Sunday, October 12, 2008

Michelle has Found Peace

Dear friends,

Michelle Mayer - my wife, my lover, the mother of my two children, my confidant, and my best friend - died on Saturday, October 11th at 3:30 pm. October 11th was our 11th wedding anniversary, and when she died we would have just been leaving the church in Philadelphia. The only purpose on this planet is to leave it better than you found it, to touch lives, to love and be loved. She accomplished all of that and has forever bettered the existence of so many. She taught us about living, and now taught us about dying. I have never had a better teacher.

Please know that she died with family surrounding her, finally without pain, and at peace.

She has asked that any memorials be sent to the Scleroderma Foundation or the Duke Hospice (please specify the Inpatient Care Facility).

Please post your love and wishes on this website, as it will immortalized. Thank you all for making her last few months so much more exciting. She literally had lost the will to live before she started this blog, and your thoughts and encouragement buoyed her and actually kept her living. I cannot begin to articulate the love and gratitude she felt for you all. For that, I am eternally grateful.

The funeral will be held at 10:30 am on Thursday, October 16th at St. Thomas More Catholic Church in Chapel Hill, NC with a reception celebrating her life, complete with a slideshow she created, immediately following. After the mass I will post an essay she wrote for it entitled "Goodbye" as well as the Eulogy I will deliver.

Forever in my heart,
Bill

193 comments:

Amie said...

My deepest sympathy to you and all of Michelle's friends and family.

grace said...

Michelle so intimately wrote of and beautifully lived the art of life - the joyful and the devastating. I will miss her, and we never even met. Prayers to all she loved and to those who will always love her.

Songbird said...

Bill, you and your family have my heartfelt sympathy. Thank you for sharing this part of your life with us. Michelle's courage and love and ruthless honesty shone in every word she wrote.

LoRae8675309 said...

Death is not the end
Death can never be the end.

Death is the road.
Life is the traveller.
The Soul is the Guide

Our mind thinks of death.
Our heart thinks of life
Our soul thinks of Immortality.

My thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family. ~Lori

goshiluvu said...

I had only just started to read Michelle's writings. When I read her 10/4 post - Mix Tape, I realized that love is something that goes beyond illness or even death. Michelle will live forever in the hearts of those who were fortunate enough to have been loved by her.

Jodi said...

I am so very sorry for your loss. My thoughts are with you and your family as you move through this difficult time. She taught me a lot through the grace in her writings.

Lynne said...

Every morning for the past few months I would make a cup of tea and read Michelle's wonderful blog! I feel like I've lost a friend, even though we never met. I hope that wonderful memories will help carry you and your family through this difficult time. You are in my thoughts and prayers.
Lynne

Leah said...

Set me as a seal upon your heart,
as a seal upon your arm
for love is strong as death.

Many waters cannot quench love,
neither can the floods drown it.

~Song of Songs 8:6

I am grateful for Michelle's honesty and powerful example. I'm praying for comfort and strength for all of you in the coming days.

griffin said...

Bill,
It has been a number of years since I have seen you, back when Amelia and Aidan were babies and we had a playgroup. But thanks to Michelle's beautiful writings and long Christmas letters, I feel like I know you better than I really did. I feel blessed to have had Michelle pass through my life, however briefly. I had no idea when you moved away from California that I would actually get to know Michelle better as the years went on, and that is all thanks to her writing. What a gift she gave so generously. You all are in my prayers.
With love, Lexi Bisbee

Hey Lady said...

My words are mirrored by all that read Michelle's touching blog writings. I found myself worrying about this wonderful woman I had never met; I prayed for her and cried when I read she had passed. She is with her Lord now, singing with the angels, watching over her loved ones and spending time with her Grandmother! My wish for you and her family is that she visits you often in your dreams. Thank you, Bill, for your entry.

EllieNat said...

Bill, I am so sorry for your loss. I started reading Michelle's blog a few months back. I loved her honesty and humor and courage. I never met her, but I will miss her.

Michelle Lea said...

Bill, My sincere prayers and thoughts are with you and your family. Like many others, I didn't know Michelle but the way she wrote, made many feel like she was a friend. She showed so much courage and bravery. She was an amazing teacher to many. I pray the memories you have of her will stay with you and your family and continue to give you strength and peace. God bless you!

Maria said...

I am so sorry to hear that Michelle has passed away, although elated that she is now without the pain that she suffered with such courage & grace. She has left us with the beautiful mussings that so eloquently revealed the essence of her. She will be remembered by so many, whose lives she touched, without us ever meeting her. My deepest sympathy to you, Bill & your children & the rest of Michelle's extended family & friends. She will be greatly missed.

Terri said...

Unable are the loved to die. For love is immortality. ~Emily Dickinson
Bill, Thank you for sharing Michelle with all of us. The world was a better place with her in it and now the heavens are brighter as her star shines over us. Continued prayers and love are sent to you and your family. Terri

Tracy said...

Bill,

I'm so sorry for the loss of your precious wife. She has taught me so much in such a short time. You and your children were so blessed to have her....and thanks to the internet, there were so many of us that received her insightful words also. I will keep you all in my prayers, as I know that this journey is not over for you and you have many rough times ahead. Please give those precious children an extra hug and tell them that there are so many of us out here thinking of you all and sharing your pain.
Thank you for your post. I look forward to reading Michelle's Goodbye, as she has such a beautiful way with words.
You thank us for being here for her, but truly...we should be thanking YOU for sharing her with us. She's inspired many more than you'll ever know.
God Bless all of you. My prayers are with all of you and also Michelle in her journey to eternal life...

~Tracy

jdatlas1 said...

Bill,
I am so sorry for your loss. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. You and Michelle have set a wonderful example of how to die with dignity.

firebrand said...

My deepest sympathy and best wishes to you all. x

Kerry Riggs said...

Dear Michelle's family,
I am so sorry for your loss. I pray that you will find comfort and strength in your love for each other and that surrounds you, from family, friends, and above all Michelle.

Like many other people, I find myself grieving the death of a woman I never met in person, but came to know and care about through her courageous, honest, and insightful words.

I pray also that over the coming days, weeks, and months that Michelle's love, words, memories, and guidance will serve as a beacon for you. I am truly sorry for your loss.

God Bless
Kerry Riggs

Chip said...

Bill,
My deepest sympathy to you, Amelia, and Aiden. I think you know how much she touched me since we met last month. I feel I have lost someone who has been a close friend for many years. I hope that we stay in touch. You now have three friends in Williamstown.
Fondly,
Chip

imi4u2c said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
imi4u2c said...

May the memories flourish your life with the rich love that you shared. I have been thinking about Michelle a lot, I hope she finds my baby, Logan.

You have been so strong through all of this. You have founded beautiful frame work to help you heal when you are ready.

All my sympathy,
Amanda

you can call me e said...

I know there is nothing I can say that you haven't heard before and nothing I can say to make you feel better. But just by reading Michelle's blogs, I feel that my life has been enriched by it. I can only imagine how blessed my life would have been if I had known her.
Take Care.

JC Heery said...

Dear Bill, Our deepest sympathy to you, Amelia and Aidan. Our hearts are heavy, our eyes are sad...you are in our thoughts and prayers. You embodied what each of hopes to do when we take those wedding vows--through sickness and health....you are an amazing, loving and wonderful person and Michelle was blessed to have had you in her life. I can only imagine that the date of Oct 11 reflects the happiest and saddest days of your life. Know we are with you in spirit and prayer and mourn for you in this tremendous loss. All our love and support--Jennifer, Sean and the kids

Lori said...

Bill,
Michelle has touched so many people with her heartfelt writing. She made us all laugh, cry and understand what life really means.

I am so glad throughout all this that she had you. You were her rock.

My thoughts and prayers are with you, the children and all those who loved her.

~Lori Peterson
St. Louis, MO

dthornby said...

I will miss her dearly - through her writings it was clear that she would have been a remarkable person to have as a friend. I am glad to have known her and to learn from her.

My thoughts and prayers for you all through this difficult journey.

mefomcg said...

"And I saw the river over which every soul must pass to reach the kingdom of heaven and the name of that river was suffering: and I saw a boat which carries souls across the river and the name of that boat was love." – St. John of the Cross

May Michelle rest in the peace of Christ, and in the eternal love of her family and friends.

My deepest sympathy,
Mary Ellen

CathyB said...

Bill, Thank you for posting. I knew in my heart that she was gone. Like so many others, I came to know Michelle and your family through her blog. Thank you for saying that you would keep her blog open. I have sent many friends here, and hope to send many more. As a mother, I cannot imagine how difficult it was for her to know that she would leave her children. Sometimes I wonder which is better, a sudden death without warning, or the dread of the inevitible, but along with it the gift of time well spent with loved ones. Her suffering is over now, and her loved ones have been left with the precious gifts that she has so lovingly prepared for you. I look forward to reading her final words, and your tribute to her. Know that you and the kids are loved and prayed for from all corners of the earth, thanks to this blog. Peace to you, my friend. cathyb

IMQTPI said...

How ironic that Michelle wrote of "skipping to the final pages of a book" before she'd decide whether to read it. When I saw that I thought "I would *never* do that!"

Yet here I am, a newcomer to this blog (I discovered it only three days ago!). I've read the entire thing - like a book I can't put down... A book that I'd hoped would never end!

Yet I knew the outcome from the very beginning.

I'm so sorry it had to end so soon! But I'm glad that she's found peace, and was surrounded by such love.

Please accept my deepest sympathy in your loss.

Michelle was truly a beautiful, wise and amazing person - she's taught me so much and I never even knew her!

Bless you and your family and all who were touched by her. She will be sorely missed......

