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Missing Sharella

Unexpected deaths leave those left behind not only riddled with with sorrow, but reeling with shock, disbelief, and a sense of unreality. My co-workers and I are coming to grips with the fact that Sharella Thomas, our social worker, and friend--a devoted mother and daughter, beloved fiancee, sister, niece, aunt, cousin, and dear friend of so many--was taken from us so suddenly.

We all miss the click-click-click of Sharella's boots as she'd march into the nurses station, an overwhelming presence dressed to the nines. We miss her throaty, unabashed laughter and sassy attitude. We miss her jokes, her rolling eyes, her sighs of exasperation, that brilliant smile. I remember how she pretended to clunk her head on the desk when I begged her, last minute, for a bus pass for a patient who swore for seven hours he had a reliable ride home. The way she begged me to tell a Certain Demanding Client that she'd gone home for the day and would see him (again!!!) tomorrow--yet later I found her chatting away with him after all, doing her best, as she always did, to put his mind at ease.

There is no rhyme or reason to what happens on this earth. Unlike many people I work with, and certainly the vast majority of those at Sharella's funeral, I don't believe that God takes you when it's your time. That has nothing to do with the strength of my faith, it's simply my own personal belief. I can't open a newspaper and read the headlines and honestly believe that everyone who died that day, whether by accident or murder or other means, died because, as my grandmother would say, "their number was up." To me, it defies logic. Others disagree, and I respect and understand that, knowing the comfort that can bring: That Sharella was summoned, and is now safe in God's embrace.

To me it was simply an unthinkable accident, on the freeway, on her way to work. Now we're all dealing with the fact that the person we spoke with and laughed with one day was, without warning, gone from our lives the next.

Love and prayers to the Thomas and Brown families, and to the countless lives of those whom Sharella touched. Her radiant love will linger forever in our hearts.


 photo sharellaface2.jpg

Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there; I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow,
I am the sun on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circling flight.
I am the soft starlight at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there; I did not die.
--Mary Elizabeth Frye

(Read at Sharella's funeral)

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( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
mryjhnsn
May. 28th, 2013 05:22 pm (UTC)
Moving tribute...
Such a wonderful tribute, Jen and I am sorry for your loss.

I love that poem. That appeared in the paper shortly after daddy and I had carried that yellowed, broken piece of newsprint with me for a very long time.
onegrapeshy
May. 28th, 2013 06:35 pm (UTC)
Re: Moving tribute...
Thank you, Mary! I love that poem, too. xox
edgyauthor
May. 29th, 2013 05:39 am (UTC)
Aw, this is so tragic. She definitely sounds like someone taken long before her time. (If a god exists, I don't believe there's a reason why people die, either.) *hugs*
onegrapeshy
May. 31st, 2013 12:42 pm (UTC)
Thanks! xox
barbarabaker
May. 29th, 2013 11:11 pm (UTC)
She sounds like a beautiful person who will be missed by many. It really hurts when people like that go so early.
onegrapeshy
May. 31st, 2013 12:42 pm (UTC)
Very sad. Thanks, Barbara.
swhisted
Jun. 1st, 2013 01:00 am (UTC)
So sorry for your loss, Jeannine. No matter what way they go (unexpected or otherwise), it's never easy saying goodbye to people who had such a powerful impact on our lives. :(
onegrapeshy
Jun. 1st, 2013 05:35 pm (UTC)
The worst part, I think, is not have that chance to say goodbye. The suddenness is overwhelming.
aprilhenry
Jun. 3rd, 2013 12:06 am (UTC)
She looks so young! I'm sorry.
onegrapeshy
Jun. 5th, 2013 02:03 pm (UTC)
She was 42.
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )

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