Without Nicole, a year later.
By Ginger Jarvis
What's on my mind? I'll tell you.
On this day, one year ago, we lost a woman of grace, beauty, compassion and wisdom. It’s when we are faced with extreme adversity, that our true nature shows. In Nicole Marchand, this was a burst of light, a positive perspective and a never-give-up attitude. She didn’t want anyone to feel sorry for her, or carry her burden. She shared only her optimism, her determination, and the most delightful of all, her humour. I remember this day so vividly last year, and thinking forward at how surreal it would be on the same date this year. Here we are.
Since the day she left us, I’ve never stopped thinking about Nicole. Her grace, her giant heart. In the months before her passing, she and I shared long conversations about love, our philosophies on life, as well as her pain and experience with cancer. I cherish my messages from her not only because they are so beautifully and thoughtfully written, but also because they demonstrate her care, her attentiveness and her wisdom. It means the world that she would spend her precious moments crafting words that would reach my soul. I know that Nicole has touched so many of us in a way that has changed us forever. I'll always carry her with me.. she repositioned my mind. Really, she reminded me - quite directly - to have faith in myself.
It took me a little while to stand up after Nicole’s passing. In desperation, I painted all the canvases in my apartment white. I sat still. The world moved around me in slow motion. I forgot to live. I knew I couldn’t keep doing that, though. Nicole had so few days in this world, and even in intense pain, she stood up and lived the shit out of the days she had.
I’d like to share some of Nicole’s thoughts to me, in case it helps any of you - or perhaps just to hear some of her words in your feed again. She’s always supported me, always cheered me on. She just gets life. In the past year, I've embraced myself as she once reminded me I could, at a time when I really needed to hear it.
Nicole's advice on my life crisis:
On the subject of being 30 (heartbreakingly young to lose Nicole):
Some perfect wisdom on life and happiness:
When I asked her how she felt when she looked at the intimate portraits she had taken shortly before her passing:
There were other conversations about the pain and struggle as well, but Nicole wouldn’t want those messages shared. It has taught me that even when things are dire, we are clouded by sadness or pain - we are fortunate to be here. There is so much in this world to be grateful for, and we should live each day we have for the beauty that it holds. Breathe in and feel the air. Appreciate normalcy. Enjoy the little things. Take risks and try what scares us. We only have one life, and we don’t know how long it will be. Love the people around you. Listen. Create things. Live passionately, wherever you are.
Thinking of you, Lesley and Derek. Sending love and warmth to you both.
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