Annie said...

as a well spent day brings happy sleep, so life well used brings happy death.

michelle was a beautiful person - someone so far away could tell. i will miss her and her touching words. my heart goes out to you and your family.

*annie, mike & dylan.

amymackin said...

Bill, please know that our love for your family does not end with Michelle's death. We hold you all close. I hope you will continue to let Dori know how your many friends can help you through this next phase.

Love, Amy and Will

jean-christian said...

Bill,

You wrote it very well, Michelle taught us a lot. Her lessons about how to live, how to love, about selflessness in the face of death, are beyond remarkable and have helped many, notably to cope with her own passing. They will stay with us.

I can only imagine that you were able to go through this, so gracefully yourself, in light of her, forever inspiring our admiration for you both.

You, Amelia, Aidan, may be certain of all our love.

auntbonnie said...

Bill and family,
I happened upon Michelle's blog a couple of months ago, and was just blown away by Michelle's incredibly articulate, intelligent and brutally honest writings.
I have learned so much from someone I have never met (and now will never get to meet).
I came here everyday to read the latest, and eventually went back and read all of her blog.
My heart pounded when I came here yesterday and saw that Michelle had not posted anything new. I just knew. And I cried when I came here today and saw your post.
What an amazing way Michelle took something so horrible are her disease, and turned it into something that has had such an impact on so many people: her blog.
I am so sorry for you and the children and Michelle's family's loss. She sure was special.

You will be in my prayers,
Bonnie

Rebecca said...

Our love and thoughts are with you. We will always remember Michelle's warm welcome, lively spirit and selflessness. She always made time to help others. Michelle indeed left this world a better place and those of us here we endeavor to carry on her legacy. We will miss her dearly. With Love, Rebecca, Bruce Nina & Daliah Elvin

diacaro said...

I am so very sorry for your family's loss. I, like many others, stumbled onto Michelle's blog by accident and was touched by her honesty, warmth and love and though I knew the day would come when she would be gone, I was honestly in shock when I saw that it was you posting and not her. Thank you both for sharing this intimate part of your lives with us. Michelle will be missed tremendously not only by those who personally knew and loved her, but by those of us who grew to love her through her blog. You and your family are in my thoughts and have my deepest sympathy.

LMP said...

Bill- I am so very sorry for your loss but thankful Michelle has finally found peace. We were strangers but she still made a tremendous impact on my life through her beatiful and honest words. She reminded me just how precious life is and how important it is to focus on making happy memories with your family rather than waste time with petty bickering and nonsense. I will carry her story with me always. I wish you and your family peace.

-L

hybrid said...

Dear Bill,
While I am deeply saddened by the loss of Michelle, I am also relieved to know that she is at peace. My heart goes out to you, your family and friends, with thanks for having shared Michelle with all of us. She was a wonderful teacher, and she has touched so many peoples' lives, including my own. Again, thank you for sharing Michelle, and I wish you and yours love and peace, now and always.
With much love,
Hybrid.Bunnie.

MrsSarahMurray said...

My deepest sympathy to all of you. I know the children will be great people, she loved them to the fullest each and every day. I feel even though I had never met her, that I have lost a friend and a mentor today. She showed me how to appreciate the small things that I overlooked so much of the time. I will hug my kids a little tighter and think twice before correcting them for being children. That will stay with me forever. Thank you Michelle for opening up your life to all of us.

Kit Carson said...

Thank you letting us know about Michelle's passing. It gives us a sense of closure. I feared when her life ended, we would just be left with her last post, never really knowing what happened.

I cannot believe that she, or anyone, could write such an articulate and lengthy post when she was so close to death. She must have had an incredible amount of inner strength and determination to be able to do that.

I am glad to know that she is no longer suffering and that she is at peace and that she was surrounded by her loving family when she died.

You and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers.

Cathy

Cha Cha said...

Bill, thank you. My life is richer because of your amazing wife. My prayers are with you and your family always.

Just A Mom said...

My deepest sympathy to you and your children and family and friends. I found Michelle's blog at a rough time in my life and she helped me through it. I will never forget her or the lessons that she has taught me. I looked forward to her posts each and every day and will miss them so much. I hope that someday her blog will get turned into a book so it could help so many others. Rest in peace sweet angel and I hope we will someday meet.

With love
S

Sue R said...

Bill,

I'd like to add that I am so sorry about your loss. Michelle's writing was so deep and touching. I'm so glad she shared her story.

Please know you and your children will be in my thoughts and prayers. I'm hoping the hospice there will help you find a grief support program for them as well as you. Michelle did wonderful things to prepare you all, but sometimes, it helps a lot to have a safe, caring place to go to.

Thank you for letting us know about Michelle's passing. I look forward to her last essay and your eulogy.

Rachel said...

What a gift Michelle has been to us here at the Meadowlands. She was and continues to be a teacher of how to live to the fullest, and how to die with grace and dignity. Her love for her family will last forever, as a continuous legacy.

Linda Crispell said...

I am so sorry for your loss. I feel a profound sense of loss and I never had the good fortune to meet this remarkable person. Michelle left a comment on my blog about two weeks ago under a cupcake post that I had titled "heaven". I was so moved that she would take the time to visit and write. Please tell your children that their Mother made such an impact on so many people and I am a better person for the lessons she taught me.
My deepest sympathy.
Linda Crispell

Persnickety Ticker said...

I am so sorry for your loss. Michelle was a wonderful and brave woman. Thankfully she is at peace now and without pain any longer.

My heart goes out to you, Bill, and to your children.

desert dirt diva said...

Bill I am so sorry for the loss of michelle...she mad eme think diffrent about my life, she made me relize slow down and love what you have...how to be strong...in her writings i could tell what a speacil women and mother and human she could be....my prayers to you and the children.
take care vicki...

Amy said...

Please accept my most sincere condolences on the loss of your lovely, articulate wife. I lost my husband 3 years ago after 11 years of a wonderful marriage too. I will pray for peace, comfort, and healing for you and your family. Michelle's words were riveting and I will miss her.

H said...

Bill, Amelia and Aiden,
My deepest sympathy for your loss, I hope you can find comfort in the impact Michelle made on so many lives. As a former student, I learned more from her than I can say. I think one of her many lasting legacies with her students is that she taught us the importance of doing relevant and above all - practical - research. From our first conversation, before I had even decided to apply to the program, Michelle challenged me to always keep in mind the real experiences of the patients represented by statistics in my work. I think her favorite class to teach was when she would bring in a panel of patients and have them tell their stories of the difficulties of navigating the health care system. She wanted us to see the faces behind the numbers and ask relevant questions that would actually make a difference in their lives. Of course, more importantly, she also taught me about life and death through her words and powerful example. My work and life is one of many that will be forever changed from knowing her. With gratitude, Heather Beil

Young said...

Michelle taught me at UNC, and afterwards has done so here. She will remain my teacher forever in my heart.

My deepest sympathy to Bill, Amelia, and Aiden.

- Young Do

Ranelle said...

Bill,
My heart breaks for you and your family. Although, Michelle is gone; her memories will live through eternal life. May God Bless you and the Mayer Family.

Truly,

Ranelle

Kelly said...

Bill, my deepest sympathies to you and your family. I am grateful to Michelle for all the lessons she had to share with us, her readers. They will stay with me, as I help my mother in her own journey with a chronic autoimmune illness. Thanks so much for sharing your story. You've helped more people than you could ever know.

Bird Spot said...

Bill,

I met Michelle once through A. Mackin but got to know her and love her through this blog. Many things have happened in my life since I started reading her posts, and I feel like my perspective on all of those things (the painful and the happy) was enhanced through Michelle's wisdom and love she shared.

My heart goes out to you and your children. Just as I considered Michelle to be my hero, I think you, Amelia and Aidan are heroes too.

I'm Angie said...

Bill - my blessings are with you and your family. I wish I'd known Michelle. She was to me, an angel on earth. To give so many people the gift for fully living at a time when her life was coming to an end was the ultimate act of selflessness. I didn't even know her but reading of her passing today broke me. I cried as if she were my sister, and I cried for my brother and mother all over again. No more pain for them, only a peaceful joyfulness. God bless you, your children, and Michelle's parents.

courtney said...

Dear Bill,

I have so much to say to express my appreciation of Michelle as a dear friend. All sounds trite. All sounds inadequate. But I will try. To combat the feeling of deep loss that I have been feeling today, and really, I should have been prepared, I want to conjur up all the fun we had as we first made the transition from her being my wicked smart teaching assistant to being friends while we were on walks in the woods before you moved to California. You know better than me that she never forgot a single thing anyone told her. It must be the fate of people in huge catholic families, having to keep all of those family members straight. It was horrifying sometimes that she could call you on any inconsistencies due to her perfectg memory and ability to listen well. As a friend she called me on my weaknesses, celebrated my joys, counseled me on difficulties, laughed with me about so many things, mostly analyzing human interactions and observations, she lapped it all up. Stubborn too. She volunteered so much as a young (and hello, sick!) mother that I thought she should take it more easy. She did not want to, that was not who she was. She seized life. She was a more forgiving friend than anyone could be expected to be …who can get over a dear friend getting the dates mixed up on her wedding reception and not attending? That was me and Michelle forgave me!

I want to conjur up the joy of meeting your children when you returned from California, the many hours we spent not really working in our office at Sheps, (sorry Tim) due to the need to process so much about her fears and wishes as she had to accept her disease as a mother; what a great colleague she was in our manuscript writing group giving thoughtful comments on our work and contributing consistenly even though she felt so ill.

I want to conjur up the companionable times we had as mothers in your kitchen, cooking together (man was she particular! All 95 pounds of her were bossy in the kitchen!), expressing wonder about this or that about our kids or complaining about this or that about our kids or or most likely getting advice from her on how to deal with this or that regarding our kids (oh sure, and husbands too! ;-) ).

