I really struggled to write the words that follow.  There was so much that I wanted to share but I find myself grappling for words.

Ten years ago today, I held Brit’s hand as she left this world. In the days that followed I made her final arrangements and struggled to find the words to memorialize her time in this world. How could I give justice to a life that meant so much but was cut so tragically short? Somehow I not only found the words but the strength to deliver them at her funeral. It has taken me ten years to realize that the words I delivered were inadequate because no combination of words can express the beauty, passion and love that defined Brit.

In her nine and half years, Brit did more for me than I could ever do for her.  She showed me how to love deeply, laugh frequently, and dance like no one is watching. I know it sounds cliche but it is so true. When I think about how she lived her life, I am left wondering who she would be today. But try as I might, I am not able to picture Brit as an adult.

Part of me does not want to impose my will upon the person she would have become because she was meant for a greatness that only she would have been able to define.

Brit has been gone longer than she was here and that makes this year particularly painful.  To be honest, I no longer think about her everyday but I do think about her often. And when I think about her I am just as likely to think about how loved she made me feel as I am to recall a specific memory. Was the way she fiercely loved her family, her legacy?

During the last weeks of Brit’s life she endured pain that most people cannot fathom and fear that no child should know. Yet, some of my fondest with Brit were from that time. We laughed, enjoyed each other’s company and made the best of tough situation together. It was her ability to manage the unknown, quell her fears and embrace the moment that gave me these cherished memories.

It has been said many times, “It is far better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all.” For a long time, I wasn’t sure if that was true because the pain of losing Brit was nearly too much to bear. But now, today, ten years later – I am thankful for every single moment I had with Brit.

Brit’s spirit has an enduring influence on me and I hope on many others. So today as I do every year – I ask that you take a moment to remember Brit and to say her name aloud. A life like her’s should be well remembered.