of this year. We had followed each other on Instagram for a bit as we both had wellness accounts (same appreciation for wellness, just different philosophies on how to go about all of it) and when we met in person, we also related over overcoming past betrayal trauma. While we didn’t agree on all things, I sure admired this woman and the light and love she emits through everything she shares and creates.
(I should note, I’ve been off of Facebook since the summertime, and off Instagram for the past week, so I had to google to remember her website and info).
When I googled her name to try to find her website again, I was surprised that it auto-filled—and even more surprised that the next search option included her new husband’s name as well. I figured it had something to do with their wedding that I had heard about in August.
I was wrong.
Amy and her husband died at the end of August while driving on their honeymoon.
It’s hard to believe. How did I not know? And how could she be gone?
I cried alone in my dark living room. I finally called my brother to process. I was sad, I told him. I was really sad. And how could she be gone. He told me that sometimes it’s just their time to go—and other comforting, and true, words. But then I kept seeing her face in my mind—smiling brightly—and how could she be gone?
She cared about health. She also had food allergies like me, just different ones. She had also been through a traumatic relationship, and we had talked about healing from betrayal trauma before. She had found a deep love in Stephen. I remember standing outside in the rain as she told me how happy she was with him back in January, and how good and kind of a man he was.
I can’t believe she’s gone.
And I feel silly—we hadn’t seen each other in several months. I was obviously very out of the loop (what else am I missing without Facebook? Though, I still think I’d rather be off of Facebook for now). I didn’t agree with her wellness philosophies even. But still, here I am in my living room, crying because Amy isn’t on this earth anymore.
And so, what can I do? What can I do to honor her life and the light she spread to every person she met? How can I let her enthusiasm and love be evident in MY life, to share with others as she did?
I’m reminded of a quote by Elder Godoy, a leader in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:
“I wonder what it would mean, what effect it would have in my life to know that I had only one more day to live. How would I treat my wife, my children, and others? How patient and polite would I be? How would I take care of my body? How fervently would I pray and search the scriptures? I think that, in one way or another, we all at some point will have a “one more day” realization—a realization that we must use wisely the time we have.”
I’ve been thinking about how I can better serve those around me, and those in my community. I’m thinking about how I can better care for my body and my spirit– and I’ve been thinking about Amy each time I make a conscious decision to care for myself in whatever way. She preached caring for your body and feeling healthy and strong, and what a wise way to live life– with the health, wellness, and energy to live every day to its fullest.
Switching gears a bit… A friend of mine has an Instagram page just to share his love for riding his motorcycle, and I love that. I can’t recall him ever talking about trying to get more followers or monetizing anything- he just shares because he loves it. I LOVE THAT. My website and Instagram started as a companion to my yoga teaching business– which is far in the past now– so sometimes I am still in that business mindset with these platforms. But lately I’ve been thinking more and more of letting this be a space to simply share this hobby with others– of being active and enjoying wellness.
That’s one of the reasons I’ve decided to take my last name off most of my public projects. This website and my public Instagram, for example, are now “Allie Active.” I’m keeping my name on my private Instagram, as that’s where I intend to connect with close family and friends. I want to keep my private life private, and even sacred at times. I want every hangout with girlfriends to be a joy; every google hangout with my best friend or brother to be the funniest conversation of my life; every connection with extended family to be a treat; and every embrace with my guy to be a special kind of magic, because it is.
Life is short and I’m going to make the most of it.
Thank you Amy, for the reminder.