Letting go, saying goodbye | Editorial

The human spirit yearns to forgo the inevitable: the closing of books, the shutting of doors and that bitter dying of the light. Eternal darkness or even the afterlife can fill us with dread, so when one individual steps up and lights an orange torch in a landscape of black, we, too, take heart.

Ninety-year-old Norma Bauerschmidt’s story of refusing chemotherapy and instead taking a trip with her family across the country is a reminder that we all have the courage to burn brightly.

Read more about her incredible story on page 1 of this edition.

Norma was able to transcend fear and make her final moments on this planet filled with laughter and joy. One only has to click through her photos on Facebook to see what an inspired being she was. Her face beams brightly as she sits in fields of lavender and as she cruises down Cattle Point Road in a little red car with her poodle by her side. She clasps the arms of her loved one, she drinks a beer, she crinkles her eyes and smiles. The gift that she has given all her 493,266 followers is her resilience, her lack of fear and her hearty embrace of this life.

One follower summed up Norma’s Internet posts best when they wrote, “Thank you again for letting us travel with you.”

It was a trip to the very height of the human spirit to the high skylines of love and then back again to the ground to the toughness of the earth’s crust to the place where we must all say goodbye. But if we are going to go, if we must leave this world, then I hope we can all be like Norma.

She passed away with a legacy that illuminates the very core of the human experience – love and loss and the magic alchemy of those two very different, yet very similar, emotions.