The Passing Of A Princess

I was 7 years old when I fell in love with the idea of a Princess.  Many years later I met a noble woman, known then as the Birthday Princess, who restored my faith in the fairytale of life.

We met during a time of personal emergence when each of us were fledging writers, sharing our identical secret desire to change the world with a book.  We were fast friends whose kinship sustained and nurtured an unexpected bond, despite the fact that we would never meet in person a second time.

Sacha was a natural cheerleader and coach, unwavering in her support of others.  She spread her special brand of magic like a farmer feeding her chickens – scattering goodness all over with abandon.  The only thing she asked in return was that you love your own self more; that you see in yourself the beauty and potential that she saw in you.

Sometimes in life, if we keep our eyes open, we stumble into people along the way that we don’t deserve.  They are the rare gems that enrich us and invite us to elevate our game. 

Sacha was one of those people whose light shown so bright, from a place of such sincerity and generosity, that one was instantly drawn into it.  My crass, inelegant self wondered how Sacha managed to be so filled with joy.  She was never careless with life or people or words.  She was intentional, tender, and bubbly.

When a royal presence like Sacha is taken suddenly from the world, the sweetness of life suffers a bitter blow. I will miss this friend with an unparalleled level of loss, for I am quite certain there isn’t another of her for me in the world.  But I am privileged and humbled to have been part of her fold.  For those left behind, a calling remains, a challenge really, to embody what we’ve learned from one who had mastered the art of love here on Earth.

I imagine Sacha slipping seamlessly into Heaven, taking her place amongst angels as if she belonged there all along.  No doubt she would be shocked to find herself there, but likely she is delighting in the magnificence that surrounds her and wondering how she can share it with others.

After I post this tribute, I will wait with hopeful expectation for her response.  She would write something poetic in the comments section about how my words danced off the page and filled her heart.  And I would believe her, soaking up the free praise given by my most ardent supporter. 

Eventually, it will hit me that I’ll never again hear her words of encouragement, unless, like a solid Sacha student, I learn to do this for myself.  How proud she would be of me for finding the courage to be without her.  She would tell me not to worry that I’m not there yet.  Just be gentle with yourself and celebrate every step toward reclaiming happiness.

Thank you, Sacha, for gracing this world, and my life, with the gift of you.


18 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Donna - Marie
    Aug 19, 2017 @ 11:59:38