I want to conjur up how much fun we had on double dates or dinners where your hilarious dynamic would have us howling with laughter. Did she really just say that? Did he? I will so miss that.

I want to conjur up being able to sit next to Michelle on her big cozy chair two months ago as she processed the unreal feeling that this was really and truly finally happening to her, being able to rub her arm in her room a week ago, as she expressed how “sad she was to leave”. Trying not to cry in front of her as you urged us not to do, and wanting to stay by her bedside doing anything to give her comfort.

I am so thankful that she is not suffering any longer, and I am so grateful that it is a sunny beautiful day so that I am somewhat comforted by the natural beauty of the world she hated to leave. She seized life and inspired us to do the same! I forever will breath deep and be grateful for all Michelle gave me.

Love to you, Amelia, Aidan, your parents and your and Michelle's siblings and wives and cousins and nieces and nephews. Courtney

FANOFCHRIS said...

How bittersweet for you Bill. My thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family as you go forth with courage. Your amazing wife was a true voice for those dealing with so much. She's irreplaceable and you and your children are so blessed to have such a woman as your lover and mother to your beautiful kids. May you feel comforted at this time and know that there are so many of us out there that loved your wife for the strength she had and the love she gave and received. She will be grately missed. God Bless You.

Amy said...

I am so sorry for your loss of such a wonderful person. Ive never met Michelle, but felt like I knew her through her writings...she has been helping me through my best friend's terminal illness, who is also a mother of two young children with only weeks left. May you all find peace and her children know what an inspiration and blessing their mother was to so many people, many of which were never blessed enough to know her. God bless you and I will forever keep you all in my prayers.

Yuan said...

Michelle is truly a wonderful woman! I'm so fortunate to have her as my advisor! She is in my heart forever!!

My deepest sympathy to Bill, Amelia, and Aiden!!

--Yuan

ihelee said...

Thank you for sharing Michelle with us, and allowing us the privilege of being with her these past few months. I think she changed more lives than she realized.

My deepest condolences - your family is my thoughts and prayers.

inquisitivesensitive said...

I am so sorry for your lost, but am happy that your wife is no longer in pain. I only learned of this blog about 2 months ago but have learned so much from her. She seemed like an amazing person and I am praying that you and your family find peace in this difficult time.

~Heather

Reubensitos said...

My prayers are with you and your family during this time. Michelle touched my life and the lives of many teaching lessons that would forever change those who listen. I listened and I learned and through her honest approach to life and death, I felt humbled and able. The gift of her words and her story will be forever as her memory is etched in my heart. I will miss her words, but they will be with me always.

Sally said...

I am so grateful to both of you for this amazing example of honesty, grace, and love. I will miss the great pleasure of Michelle's conversation and of knowing her wonderful presence is in the neighborhood.

Babycakes said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. I just recently began to read her blog the last few months. I wish you and your children peace and love.

allison said...

Bill - I am moved and deeply saddened by this blog that I discovered just tonight. I thank you for introducing Michelle to us and can only wish you peace after this long and difficult time. My thoughts are with you and your family, Alli (Anderson) Laurent

Connie said...

Bill, Amelia, and Aidan,

I am really without words, but will try...If only I could write and express my feelings as well as Michelle did!

I knew this day was coming, but like Courtney, I still wasn't prepared. I am glad that Michelle is finally at peace, but I will miss her so much!!!! She was a great friend, and I have learned so much from her over the years, and here on her blog. She was such an incredible, strong, brilliant, insightful woman, mother, and friend. I've been sitting here remembering all the talks we had (many of those at Sheps as well) and the things she helped me through, that seemed so trivial compared to her problems. And she always helped, and was always there. As I said, I can't articulate my feelings very well.

Bill, please remember that we are here for you and the kids, and that it is ok to ask for help. This is a loss for her friends, but of course an even greater loss for all of you, her family, and we are here!

Love,

Connie (& Al, Eli & Tali)

Lauren said...

I only found Michelle's blog a few months ago. My heart breaks for all of her family and friends. She faced death with such honesty and openness. I will be forever greatful for the time I had to read her words. I will keep you all in my prayers.

Melissa said...

God bless you all. You have and will continue to be lifted up in my prayers. My heart hurts for your loss.

Jenny said...

Bill and family,
You all are in our thoughts and prayers. Michelle was a wonderful mom and a courageous and funny woman and that shone through in her writings. Thank you for sharing this difficult time in your lives with us.
The Abernathy Family

~Issy said...

My very deepest sympathy to you and your children. Thank you so much for sharing this very personal part of your lives. I am forever grateful for what i've learned from Michelle.

Ellen said...

To Bill, Amelia, Aiden, and the rest of Michelle's family, I am so sorry for your loss. It was clear from Michelle's writings how much she loved you all. Thank you for sharing Michelle with us.

Through Michelle's words, I feel I have come to know and love you as much as I do my own family. Please know that because of Michelle's willingness to give of herself, people from all over the world are holding you and your family close in their hearts and prayers,not only today, but also in the weeks and months ahead as you all learn to live with Michelle's presence in a new way.

I'm so grateful she has finally found her peace. How lucky we are to have known her! I look forward to reading Michelle's goodbye and your eulogy. Thank you for your willingness to share it with us.


Much love & sympathy from cyberspace....

Ellen

Becca L said...

I think it speaks volumes about Michelle that her death has had such an affect on me, even though we've never met. I've lived through the difficulty of this time, so I know the struggle you and your children face, but I also know you can all get through it. I hope you hold your memories of Michelle close to your heart, and never let go. You'll be in my thoughts and prayers.

Jean said...

It is a little like loosing my own sister... the feeling I felt when I first read the announcement of Michelle's passing. I wish I could show up at least the visitation but it is way too far for me and I leave with my own family to visit our parents in MI and PA in few days. I echo most of all of these comments posted here. One thing I can say, you cannot completely get used to Michelle's absence. You will forever remember her in your hearts. It will become a "new normal" and life goes on. I lost my most dearest grandmother of whom I wished is my mother instead 18 years ago in semi/car accident. I became used to her abscene about five years later BUT all of fond memories I have of her are still within me. Hold fast to Lord and He will see you through the grieving...

Christy said...

Reading Michelle's post reinforced how special and fragile life can be. There are life leasons in her writings for all of us. She may have been a stranger to most of us that read her blog, but she became our friend over time, someone we cared about and will miss.
She may not be here now, but I am pretty certain she now looks down and keeps a careful eye on her family from a better place than we can ever know here. Her pain is over and she has a special set of angel wings in which to fly free and pain free.
God bless your family.

grace said...

Dear Bill,
My condolences and sympathy are with you and your family in the passing of your precious Michelle.
She was such an amazing woman, and you such an amazing husband to her. I knew Michelle from the support group in Durham and then more and more through her writings. What an incredible woman - so gutsy and strong, so articulate and sharing and brave, so spunky with her doctors in making her own decisions. My thoughts and prayers have been with Michelle, you, Amelia, and Aidan through this all and will continue. I remember Michelle bringing the kids in to the support group when we met in Raleigh and how lively and beautiful they were. She was such a leader to all of us. As you read all of the posts from those of us who read her blog, I know that you'll see how far-reaching her impact has been and will continue to be. God bless you and your family, and of course, dear Michelle.
Fondly, Grace FInkle and Jack

thirdangelfrmlft said...

Like so many others, I only came to know Michelle through her blog, yet type with tears in my eyes. With every post, I felt closer to her, as if I truly knew her and your family. The lessons she taught me are some I will never forget. She lived more tahn many "well" people ever do. I can only hope to take her lessons with me. As a mother, my heart breaks for Amelia and Aiden right now. Please know that there are so many people praying for you and the kids. Thank you for letting us know that she has finally found peace. I hope you update us in the future, as I can only hope that you and the kids can find some peace as well.

Mothers heart said...

I am grateful that Michelle is no longer suffering but saddened she had to move on. My deepest sympathy to all of
Michelle's family and friends.
I will always remember this brave woman. Your family will be in my prayers.

Thank you for sharing Michelle with us all. We have all grown to love her.

Mothers heart said...

Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Life Interrupted
When I was feeling my lowest along came Michelle. A beautiful strong woman who is a young mother and wife and is dying. I look at her as she goes through each day not sure if there will be a tomorrow. This woman gives me strength and a longing to go on.
I stumbled on Michelle's blog one evening searching for answers to my own problems. I was instantly captivated by her words and courage. I sat that night for over 6 hours catching up with Michelles life reading her blog and instantly feeling a bond. That night I felt so many emotions from sadness to anger. I cried that night for Michelle, her husband, children and family and friends. I do not know where all the tears came from, perhaps from my own hidden fears of death and losing someone close. That night I grieved for Michelle and the day her words would no longer be there to comfort me. Since the first night that I read her blog I think of Michelle and her family daily. Here is a woman who is so unselfish and has more courage than anyone I have ever met.
I can only imagine what must go through Michelles mind everynight before she finally falls asleep. I wish I could show Michelle the impact that she has had on so many. I wish I could show her the future and let her see her children grow and let her see what a impact she has had on them. Michelle showed her children how to love and how to give from the heart. Michelle will be forever in her childrens heart and her memory will be forever locked in their souls.
People are put on earth for a reason. I do not think Michelle realizes the impact that she has had on so many. Some of the people Michelle will never meet but these strangers feel as though Michelle is a close friend. Her writing makes you feel like you have known her for a lifetime. I wish I would have had the chance to meet this brave woman in person and I wish I could take away her pain. Michelle is a gift from God and I feel blessed to be given a chance to share her journey back home. Thanks Michelle

Jo said...

