“Shared pain is lessened; shared joy, increased.”
Callahan’s Crosstime Saloon
On this bittersweet Christmas Eve, my heart and soul ache for the loss of my beloved niece…
I have learned over these last few weeks that my brother-in-law, Spider, was right. So, in an attempt to lessen my pain and increase my joy, I will be sharing excerpts from our phenomenal Celebration of Terri’s Life over the next few weeks. I hope it provides you comfort and inspires you to celebrate this holiday season wrapped in the warm embrace of your loved ones.
Terri Luanna da Silva
Welcome to our Celebration of Life for our beloved Terri Luanna da Silva, also lovingly known as our gracefulwomanwarrior. Today’s service, brought to you in true Rubbicco style, promises to be an extraordinary tribute to an extraordinary woman, full of powerful music, inspiring words, laughter as well as tears, and most importantly, per Terri’s request, dancing.
Marisa has her fabulous new rainbow dress on and her IPOD is ready to go. So we promise you, Terri, we will get this party started, just as you wanted.
But first… A few words about my incredible niece.
Where to begin…
Terri was my niece, my daughter, my sister and my friend. She was one of the most remarkable, brave, gifted, radical, compassionate and inspirational human beings I have ever known. She lived her life with a level of grace, compassion and a compelling wisdom that is very rare. And in doing so, inspired people all over the world.
And I do mean all over the world. The overwhelming reaction and response to Terri’s passing is truly mind blowing, to use a phrase frequently used by my sister, Jeanne. Blog comments, letters, and donations are pouring in from all over the world; Australia, Russia, Italy, Portugal, Brazil, Canada, Amsterdam.
And even… Macy’s department store at our very own North Dartmouth Mall.
I kid you not.
The other night, in an attempt to escape the ever present grief that consumes me, I decided to head to the mall for some retail therapy. I passed by a woman in the shoe department and our eyes locked for just a second. I smiled, as did she, and I moved along. A few minutes later I turned and there she was.
“Are you Dori’s sister?”
“Yes,” I replied.
“I thought so. I’ve seen you on Facebook.”
She hesitated for the briefest of moments, then said, “I had to come over and tell you how sorry I was about your niece’s passing.”
Tears sprung to my eyes.
“Thank you,” I replied, touched beyond belief. “I can’t tell you how glad I am you reached out to me.”
“No, thank you,” she answered. “I don’t know what it was, but I just felt I needed to come over to you.”
“It was Terri.” I said.
She smiled. “I’m sure it was. I can’t begin to tell you how inspired I was by your niece’s story. And by your family. You let us all in during such an unbelievably difficult time. We have such a hard time talking about death and you and your niece did it so beautifully. I just had to come over to tell you how deeply her story has affected my life.”
I went on to tell her how we plan to publish Terri’s blog, and as we talked more, our serendipitous connections continued to unfold as we made more and more connections around our work and our kids.
All thanks to Terri.
But that’s what our warrior did best. Connect. And she encouraged, no, she insisted, that we do so as well. And through that gift of connection, of unconditional love and light, she will live on. Through each and every one of us.
But most importantly, Terri will live on through her greatest legacy of all, the Magical Miss M. Marisa, you continue to amaze your Auntie Laurie with your fabulous sense of style, your crazy, silly, creative videos, your amazing dance moves, your ingenious imagination, and your magical presence. Like your mother, Terri, her mother, Nana Canada, and your Nana Nana, you live and love deeply. Auntie so looks forward to keeping Mamae’s love of life and adventure alive with you.
In closing, I want to say thank you to you, Terri, for welcoming me into your journey- of life, of parenting, of grief, of marriage, of friendship, of cancer, and of the special bond we have shared since the day you were born.
Love, auntie L