This I Believe

Stephanie - Seattle, Washington
Entered on March 12, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: carpe diem, death

I believe that when a life ends, another life is enriched. It has been 10 years since my sister, Danielle, passed away in small town Montana, yet I see her life shining through those of her family. Her tragic death devastated every member of my family, we never got to say goodbye or give that final “I love you”. When it was time to rebuild our lives without Danielle, we were all at a loss. We had heard about tragic deaths in a family, but never thought it could happen to us. All too suddenly, we learned how fragile life is and how grateful we should be for every day. I have never stopped missing my sister, but this is the lesson that her death taught me that I carry with me. I strive to enjoy my life, to be successful and happy, and most of all, to make my sister proud when she looks down on me. I appreciate my family and the difference they make in my life everyday. We support each other no matter what the situation, because we know too well that we could lose each other at a moment’s notice.

Danielle’s life and death has taught my family to stop and enjoy the moment, to appreciate those around us, and to love without limits. In life she was an outgoing, friendly person. In death she passes those qualities to those she loved, giving us each that extra motivation when we really need it. Now when I talk to my family, we never, ever forget to say “I love you”.

We must grow and transform ourselves when tragedy hits at home. We must take the pain and make it grow into appreciation so that when a life ends, another life is enriched. This I believe.