Bill,
Thank-you for this post. Through Michelle's blog I was able to feel like I knew her although we didn't create many opportunities to visit. Her blog also brought to light so many amazing qualities that you bring to your family, qualities that will ensure that Amelia and Aidan will grow up with the love, guidance and care that she would have given had she been given more time. Please lean on family, friends and neighbors as you begin this new journey. My prayers have been with you and Michelle for months...they will continue.

Jodi P.

Avia Demise said...

I'm just dumbfounded. I have been following Michelle's blog for a few months now and have never felt so humbled and grateful for my life than since I have started reading this. I wish I had known her. I think we would have been friends. There is so much of my life, my relationship with my husband, sense of humor that mirrors her's...it makes it a little easier for me to kind of see things through her eyes. I am happy that Michelle is no longer in pain and is finally able to rest. My heart is breaking for you, Bill, and your family. With my husband in the Army, I have seen families lose fathers, mothers having to go on with their small children. I just can't imagine the loss you must feel. Selfishly so, it makes me eternally grateful for what I have, makes me want to tell my husband how much I love him every moment of the day, makes me want to try every day to be a better mother and never take for granted what I have been given. There aren't very many people in the world who have accomplished something so profound in such a short amount of time as Michelle. The number of hearts she has touched so deeply without ever having met them face to face is remarkable. You and your children are so very blessed for having her in your lives. I have been and will continue to keep your family in my heart.

Nancy said...

Ya know what I wish?!!

I wish Michelle could *continue* to blog to us - from Heaven - because, we ALL know that's where she is (Even if she didn't make it to Mass after last Sunday!).

She could tell us what it's like up there. She could keep us up-to-date on what's going on with Bill, and Amelia, and Aiden (I'm sending EXTRA positive thoughts to Aiden, by the way. "It's tough, buddy - I KNOW it is! Just hang in there!").

...And she could keep us laughing - and crying - out here in cyberspace!

Just a selfish thought - but I wanted to share it, nonetheless.

Doesn't change the fact that my heartfelt condolences go out to Michelle's family...

Asheley said...

As she did so many others, Michelle changed my life, and I will forever love her. My heart is broken. My deepest sympathies to you, Amelia, and Aidan.

Sabrina said...

Michelle was an exceptional person. Though I never met her I loved her. My heart goes out to you Bill, Ameila and Aidan. And to her parents Marie and Bill -This is every parents worse nightmare.
I am so sorry.

God rest her.

bethany said...

Bill,

I'm so sorry for all of you. I know it's been a very difficult year. I hope you draw strength from all of those surrounding you who love you and the kids as much as they did Michelle.

My thoughts and prayers are with you, the kids and her entire family. She was and will continue to be an inspiration.

Beth

Ana's World said...

Bill: I'm so happy you all had Michelle as a part of your lives. And that we had a little bit of it too. I had never met her, but I looked forward to her blog everyday. I wish you all the best and I truly cannot wait to meet you all in heaven. Take care and know that you are all in my heart and prayers. Love aNa

Caroline said...

I am at once devastated for your loss & joyful for Michelle's peace. I didn't even know her but she wrote so beautifully that I felt she was a lifelong friend. I have been honored to read her blog for the last several months & she was kind enough to write back to me when I emailed her.

Bill, you and the children, Michelle's parents & brothers and circle of friends will be surrounded in prayer. She has left us all a rich legacy in how to live a beautiful life. I will never forget her.

The fact that she passed on your 11th anniversary was yet another beautiful reminder...true love never really dies.

God be with you always...

With Great Sorrow,
Caroline
Philly Girl in CA

michiganme said...

No doubt Michelle would have the perfect word for how I feel: sad & empty yet exhilarated and empowered.

Never under-estimate the power we all have to make a difference in this world. I've known her at a distance for 6 months but I have her lifetime of thoughts and memories to sustain me for a very long time.

I will keep her family and friends in my thoughts and prayers. MIME

Kassfam said...

Bill, Amelia & Aidan, Your mom was such a wonderful person. We feel very lucky to have been a part of her life. I still remember the day we moved in to the neighborhood and she marched right over and introduced herself. She had a way to make everyone feel like an old friend from the moment you met her. Thank you so much for sharing her with us and letting us be a part of your lives in this difficult and painful time. You and your family are in our thoughts and prayers. Please know that we are here for you anytime. We love you.
Love, Cathy, Dave, Cameron & Caitlin

bonniecassidy said...

I can't tell you how sad we are to learn of Michelle's death. Words fail me at the moment. I will miss her sunny smile, her sense of humor, and her wonderful Christmas letters. Her writing has kept us close even though the time between visits has grown greater and greater with each passing year since Penn. You will be in our thoughts, prayers, and memories.

Love,

Bonnie and Trey

garnergirl said...

Bill,
Michelle was such an inspirational woman. i hope you and your family find peice knowing she found her purpose in life by connecting with so many strangers and sharing her thoughts and love.I pray you have peace and that your children will grow up knowing what a special person their mother was.

Sally said...

Dear Bill, Aidan, Amelia, and Michelle’s family and close friends:

Michelle was, by far, one of the most alive people I have ever had the privilege to know. She saw all the beautiful things that life can hold and, most cruelly and unfairly, saw how short life can be. I know that her immediate family was the most important thing to her. Yet Michelle wanted to change the parts of the world that don’t work so well, and she focused so much effort and thought on trying to do what she could. From her professional interests in access to specialists for ill children to her blog that explored the challenges of parenting and loving her family while her health was declining rapidly as well as trying to figure out the broader meaning of life, Michelle really did it all. And she did it with incredible insight and perspective and humor.

As her dissertation advisor, you might think that I taught her something. Maybe I did—I hope I did! Michelle certainly honored me at various points by saying I was a role model for her. In reality, however, I learned so much from Michelle—about work, about life, about love.

We will all cherish our memories of Michelle and miss her dreadfully, but it is hard to fathom how big of a hole her death must leave in all your hearts and lives. My thoughts and prayers are absolutely with you all.

Sally

Trish said...

As the tears are falling down my face... To see how Michelle has had such an effect on some many people...people she has never even met. She was real, and she was inspiring. Her gift to me? Because of her writing, I try to live in the here and now... to hug my children now, to love my husband now, to enjoy my life now... Thank you Michelle, and thank you to your loving husband, Bill, and your children for sharing you with us.

Davon said...

Bill- You, the children, and the rest of your family have my deepest heartfelt sympathies in the loss of your beautiful Michelle. Although this blog has made me profoundly sad on many occasions, I can't imagine not having read it. As you already know, she was a very courageous and inspiring person whom I will miss, although we never even met.
Prayers up for peace, comfort, and strength in the days to come.

"Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal."
~ From a headstone in Ireland ~

E. Matro said...

Michelle has made more of an impact on my life than anyone will ever know. She has made me reassess what my life means to the people around me, and what they mean to me. She's made me think and feel about what it means to be human, and alive. I am so grateful to be able to read her words.

Gramma Jo said...

My prayers are with you and your family during this time. You were married to a most wonderful woman who taught me many insightful things in the short time that I have been a member of this community of bloggers.

BurrRobson said...

What though the radiance which was once so bright
Be now for ever taken from my sight,

Though nothing can bring back the hour

Of splendor in the grass, of glory in the flower;

We will grieve not, rather find
Strength in what remains behind;

In the primal sympathy
Which having been must ever be..."

William Wordsworth


Love to all of Michelle's family,

Burr

Shadeplant said...

I cry...

Amber said...

Bill,

I want to extend my most heartfelt sympathies to you and your beautiful children, Amelia and Aidan, on the loss of your amazing wife and mother, Michelle. As happened with many of the wonderful people commenting here, I happened across Michelle's blog about a month ago and found the contents inspiring and riveting. I spent the first two days catching up from the very first blog she posted and became a faithful reader from the first sentence. I would come to her blog daily, to see her musings or memories on any given subject on any given day. I came to think of her as a friend in such a very short time, and felt like I had a new circle of friends with her stories of her life and your wonderful family. Her words gave me a new perspective on the unwavering love of a mother and helped to give me some peace of mind, which I didn't even realize I needed, in respect to losing my parents at a young age.

I only hope that all the words we readers write can provide some comfort to you and yours, as I know how difficult a blow it is to lose someone you hold dear. We have all lost a dear friend in Michelle and I wish you and your children all of the peace you will be looking for in the coming days and months. I also sincerely hope you will keep us updated from time to time, I know we will all wonder how you are coping. I look forward to reading, at the very least, Michelle's goodbye and your eulogy. We are all privileged for you to to extend this exceptional gift to us.

With love from the Hawkeye State,
Amber

beki-lorraine said...

Bill and family,

Even though I am sorry for your loss I am positive Michelle is now pain free and at peace.

she taught us all so much, especially me. I will never take anything for granted because of her.

I hope you all know that everyone of the people who read this blog and who knew her, either personally or through the blog, will keep her memory alive.

Michelle had courage, strength and love that will grow as your children do.

Each of us loved her in one way or another and she will be missed tremendously.

I will keep your family in my prayers.

Beki-Lorraine

terry said...

There was something for everyone in Michelle's beautiful writings. Her willingness to share her own experiences and feelings in such a brutally honest and unguarded way, made it so natural for us to identify with her. We are all richer because of her.

Bill, my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

Alex said...

My condolences to your whole family.

Sara G said...

RIP Michelle.
God Bless you and your family.
I enjoyed your blog so much and will miss your writings.

Hockeymom said...

