Today I learned that Mandi Hudson has passed away. She wrote a wonderful blog called Darn Good Lemonade, and she was an advocate for raising awareness about stage four breast cancer. That women was relentless – she just kept advocating and advocating. But also she kept living and living – traveling, and RVing and being with her husband Mike. Despite all the crazy medical stuff she had to endure, Mandi pushed life right to the end. And I cannot believe she is gone.
Way back when I was first diagnosed, her voice was one of my first discoveries of online support. She was about my age, and determined, and going through much of the same. Our cancers came back around the same time. We would sometimes compare notes, or suggest ways for coping.
What do you do when an online friend dies? How can I sufficiently mourn her? I know there are many, many in the #BCSM community who were made to smile by Mandi. Where do we gather to share our stories and give one another a hug?
You don’t of course. It’s simply a question of sharing a bit of love on Facebook and crying in your room for the loss. Mandi, I believe, would have just pushed harder. She and many other women were not going to take the pain of loss lying down. While I often choose to hide, I know she would have been lining up her next conference or speaking opportunity and raising more awareness.
Well, I’m going to remember Mandi not only as a strong voice, but as a friend. I never got the chance to hug her in real life, but I feel we were there for each other as often as we could be online.
I will miss you Mandi. Keep shining wherever you are now.