February 24th, 2016 would have been Mélanie’s 40th birthday. Today – like every day – I am feeling her absence and her presence in my life at the same time. The pain of losing her and the joy of loving her are together in every thought.
I am reaching out to share with all of you some things you’ve heard from me before…and something new.
How grateful I am that Mélanie chose me. I think through the beginning of our journey together…those first few hours, those first few days…and I wonder when it happened. I wonder when she decided that we were going to be…well, WE. It’s the most important moment of my life, and I don’t even know when it was. There’s a beauty in that…and I am forever grateful.
How important it is to remember that Mélanie refused to be defined by the cancer that was taking her life. Mélanie wanted her friends and family to remember her not for the way she left us – too young, and too soon – but for the way she shared with us her passion to squeeze the most out of her life. Every day, I think back to three weeks before Mélanie passed, when she held the koala in that picture you have all seen before, and then said to me “I need you to know how happy I am right now…in this moment.” That was a gift she gave to me…and she knew it would remain with me forever.
How we honour Mélanie not in our mourning, but in how we carry on in her way. Since the first days after Mélanie’s passing, a group of her friends and family have been working on a vision – a way to share Mélanie’s inspirational spirit beyond those who have already been touched by her.
To bring that vision to life, we are starting Mélanie’s Way, an initiative dedicated to serving young women with metastatic or relapsed cancer. We will help women to follow Mélanie’s Way by ‘granting wishes’ - creating unique, personalized, and joyful experiences for them to share with their loved ones.
Mélanie’s Way is our way of focusing beyond our loss, and sharing Mélanie’s spirit with as many people as possible. Today, we invite you to help us to take our first steps by making a donation of $100 to help us to grant our first wish before August 8, 2016 - the first anniversary of Mélanie’s passing.
Thank you for considering this request. To donate to Melanie’s Way, please go to www.melaniesway.com.
- Rob Chalmers