Dearest Bill, Amelia and Aiden,

I have spent the last couple of days attempting to write this note. No words, no matter how well written, seemed appropiate enough to tell you all that Michelle and her blog meant to me. Though some of the entries showed her sadness, some her frustration, some her pain, some her humor, all of them showed her love. Yes, her blog was about nearing the end of her life but it was about so much more. It was about living...it was about life...and it was a beautiful, wonderful love story. Through all her posts her love shone through, her love of life, her love of you Bill, her love of you Amelia & Aiden, her love of all her family and her love of her friends.

Mere words are not adequate enough to tell you how very sorry I am for your loss, for all of our loss. May you find comfort, strength and peace in the days ahead knowing that Michelle is finally free of her pain and has found peace. And may all of you find comfort in the fact that Michelle will always be with you, in your smiles, in your tears, in your laughs, in your humor, in your frustrations and in your hearts, for all your days and through every step of your lives.

We were all touched by Michelle, yes we were truly touched by an angel...

All of you and your family will be forever in my thoughts and prayers.

Lynn

Terri said...

crap. I just found the blog today. I plan to read it all. I can tell just by the latest three posts that it will be an inspirational read. God bless and my deepest sympathies to the family.

heather said...

Like so many other people out there Michelle felt like a personal friend to me. I felt the need to check in on her everyday. Her honesty made it so easy to feel that we were friends (however one sided the friendship was). She shared her life with me.... with all of us and I/we are better for it.
My love goes out to Bill, Amelia, Aidan and the rest of the family.
Peace
Heather

John said...

Bill and family, Lisa and I are profoundly sorrowful at your loss. I had the rare privilege not only to have called Michelle my friend for over fifteen years, but to work with her professionally in more recent times, and along the journey, to have shared much-of our families, friends, and professional concerns (which seemed to me she held in that order of importance)-all in the context of our shared and cherished faith tradition. When our twins were born, Lisa and I were overwhelmed as new parents. Unsolicited, Michelle brought us a home-cooked meal. We will miss our dear friend mightily. John

lafairian said...

My heart goes out to you and your family now in this time of grief. I only found Michelle's blog about a month ago but in that short time she has touched me in a very personal way. Words can't express the sadness in my heart.

Tina said...

Bill,
Please know that you and our family are in my thoughts and prayers. The last time I saw Michelle was at our High School reunion a couple of years ago. She was just as strong then as I remember her back in High school. She truly is a remarkable woman who has always been able to touch the lives of many. God Bless you and your family. Her memory will always live on.

Carl said...

Thankfully Michelle has found peace. Now she is everywhere.

Lynne said...

Bill and family,
I found Michelle's blog about a month ago and was very touched by her writings. I am so sorry for your loss, but happy that Michelle has found peace and goes on without the pain. You, your children and family are in my thoughts and prayers.

Lynne

Fannie said...

As always, I pray for peace for your family. And a prayer of gratitutde that Michelle is at peace at last.

bigbrother said...

Dearest Michelle, I will miss you more than you will ever know. I am so glad that I was with you at the end. I will always remember the strengh and the dignity that you had in the face of death.You have started a new journey at Gods side. Please look after us all. With all my love, Your brother Anthony

Humphrey Hot Spot said...

I started reading Michelles blog when i saw a link to it on aol.I became personally attached an hour later after reading back,about 4 entries. She,no all of you ,are so brave to put your hearts out there to teach us all to share with us all, the pain/blessing of living this great and grand gift God has given us called life.I will offer up my prayers and thoughts for your family.God bless and angles watch

Becky said...

Amazing story she blessed us with the sharing of it......prayers for you and the children.

Pei-Jung said...

I am grateful for what I've learned from Michelle. My deepest sympathy to you and your family.

Terri said...

If you haven't had the opportunity to read the entire blog, please treat yourself to the posting--Aug 4--which contains a video of Michelle speaking. Such a gift.

Lori said...

I miss her already! As sorry as I was to know that she is gone, I look forward to her goodbye that Bill will be posting. Michelle's writing touched many and she will never, ever be forgotten by anyone who read her essays.

Susan said...

Bill, thanks for letting all of Michelle's fans in the blogosphere know of her death, and for continuing this space for all of us to express our gratitude for her, our continuing love for her, and our love and support for you, Aidan and Amelia. As you noted, this Blog was so important to her, and obviously it has become important to many others - Michelle found her voice here and we embraced it, as she spoke for us in our own struggles, and as the best of what we hope to be.

lacye[face]. said...

And I wish that I could articulate the love that I have for this woman - A woman that I have never met, but has touched my life dearly.

I am a twenty two year old woman, struggling with the acceptance and understanding for my mother's illness. It is, and will always be, a daily struggle. But this blog, Michelle's journey so beautifully depicted in each piece, eased that in a way that I can only wish she knew.

I am so sorry for your loss, but beyond that, I am so happy for the blessing you and yours have for having her in your life. I give you my deepest and most sincere sympathy, thoughts, and prayers.

Michelle did indeed accomplish all of that and more, as mentioned in leaving this world better than it was found, touching lives, and giving and receiving love.

I will forever carry the lessons she shared not only for the journey with my mother's battle, but with me on my journey through life, as a whole. If I could do anything, I wish I could thank her for every single post she she shared.

And I wish everything good for you and your family on your own journey now.

Lisa (Myers) Hartsfield said...

May God send a million angels to wrap their wings around you and your children and you get through the next few hours, days, months ahead.

I miss her words already and never ever met her.......

VicB68 said...

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

alli said...

Dear Bill --

I can't begin to tell you how sad and sorry I am. Michelle was such an inspiration. I remember so clearly the first time I saw her at the Stanford New Mothers' Group. She spoke so eloquently and poignantly about the disease and her fears of leaving Amelia motherless. She left us all in tears. I feel privileged to have been her friend. Her courage and thoughtfulness in everything she did amazed and inspired me. I miss her already. Our thoughts are with you and the kids.

Allison C. and family.

Autenrieth Family said...

Bill & Michelle,
To Michelle,
I know you will not read this, but you can hear me read this to you....
The night you went back into hospice care, I awoke at 4:30am and unable to fall back asleep. "why and I awake, and why can't i fall back asleep" I kept asking myself... all the while having this horrible feeling of something being wrong with you. i did not think more of it until my mom called and said you were ambulanced back to the hospice home at 3am.
I so wish i could have been there, but I know you were surrounded by many who loved you. I sure hope you can hear me talking to you, because I find myself missing you so much. I will be staying an extra week to help with bill and the kids. I will try the best i can to help them.
To bill, I love you so much and am so sorry for your loss. She is happier now, and able to guide us through the rest of our lives. I want to be there for you as much as i kind- even from afar- so please please please tell me what i can do.
I love you Michelle, and I will miss you dearly!

sarahawl said...

Dear Bill & Michelle's family,
I have been trying to think of what to say since I first read the comment from Stephen about her passing. I kept checking in hopes to see something from her, even though I knew how hard the past few days were for her. I have been thinking about her even more since then. I remember meeting Michelle in Chapel Hill, thinking (selfishly) thankfully there was someone else in the program who had not worked for many years already! I remember when she dog-sat for me, and didn't even mind that my dog totally chewed her library book! (or at least didn't tell me she minded). I remember first hearing from her about her illness and realizing just how strong and determined she was. It seemed that I felt more scared than she was. I also remember when she told me about you and how truly happy she was. Through letters, email and an occasional meeting we've keept in touch and I remember hearing about Amelia and Aiden's pregnancies and births, and how happy she was, even though the children made her more scared about her own illness. I am so glad I had a chance to visit her this year, and even in May when she was very ill, she was asking me about how my life was going and really actually cared about it!

I am just amazed by how many she has touched, personally and also through the blog. I knew her writings would have meaning to so many people--I just didn't realize how many! You were right that we are put on this earth to leave it a better place and she has so clearly done that...and in living her life she has helped others to do that as well.

I will miss her very much, and I can't imagine how it must feel for you and the children, and her family. But I am relieved she has found peace and is not suffering any more, and I know that her spirit will be with you (and all of us) forever. My prayers are with all of you. Thank you Michelle for being you.
Love, Sarah Hawley (formerly Tropman, HPAA class of '98)

farmerjulie said...

My prayers and thoughts are with you.. What a beautiful lady she was!!

Meredith said...

Like many on the blog I did not know Michelle personally, but I feel like I knew her well and I hope that I can continue living with the lessons she has taught me in mind. Last May Marie introduced me to the blog. I started reading it primarily because I wanted to better understand what Marie was going through and I thought it would be easier for her to talk with me about Michelle's illness if I knew what was going on. It didn't take long for me to get hooked. As a mother of two I related to many of Michelle's posts. I loved her sincerity and appreciated her humor. The blog became a part of my daily morning routine (coffee, email, blog, then work). I should have written earlier to thank Michelle herself, but I suppose I was struck with that young nurse syndrome she referred to where I just didn't know what to say. So I write now to say that I am so sorry for your loss and am so appreciative for Michelle's posts and what she taught me. I wish you and your family all the best.

Ce said...

Dear Bill,
These last months were filled with the celebration of your life together, her family, the simplicity of love and the pain of goodbye's. Please know that Michelle will always be a part of of our hearts-- and will be remembered daily. Please be well and we send much peace to you and your family. Love, Celeste and Daniel Lee

JJBH said...

My heart just aches for you and your family. I loved reading Michelle's blog. She made me not sweat the small things and to hug my children and husband everyday. The world has lost someone special but you and the children have gained an angel! She will be missed! All of my thiughts and prayers are with you at this time.

boybandreject72 said...

I am so sorry for your loss. I checked her blog everyday for the past month or so to see what was going on in her life. Her writings were inspirational and insightful. I'm just happy that she found peace.

My sincere condolences,
Dan, NJ

jennihart said...