    Oh how you captured her essence…. We all loved her so…. xo Donna Marie


  2. Deborah Holmes Heim
    Aug 17, 2017 @ 14:15:56

    Dear Deb,
    As a third grade teacher, one of the challenges I had was teaching children how to write. I had hoped to write children’s books in retirement until MS messed with my faculties. Your words about Linda are full of light and love and exactly portray the spectacular goddess we have lost. Linda would be, and I am certain is, in her words “blown away” by your portrayal of her. She would probably say that you wrote from your heart, about what you know, and you made Linda come to life for those who did not know her well.
    Linda is my cousin, one year older than me. We shared the same lovely childhood. She guided me through the travails of childhood as she faced them first. We had weekend sleepovers in Akron and Aunt Donna, Linda’s goddess of a mom, taught all of us about patience, love, and having a sense of humor. Linda and I were both the oldest children in our families and as such were expected to set a good example for the younger children. We were extremely close until college when as often happens our lives expanded via geography. I remember trying to keep the bond by visiting her at Mercyhurst College, but it was clear I had lost her to the larger world. I would not be part of her daily, weekly circle as our lives changed and we grew, married, and she moved away.
    Linda trained to be a teacher of young people. She earned a Master’s Degree in Educational Supervision. At some point, she realized her calling as a motivational speaker. From there she grew and grew creatively. All of this I only knew from holiday visits as she was in Florida and I was in New York. A year ago my husband and I moved to Florida to be near my ailing father. I had hoped to renew my childhood connection with Linda and learn from her.
    God had other unfathomable plans. I do not understand how God could need Linda more than we do.
    We lost my father, Howard W. Holmes, Jr., 87, just 24 days before Linda. Again, unfathomable. As I hugged Linda and shared stories about Dad, I never could have imagined this. 62 years old, healthier than anyone I know, more alive than all of us combined, the source of life and love for so many – Why?
    Our family used to be huge, the source of the special birthday and holiday celebrations we shared in childhood. We have lost so many. They may have needed Linda. I’ll go way back: Uncle Gus, Aunt Della, Uncle Karl, Aunt Charlotte, Uncle Bill, Aunt Mary, Grandpa Schrowe, Grandma Lee, Uncle Dick, Aunt Pat, cousin Richie, Uncle Red & Aunt Donna (Linda’s parents), Aunt Marianne & Uncle Howie (my parents), cousin Mark, Aunt Carol, Uncle Stan, Grandma Marie Holmes (my Dad’s mom), and more. All these folks were deeply loved and shared all those holiday and birthday times together in our childhood that Linda and the rest of us remember so fondly.
    All of this I share to connect with your broken heart. I too share the love you felt for Linda and the loss you now feel with her departure from this realm. She is still here though. I feel it. But right now I am unhappy with God’s decision. I don’t know how to accept it. My father was in pain and had lived a long, wonderful life. He needed to be out of pain and God released him. Linda lived a full life, but no one thought she was done. So it is inexplicable.
    Know that you are not alone in how you feel. You, however, have the gift of words to give Linda back to us for a few moments.
    Debbie Heim


    • Deb D
      Aug 17, 2017 @ 16:35:23

      I’m sorry for your great losses. It’s clear that your loved ones are imprinted on your heart. May we all find comfort in our memories of Lovely Linda.


  3. Leslie Smith
    Aug 17, 2017 @ 11:48:18

    This is the most beautiful, perfect tribute to our dear amazing Sacha. You captured her and the feelings of anyone who were blessed enough to have crossed paths with her. Thank for sharing so eloquently what I and I’m sure many others are feeling. She will be missed greatly but forever in our hearts. My life is better for having known her.


    • Deb D
      Aug 17, 2017 @ 13:04:48

      Leslie, I’m glad that this piece resonated with you. Sacha had different relationships to all of us yet she provided a common thread of generosity with her spirit.


  4. Debra Ann West
    Aug 17, 2017 @ 10:12:36

    Beautifully written. Wish i had known her this side of heaven. Many of my friends did but I somehow missed out.


  5. E Palmer
    Aug 17, 2017 @ 05:32:51

    A wonder URL tribute to a dear friend and I’m so sorry for your loss.


  6. Mary Dodge
    Aug 17, 2017 @ 02:42:49

    Deb, I am so sorry for your loss. Your words express your love for this beautiful woman who it sounds touched many lives. No doubt she will be watching over you and will send you numerous messages! Big hugs XOXO


  7. Julie Taylor
    Aug 17, 2017 @ 02:10:09

    She was an amazing soul. She exuded grace and elegance. She loved deeply and spread that love to others. She was especially kind and inspiring to a student and her family at the school where I teach. Linda mentored without any effort at all. She was an Angel on Earth. I am honored to have known her.


    • Deb D
      Aug 17, 2017 @ 02:19:38

      We spoke of that student and I was amazed at the many varied ways that she touched the world with her heart. I’m so happy to hear from so many people who loved her.


  8. Don Brunning
    Aug 17, 2017 @ 02:00:04

    Simply the most wonderful thing to have read. Thank you. You have helped me.


  9. Deb D
    Aug 17, 2017 @ 01:55:44

    I’m glad for you to get a glimpse of her. Thank you for seeing her magnificence.


  10. evelynkrieger
    Aug 17, 2017 @ 01:45:53

    What a beautiful tribute to your friend. We should all strive to be more like Sacha. Spread the light.


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