Shine On

I was fortunate in that I had the capacity and the opportunity to attend law school. I was even more fortunate that I attended law school in Montana with an amazing group of peers and professors. Our graduating class had around 70 people in it. There wasn’t a single person I saw in the halls that I didn’t like, or whom I wouldn’t have gone to grab drinks with or lended a hand to. We were trench buddies. All of us. We were this big (stressed out, but happy) dysfunctional family. It was kind of awesome.

For certain, law school introduced me to some of my best friends. These are people I love. I have attended their weddings, held their newborn children, cheered them on in achieving their dreams. When I got sick, they were there. And just like the love I shared with them, they fell in on me showering support and kindness when I needed it most.

These are the kind of people I had the distinct privilege of spending three years of my life with. These are good people. 

Today, we lost one of the best.

Danielle was quite possibly one of the kindest and most joyful people I have known. She had this cool confidence about her that wasn’t at all boastful. She was absolutely magnetic and immediately endearing. She was also breathtakingly beautiful. Somehow, she was this incredible amalgam of intelligent, kind, capable and still totally approachable and down to earth. It’s hard to describe all the ways she pulled off this shiny charisma, but she did it without even trying. It’s just who she was- sweet, smart, and sincere. You couldn’t not like her. There was just no room for that if you spent more than three seconds around her.

Knowing what a lovely person Danielle was makes her passing that much more difficult. Tonight, cancer took her away from us. Tonight, the world lost one of the good ones.

I don’t understand any of this. It feels like absolute bullshit when the good die so young. Cancer is one of those things that can drive you crazy if you let it. But I am certain of one thing: cancer may have stolen her life but it cannot take her light. 

Danielle was one of those people who just lit up a room. It didn’t matter what kind of person you were, she was going to be the beautiful person she was, regardless. That is someone who lived with intention. That was someone you never forget.

Tonight, I’m remembering Danielle fondly. Tonight, I’m committing the best parts of her (and there are oh so many) to memory. I’m pulling them up and holding them at the top of my mind and in the deepest parts of my heart as an example of what I can still be in this life. Tonight, Danielle is reminding me to live, to continue to grow, to press forward into the light. Thank you for that beautiful parting gift, my friend. God speed.

A quote selected by Danielle.

Give ‘Em Hell

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Deirdre Morrissey-Berru says:

    Thank you for a beautiful tribute to Danielle, a beautiful person, inside and out. Deirdre and Chris Berru


    1. She absolutely was. Thank you for the note.


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