I am so sorry for your loss. My deepest sympathy to you and your family. I only began reading her blog a couple of weeks ago and was so impressed by her ability to write about this most difficult time with equanimity and poise.

Peace be with you.

Jenni

yoly Tockman said...

Dear Bill,

THANK YOU for letting us know about our dear friend Michelle. I am just a cyber friend, but i felt that she was a FRIEND to all of us. I read her "homecoming" and was very sad, but did not post, I was hoping she was just having a "bad day" and there would be more postings, but i think i knew in my heart... I was gone for the weekend, but kept thinking of your Michelle.

I have shared her story with soo many people and I have given her credit as to my new outlook in life. I am much calmer and don't sweat what i cannot change. I have been at peace with the world thanks to Michelle. I got home today after being away for a few days, I took care of things and turned on my computer to see how my friend Michelle was doing... I was hoping and praying...

I read your beautiful words.... Once again we are all impressed by Michelles wonderful Bill. Your words were comforting to us, at a time that you are the one that needed comfort. You and Michelle seem to have the same kind, nurturing hearts and always putting others first.

Please know that she was as important to us as we were to her. I hope you will be strong and go forward, and take care of yourself, as we all know you have many things (presents/memories) to carry out for Michelle and your children.

Thank you for thinking of all of us, especially in these incredible SAD days ahead of you.

So far there has been 126 posting and more to come. WOW may we all touch at least 126 lives when our time comes. That alone says sooo much about Michelles presence in this world!!!!!!!!! Michelle's life mattered and touched lives and changed peoples outlooks... and made us THINK and THINK....

We will all go on with our lives tomorrow and the day after, but yet with your permission Bill, we will take a piece of your Michelle in our hearts, as most of us that have never met her are crying many tears for Michelle as we type our goodbyes.

All our prayers to you, Amelia and Aidan and the rest of her loving family.

THANK YOU Bill.... we all felt some comfort knowing you were there for the journey.. You have set high standards for all our husbands...

May god bless you and give you peace...

uncfan57 said...

Bill, please accept my deepest heartfelt sympathy. I did not know that Michelle had worsened until today when I got the sad news. I just finished reading her blog and of course I cried through most of it. I attended the meetings she lead in Raleigh a few years ago. I can still see her smiling face and feel the warm welcome she extended to me when I attended my first meeting. Michelle was a lovely and courageous woman and her legacy of love and caring will live on through you and your children and all the people (like me) that she helped to deal with scleroderma.
My prayers will be with you and your family in the difficult days ahead, may God bless you, strengthen you and comfort you.
-Kim Turner

SitNSpin said...

I've enjoyed getting to know Michelle and her family since learning about her blog many months ago. I am grateful that Michelle had the courage to share herself with others. Although I never worked with her or took a class from her in the department, Michelle taught me so many things about life. Her energy, self-reflections, passion for life, humor, and compassion has been an inspiration to me. And while we only had a handful of conversations over the last few years (I recall the ones about growing up with lots of siblings and her first dinner with Bill's family - stories I never tire to hear), I will never forget her. She was a remarkable researcher, teacher, friend, mother, and wife and I am privileged to have known her.
My thoughts and best wishes are with all of Michelle's family and friends.

wissh3 said...

Bill,
My deepest condolences go out to you, your children and all Michelle's loved ones. She made a huge impact on so many. You are all in my prayers, especially as you get through this difficult week.
Love and light,
Chriss

hamzilla said...

I have so much to say but don't know what to say. I have so much to do but am afraid that I won't be able to.

I have recently left behind my husband halfway around the world to pursue a dream that I refuse to let my disease limit. I am 27 and have been living with lupus for almost 3 years. I am delighted at the opportunity to study under the best at UNC. At the same time, I am fearful about the future (well, who isn't?).

Like some stars who shine brightly albeit shortly, Michelle has illuminated our lives, showing us a rich and purposeful life filled with courage and love. I want to be a supernova like her too.

Thank you for sharing your story with us.

I've imagined that when I die, I will leave this to my dearest husband. I hope these words will be of comfort to you too.

From the song, Love Me by Collin Raye
If you get there before I do
Don't give up on me
I'll meet you when my chores are through
I don't know how long I'll be
But I'm not gonna let you down
Darling wait and see
And between now and then 'til I see you again
I'll be loving you, love me
Between now and then 'til I see you again
I'll be loving you, love me

CathiFSU said...

Dear Bill, Amelia and Aidan,

Like so many others, I happened across Michelle's blog and became hooked. I checked each day to see how she was doing and to read about her wonderful family and friends. I too was hoping that her Homecoming post was just the result of a very low point and that she would rebound to have more time with her family. But as her loved ones told her, it was time for her to let go. Now we have to let go too. I can only begin to imagine how very difficult that will be for all of you. Having never actually met her, I find myself thinking of her many times each day. I think of Aidan and Amelia, and wonder how they are doing. And Bill, you sound like the kind of man most of us dream of finding. Michelle has impacted my life; I hugged my children a little tighter today. My tears join yours and those of all her friends. May the strength of her love give you strength to get through these difficult days.

Cathi

Paul A. Maiorana said...

Words can only do so much right now. So let me just tell you that I am so sorry for you, Michelle's family, and for all of us whose lives she has touched over the years. I knew Michelle at Penn. She was always the brightest of lights, burning just a little stronger than just about everybody else. And that laugh! I have a video a friend made of our times together freshman year and watching it now just reminds me of how wonderful she was and how she will continue to remind me that you should live every day with love, humor, strength and dignity. We'll all miss her very much.

tamara said...

An incredibly strong woman, an exceptional teacher and such a loving, loving woman. An amazing human being. I am so sorry for your loss but I hope she was right, that you will all thrive, you who are all so much to her..

albischof said...

I have tried to write this post so many times in so many different ways. Michelle was such a wonderful, intelligent person who has touched so many people, even those she never met. It seems so fitting that her funeral mass will be at St Thomas More Church. St Thomas was a lawyer, a writer , and a very loving father. He ultimately was killed for not going against his faith to support Henry VIII's divorce. Michelle always fought for what she believed in.

While I miss her so, I am comforted in knowing that she is in heaven and no longer in pain. A friend once told me that pennies found on the ground are messages from our loved ones in heaven. Can I tell you how comforted I was to find not one, but two pennies today. I know that Michelle is looking on all of us. I feel so blessed to have a powerful angel on my side.

Bill, know that you and the kids as well as Michelle's parents and brothers are in my prayers.

Love,

Alycia

Miaomiao said...

I am a doctoral student at UNC. I met Michelle three years ago when started my study here. I still remembered how we met on the bus and she showed me where the deparment was...

What I want to say to Michele is: thank you for leaving us this block. You are always alive in our hearts.

Miaomiao

desert dirt diva said...

MICHELLE, I know you can read this, god your soooooooo missed!

Shan said...

What an amazing human being to have written on the hearts of so many.

When my good friend passed away from cystic fibrosis last year, I remember all the tributes talking about how Carol could now "breathe easy." I hope that Michelle is breathing easy now, too (so long Chester!!).

To her family and friends, thank you. As others have said, thank you for sharing her with us. Thank you for letting us know she is at peace.

I look forward to her last essay and to the eulogy, but I will try to also keep an eye on the past and the lessons Michelle learned, so that I might learn them, too.

Warm regards,

Shan

amanda said...

I just found Michelle's blog a short while ago, but am so grateful for the opportunity to share in her journey. My condolences to you and your family.

Karen from A`Musements said...

Dear Bill and family,
I am so sorry for the unimaginable loss of Michelle and all that her incredible spirit means... I knew her only through her blog. She provided a map for all of us to follow, if we are willing. A journal by which all of us can learn. I will always think of her when I am faced with what seem like, at the time, insurmountable circumstances. Her courage will lift up all of us who had the good fortune to know of her.
I hope in the coming months you will find her everywhere; that you will see her in your children's faces, hear her voice in their expressions.
Thank you for sharing her with all of us.
My deepest sympathy and concern for you and your family.

cynder_ella said...

I stumbled across Michelles blog accidently about a month ago and literally spent the whole day reading it (in tears). As a young mum with a 15 month old daughter she has touched my heart in such a way that I never thought someone who I had never met could do.
I hadn't been back on the blog for a few weeks (for which I am so gutted) so when I clicked on this morning and read your message about Michelles passing I was so very sad. I am so sorry for your loss, but Michelle has left behind such an amazing gift for her children in this blog! My thoughts are with you and your family at this time. God bless you all. Donna from Milton Keynes, England x

beki-lorraine said...

For Good (from Wicked the musical)

I've heard it said
that people come into our lives
for a reason
Bringing something we must learn
and we are lead to those
who help us most to grow
if we let them and we help them in return
Well i dont know if i believe that's true
But i know i'm who i am today
because i knew you.

Like a comet pulled from orbit as it passes a sun
Like a stream that meets a boulder
halfway through the wood.
Who can say if i've been changed for the better
but, because i knew you
I have been changed for good.

It well may be
that we will never meet again in this lifetime
so let me say before we part
so much of me is made from what i learned from you
You'll be with me
like a hand print on my heart
Now whatever way our stories end
I know you have rewritten mine
by being my friend

Like a ship blown from it's mooring
by a wind off the sea
like a seed dropped by a sky bird
in a distant wood
Who can say if i've been changed for the better?
But because i knew you

because i knew you

I have been changed for good

And just to clear the air i ask forgiveness
for the things i've done you blame me for

But then i guess we know there's blame to share

And none of it seems to matter any more

Like a comet pulled from orbit
(like a ship blown from its mooring)
As it passes a sun
(By a wind off the sea)
Like a stream that meets a boulder
(Like a seed dropped by a bird)
Halfway through the wood
(in a wood)

Who can say if i've been changed for the better?
I do believe i have been changed for the better

And because i knew you

because i knew you

because i knew you,
I have been changed...
for... good

albischof said...

