Dear Mountain Mama,
 
My heart feels broken, so heavy with loss I feel by the loss of my friend and paddling partner. She was taken from the world too soon. I miss her and feel sad not only for me, but for all of her friends and family. The kayak community lost one of their best this past week.
 
Can you help me find the light in this time of darkness?
 
Yours,
Broken 

Dear Broken,

Of course you feel broken. Shannon Christy graced everyone she met with her signature smile, and with her warmth and generosity. She shared her love for life with everyone she met, on and off the river.

I was lucky enough to paddle with Shannon a couple years ago when I was pregnant. She made me feel like a superstar for being pregnant and paddling. A year later, when I introduced my baby to Shannon at the put-in of a local run, she greeted him as if she was a long-awaited nephew. My baby boy couldn’t help but return her smile.

In her brief time on this planet, Shannon lived with a pure and happy heart. We all loved her and feel the darkness of her death. So young. So beautiful. So talented. And when we feel loss, we can feel broken and sad.

Broken, let yourself grief. But don’t stay broken. Let Shannon’s light shine through you, let her zest for life play out in your own life, and embrace challenges with her same sense of optimism. When you put-on the next river, look for the river mermaid smiling at you. And when you take your next boof stroke, let yourself smile and think of our friend.

Paddle toward the light!

Mountain Mamaa