I received a message this morning. Now, I’m crying. These messages have come steadily over the last 5 years. They always shock me when I read them. I don’t always share them. I’m sharing this one minus the personal message to me.

She wrote:

Hello Laura,

We have never met, but I want you to know your daughter taught me the “proper” way to eat chocolate. Hannah and I were not amazing close friends. I met her one afternoon when Alexa Jorgenson invited me to go to lunch with Lindsey Albertson and Hannah. We met as I jumped in the car to drive to a café in Ogden.
I’ll never forget meeting her. Her makeup was done because they were coming from a dress rehearsal in the play. She had white eyeshadow that surrounded her beautiful eyes with sparkles and made them pop. She was so friendly and fun; we were instant friends. I know this is nothing new. Hannah is friends with EVERYONE she meets.

While we were at lunch, we stopped at Queen Bee (the shop on 25th street) and looked around the store. We were given samples of chocolate and before I munched mine down, Hannah stopped me and said, “have you ever learned the proper way to eat chocolate.” She told me some story that I don’t remember about a lady who made chocolate and told her how to eat it. I had never known there was a proper way to eat anything, so I was intrigued. Hannah then said, “you chew it in the front of your mouth, and then allow it to sit at the back of your tongue.”
As I did so I truly ENJOYED the chocolate more than I ever had before in my life. Every time I eat chocolate now, I still think back to Hannah. She is a beautiful angel and I want you to know how much she blessed my life. I know I only knew her briefly. I’m grateful for the blessings of eternity, and I hope to continue to be friends with her in the future.

I am sending you this story, because I have meant to write to you for a long time and let you know how much I appreciate all your family was willing to go through.

Much Love from one of Hannah’s MANY friends.

-Kiera

Every time someone shares their story, their special moment when Hannah impacted their life, I’m overwhelmed with emotions. I miss her. I’m grateful for the memories of others. I’m struck by how little I knew of her world outside of our home. I’m sad I didn’t know more of that Hannah. I’m grateful it existed. I’m sad she didn’t see how much other’s valued her. Her vision was blurred.

Byron Katie says we rarely hear what people say. Rather, we hear what we think people are saying. In Hannah’s case this was true. She was loved but believed otherwise. She believed there was no value in her living. That wasn’t true.

Regardless of what you may think others think and believe about you, it matter’s what YOU think about you!

We can all be a little kinder to each other and to ourselves. The crazy thing is that it’s so much easier to be kind to other’s when we’re kinder to ourselves. Do you want to change the world? Do you want to help prevent suicide? It ALL starts with me. It all starts with you. There is no other way.

As Ghandi so aptly stated, “Be the change you want to see in the world.”

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