I am so glad that Paul mentioned that video. Althought I haven't been able to watch it this week, I have seened it many times over the past 20 years. When I close my eyes, I can see her doing one of her favorite things, eating cake, while laughing. Yes, we will never be able to forget that laugh of hers and I am sure that she is eating her fill in heaven.

ely said...

Bill, (I'm Elizabeth T's mom. She introduced me to Michelle's blog from its inception.)
It was with a great deal of sadness followed by many tears that I read your post Monday morning. How could such a vivacious, spirited young woman be gone? Michelle captured my heart with her humor, wit, gutsy 'voice', wisdom and love. For the past five months I looked forward to logging in for a visit with her to laugh, ponder, question or cry based on her entry of the day. My heart pounded the day she wrote of the TPN catastrophe. Even though she wrote the story, my mind kept hoping she would survive! I plan to roast a chicken using her recipe and I now have a sock basket in the laundry room for rocks without partners. What a clever way to handle the sock problem.
I loved her honesty. Many people keep "secrets" to put up a good front. Michelle didn't hold back. I was touched by her story about her grandmother--first, her childhood dream; then her grandmother's return to hold Michelle's hand and comfort her. I'm wondering if she came to be with Michelle on the 11th...
On Sun, Oct. 5, while praying at church and looking at the cross the following words came to me: "I have chosen her." I came to see that part of her mission (ministry) was to write the blog. By reaching out through her suffering, she helped countless people look at their lives in a new way, with an emphasis on love.
I reflected on the words of a previous pastor: "Life is a mystery to be lived, not a problem to be solved." She lived the mystery and served us with great love.
On Sun, Oct 12, I was a reader at church which gave me the opportunity to request prayers for all of you.
Please know that I will keep you, Aiden and Amelia in my thoughts and prayers.
Love,
Bonny Ely

Diane said...

Dear Bill,

I am a high school friend of Michelle's. I am so very sorry for your loss. Michelle was an incredible human being and she inspired so many people by just being herself! Even back in the day, she always had zest for life!

It's been some time since I have seen her - actually it was 3 years ago at Ann Cinque's wedding - but I feel like I have gotten so much closer to her in these past few months through her blog and through e-mails. Michelle has left a wonderful legacy full of truths, laughter and love. She will be missed!

My deepest sympathy to you and your family.

Diane Fernandez

Meadech said...

Bill,

It is an honor to have been asked to serve as a Eucharistic Minister Thursday, and I gratefully accept.

I remember Michelle telling me several years ago that she had to get this parenting thing right the first time because she would be here with the children for a limted amount of time. Well, she certainly did get it right, as did you. But I think we both know that her positive influence will not be limited to the years when she was physically present.

Betsey and I send our love to you, Amelia and Aidan, and to your families.

Sincerely,
Meade

Rachael D said...

Bill-
My thoughts are with you and the kids. I am humbled by Michelle's ability to share her personal journey so eloquently. It certainly helps me to put life, and living it fully as she did, into perspective.
Rachael (DiSantostefano)

Sharon Sulecki said...

Hi Bill,

I am so sorry for your loss.

Michelle and I were friends in high school. We lost touch through the years but reconnected during the past year. Her blog not only brought old friends closer to her but also closer to each other. We (Michelle, Marie, Sue, Diane, Ann, etc) all hung out during our school years but some of us lost touch with each other. Michelle really brought us back again. She has been a inspiration even during the saddest of times.

Michelle was always an energetic spirit and she will continue to be one through her writings. Thanks for sharing her with us. You were both so lucky to have each other.

My thoughts are with you, Amelia and Aidan.

Take care,
Sharon

fauquet said...

You have all of my compassion ( I have been warned by Christine , wissh on xanga )
Michel fauquet ( Xanga )

cricket68 said...

Bill and Family,
Our deepest sympathy. We are happy to have met Michelle and your family this summer. Her daily blog was enriching to all.
God's blessing to you and your family.

Love,
The Mikszta Family fm. AZ

Bonnie said...

Michele has gone to the light. She fought an amazing battle with an unforgiving disease, for an extended period of time, all the while inspiring her grateful readers. I had the pleasure of doing an astrological chart for her last month, and she told me she loved reading her profile. She will be watching over all of us now with a renewed spirit. She will keep shining, as she was a real star! I hope you find peace in knowing her soul purpose was fulfilled on this planet.

Childsy Art said...

Bill. Jamie and I are so, so sorry for you, Amelia, and Aiden, that Michelle's life was so short. We loved getting to know you guys in CA, regret not staying in closer touch over the years, and feel so privileged to have been able to read Michelle's blog over the past several months. She has so clearly affected so many people. I so wish we lived closer so we could be of tangible help, but please know that we are thinking of you and the kids all the time. Love, Childsy

Rebecca Wells said...

Dear Bill,
It was such a privilege to know your wife as a colleague and as a friend. As were so many others, I was touched and awed by the generosity Michelle showed as her illness progressed, constructing from the bleak cloth of her prognosis a vivid tapestry of life for anyone who wanted to share it. And she was so clearly and continually bolstered by your amazing devotion, so proud of you, so grateful. I hope you will always know how much you have both given others in your time of greatest need.

Wishing you peace,
Rebecca

Marisa said...

You and your family are in our thoughts and prayers. Michelle did so many beautiful things in her all too short life, she will be so fondly remembered, and thus will live on.

Grieve well and heal.

Vile said...

She left behind so much of herself here. Her personality was so big, I can only imagine what a big impression she made in real life. I feel really blessed to have known her, even if it was only through words on the internet. My deepest regrets for you and your family.

Clu said...

I am so sorry.
I'd been on the road the past few weeks and was unable to keep up with my daily check-in with Michelle's blog.

I started reading it soon after my Mom died back in July, and found Michelle to be a rare blessing in my life at a time when I needed a blessing.

This woman I've never met became a huge force in my life, and the past two weeks of not reading left a big void in my days. I knew this day was coming, but am heartbroken that it has indeed arrived and I will never read her words again.

Bill; I know how hard it is to go through this with someone you love, to see them dying by inches and to be unable to stop it or to even make them feel better. I know if there was any way you could have stopped her leaving, you would have.

Yes, she is in all our memories and our hearts, but I know it's not ever going to be the same for you to never hear her voice or feel her touch. I know in our family that talking about Mom, laughing at funny memories and at what we know Mom would say about this or that..this helps us honor and remember and keep her close to us.

You and the kids are in my prayers for strength in the dark days ahead. Hold tightly to each other and your loved ones; they'll get you through, and one day the tears will be replaced with smiles when you think of the miracle that was Michelle.

Clu

TGM said...

Dear Bill,
I am deeply saddened by your profound loss. Soon after I started reading Michelle's remarkable blog, like her legion of devoted readers, I came to know and love her, and now grieve with you. She was a wonderful writer who related her thoughts, feelings and quotidian experiences with honesty, courage, and delightful wit. In numerous vignettes, she recounted coping with her illness, dealing with ordinary tasks and events, and describing the support of her loving circle of family and friends. She addressed mundane issues with a fresh, original voice. There was never a trace of self-pity. In sharing her life and family with such wonderful clarity, her resilient spirit and vitality were palpable. She accomplished tremendous good in her brief life, and thousands of readers have benefited from her lessons and her example. It is a testament to Michelle’s enduring legacy that it is not possible to express sympathy for your loss without dwelling on how I have personally been touched by her life. I plan to attend her funeral on Thursday. My thoughts are with you and your family. Love, Tom

Lynn said...

My deepest sympathies to you and your family on the loss of Michelle. She was truly an inspiration for us all!

Lynn said...

My deepest sympathies to you all on the loss of Michelle. She was truly an inspiration for us all!

Grit said...

Dear Bill,

I'm so sorry for your loss as well and like everyone else don't have the right words to express it properly. I saw Michelle the first time last spring at church and was touched by what was clearly her condition. The next day I received an email from Jim Hynes (faith development director) asking for prayers for two parishoners, Jake Ingham and Michelle. When he described her condition, I knew instantly it was the same woman who had moved me so in church the day before. I had been praying for her and I was so sure there was a reason for me to know about her. Jim included the link to her blog and I started reading. The first post was about her worries with TPN and whether or not she should go forward with it. I wrote to her immediately because I had direct experience with TPN from over 20 years ago that I thought might be reassuring for her. I was so touched that she responded to my note with a personal message to my email.

I actually thought, maybe this is why I was supposed to meet her to be some reassurance for one of her many tough decisions. I quickly realized as I read more and more, even getting my two sisters hooked on reading as well that I was the one who was getting the reassurance and guidance...NOT the other way around!

I am so sad I never met her in person. I saw her one more time in church and was looking for her after Mass but missed her. I told my children as we were leaving that I knew that I would never get that chance again. Her story (which is your story as well) is so powerful and enduring! Thank you for sharing her with us! I had planned on being at the funeral but unfortunately, I will be out of town. I will, however, be thinking and praying for you all tomorrow. I hope I will have the opportunity to meet you some day, possibly at STM. God Bless you all!

Margaret Devetski
Chapel Hill

Deborah said...

To Bill and the rest of Michelle's friends and family,
Michelle taught me so much about living and dying. I was amazed at her ability to get to the heart of feelings and emotions -- and her openness at sharing those things. I have re-read some of her older entries lately and keep thinking that there should be a new one from her. Will the blog remain?

She was very special. My thoughts will be with you all.
Deb

Butterfly Believer said...

To the entire Mayer and Steinbach families (as well as friends), for those of us unable to attend Michelle's funeral tommorrow, please know how much love and appreciation is being sent your way. Michelle's beautiful aura and purpose here will never be overlooked or forgotten by SO many!! Peace to all of You, B

Emilie said...

Eric, Ryan and I all have such warm memories of our (even if few and brief) personal exchanges with Michelle. Indeed, she was so genuinely open and caring.

We are grateful that she let us know about her blog in a beautiful thank you note the beginning of September. By sharing her/your story with us, not only does she teach us about living and dying, she allows us insight to be a better support to you, Amelia and Aidan.

I am very sad about not having the opportunity to have had more time with Michelle here.

I look forward to watching our boys grow, share time together and create new memories.

Ryan and I will be at the service later today.

Our hearts go out to you, Amelia and Adian. Love, Emilie, Eric, Ryan (and Kyla)

Naomi said...

I cannot forget Michelle's smile even after my leaving the U.S. She was a powerful and wonderful professor who encouraged students so much.
My deepest sympathy to her family and friends.

--Naomi

Ruth said...

Dear Bill,
My sister Margaret is post # 161? or close to it. She introduced me to Michelle's blog and I have been reading and praying. On last Friday I received an email from a friend asking me to pray for a little 5 year old girl who choked on a bead after Mass on October 5th. The bead went deep into her lungs and she was without oxygen and had cardiac arrest. The mom and dad were praying for a miracle for their little girl. Both parents had worked personally with Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta. To make a long story short, I was up late praying a nine hour novena for little Marie and while I was up late, I read Michelle's last post. I added her to my prayers that night as I prayed every hour on the hour for nine consecutive hours. What an amazing woman who touched all of our lives and I am confident that you will be reunited forever in heaven. She is blooming in heaven. My prayer for you and your kids is that Michelle send you signs that she is still very close in ways that only you will decipher. God be with you and comfort you and draw all of us closer and closer to Himself. Love and prayers, Ruth Beier

Here is the link to little Marie's caring page:
http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/mariebreda

Casualdolly said...

My heartfelt sympathy goes out to you and your entire family.
Elaine

stefan8 said...

I m from France, sorry fr my english, our thought are for you and child...If you need to speak we are here(we read better english than I wrote!)
Ketty & Stefan

Roberta said...

May faith and hope get you and your family through this time of deep loss, and may Michelle's steadfast love for you always burn strongly in your hearts.
With sincere sympathy,
The Drewry Family

Kelly said...

Praying for you as you walk this new, uncharted territory in life. We lost our 5 month old daughter almost a year ago..though our journey's have been different our pain is the same..we will both be missing a piece of our hearts as we continue on, for they took those pieces with them when they left. Praying for you, your children and Michelle's parents as well. God bless you all.

Kelly Turner

LI Laura said...

I'm so sorry for your loss.

michelle said...

Bill, I was lucky enough to call Michelle my friend when we were little girls and then again in the 90's for a time. She was someone you could tell anything,she would never judge and you knew your secret would be safe. Being around her made you want to be a better person. My prayers are with you, your children, her parents and her brothers. Everyone in your family is so close, I know your love will pull you all through. God Bless you all and God Bless Michelle.

MC said...

My thoughts are with you and your family at this time. I only met Michelle briefly, but read her writings frequently. She was an amazing person.

Mike Camitta

sueinthesun said...

Michelle~ I celebrate your life today by surrounding myself with gerber daisies and walking down to the ocean to set them free; cooking for my son (which you know I can't do!) and appreciating my husband; remembering our talks at UPenn and over the internet. Even through your own struggles you were there for me, bringing enlightenment, understanding and humor to my own. You will always remind me to be a better person... intellectually, spiritually, physically, emotionally. Your friendship has been a true gift. I will always love you.

Bill~ In every sense, you have taught us what it really means to walk with one's spouse through life. I admire your courage, tenacity, intelligence, support, love, honesty, humbleness and spirit. Until we meet again in person, you will be in my prayers.

Amelia and Aidan~ What an awesome mom you have! I know you already know that, which is why you will miss her so much. She will always be with you- in your heart and mind and pictures and songs and books and through other people you know and will meet. One of my best friends, Adam, has a mom who died when he was 6, too. He says he misses his mom, but he feels his mom is always with him, no matter where he goes. Every year on his mom's birthday, he celebrates with her favorite cake and ice cream and when he got married he put a photo of his mom on the alter with him. You will always be loved!

Love, Susan

Mary said...

Dear Bill and family,

I just wanted to express my heartfelt condolences on Michelle's passing. Michelle's blog touched my life immeasurably. Subsequent to reading her last post, and your first post, I sat at my computer and cried like a baby. Stumbling upon her blog a few months back was truly a gift and I feel blessed to have been touched by her words. Truer words were never spoken “Michelle has Found Peace.” Bless you and your family.

Felicia said...

Dear Bill,

My prayers and thoughts are with you, Amelia and Aidan at this time. May you and your family find solace and peace in Michelle's love for you and your love of and life with her.

Though I haven't been a close friend to Michelle in many years, our bond is still special to me. Michelle was an amazing, intelligent, caring, witty, and strong-willed woman, who has inspired me to recover and return to living and appreciating life (and my friends) to the fullest. You can count me among the many people who have been touched and changed by Michelle’s dignity and courage.

I, too, feel lucky that Michelle was a part of my life.

nancy said...

How fitting that Michelle's last blog was "Homecoming". Indeed she is now home. Thanks Michelle for your transparency and honesty. You will be missed.

Diva Velvetta said...

I am so very sorry for your loss. You are in my thoughts and in my prayers. Michelle gave us all so very much through this blog.

katydidnot said...

this journal is amazing. it's a gift. you must be devastated to have lost such a wonderful person. my prayers are with you and your family and everyone who loves her and misses her.

~Jamie said...

I have come here to leave a message almost everyday since Michelle passed. I type and type and the words seems so inferior and inadequate. I want my condolence to convey how deeply I was moved by her raw and honest posts and how greatly I am affect by a woman I never met. I will leave it at... there ARE no words, only tears.

anthcampione said...

Thank you, Bill, for loving Michelle the way that you did. I was only a "bit player" in her life. We were roommates for a year when Michelle was 24. You made her so happy. As she has shared in her writings, her old friendships flourished after meeting you. We had our riffs as roommates do, but in the 2000's, whenever we saw each other at an HPAA function or in Durham somewhere she was so incredibly nice. Thank you, again, for making her happy.

Tracy said...

I just ran across this and know that Michelle would appreciate it...it's beautiful:

For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun?

And what is to cease breathing, but to free the breath from its restless tides, that it may rise and expand and seek God unencumbered?

Only when you drink from the river of silence shall you indeed sing.

And when you have reached the mountain top, then you shall begin to climb.

And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance.

- Khalil Gibran

Angel said...

I send my deepest sympathy to you and your family, I just stumbled onto this blog looking for answers for myself and I am in total ah of how great it is for Michelle to share herself the way she did. I feel even though she has gone to a place where she will not feel pain she is still here inspiring all of us and many more to come whom stumble here for what ever reason. God Bless You and your family.

Yolanda

maloni82 said...

I found myself logging in to read Michelle's blog everyday without fail even while I was at work. Thank you so much for allowing everyone to be a part of such a private part of your life and allowing me to learn something. Michelle with be missed tremendously and my deepest condolences to you- Bill and your family my prayers will be with you.

maloni82 said...

I found myself logging in to read Michelle's blog everyday without fail even while I was at work. Thank you so much for allowing everyone to be a part of such a private part of your life and allowing me to learn something. Michelle with be missed tremendously and my deepest condolences to you- Bill and your family my prayers will be with you.

Me said...

Bill - I am praying and blessing you and your family through these holidays. My heart aches for your loss.

Thank you Michelle. Thank you for writing this blog and reminding me of all to be thankful for.

God Bless.

msmcfeeley said...

Your family will always be in my heart.
~~Laurie

Linda said...

I found Michelle's blog through the Scleroderma Voice.
She has touched my life with her words in ways I wish she could know. Having a 14 year old who has been living with scleroderma since the age of 8, I am aware and have seen some of the devastating effects of this disease. Reading Michelle's words and the entries of those closest to her fills me with courage and an appreciation for the gifts that each golden day of life brings. She has left me, a woman she never knew, with so much.
Many blessings to all her who knew and loved her.

Hattrick.......... said...

michelle's legacy will live on forever. The way she chose to confront her illness was superhuman, and I doubt if anyone else could have done that in her place.
My deepest sympathies.

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a40961 said...

Michelle's legacy..... Two years after her passing, she is still making her ripples in the world!

I do hope that time is providing comfort and strength for each of you.

You are STILL in our hearts and prayers and will be in the years to come!

TaterSalad said...

I found this blog by accident yesterday, and I just wanted to comment so that it is known that her entries are still changing lives! I will never let a golden moment pass me by ever again, without recognizing it for what it is. To say "thank you" would be a huge understatement! It has restored my faith in this sometimes grim world, and for that I will always be thankful. How strange that I didn't even know I needed to read this blog, yet I came across it by mistake and my soul will never be the same. Like I said, "thank you" doesn't even begin to cover how appreciative I am.

-b

Me From Maine said...

This is an amazing blog by an amazing woman. Here in 2013, it is still bringing lessons and touching hearts. I wanted you to know that it has truly touched mine. I am watching a friend of mine battle with terminal cancer, and had done an internet search to see how I might help her.

What I came away with is more than how I can help HER, but also how I can help myself. Thank you for the reminders to live my life more fully and with more presence, and the reminders how very precious life truly is.

Thank you for keeping this blog up, and please be assured that people are still reading it and appreciating the amazing life led and what an amazing person Michelle was.

Thank you for continuing to share her journey with the world. Val in Maine