I have no idea if I should be posting this. I have no idea if it’s for you or for me (…it’s for me). I don’t have an objective here or a lesson I’m learning. It’s not even really about choosing butterflies. But it’s late and I’m sad and I’m processing. So here it goes.
That’s what I heard when I came around the corner, after being pulled out of a meeting. Those are the words that will always remind me of that day, that moment.
Sejal was gone.
This isn’t how it was supposed to go.
Her husband still needs her. Her incredible kids still need her. Her parents still need her. We, her friends, still need her. We’re not done with her.
But cancer doesn’t care.
Sejal was special. I think that gets said a lot when someone dies, but with Sejal, it’s different. It’s not just a cliché or a phrase we use because we don’t know what else to say.
Sejal was special.
Sejal was introspective. She thought a lot and she thought deeply. She read and processed and shared what she was reading and processing. She loved deep conversations. Her and I had different views on a lot of what we both read and processed, with just enough overlap to have a starting place. Generally I’d shy away from deep conversations with someone who viewed the world as differently as her and I did, but never with Sejal. Sejal wanted to hear what I thought just as much as she wanted to share what she thought. We never debated (shocking if you knew us both…and by that, I mean not shocking at all), we listened and respected each other’s views and backgrounds, and always managed to find a common ground and a deeper appreciation for each other.
Sejal was professional and respectful. Except for the one time that she wasn’t after she was diagnosed and really didn’t care anymore. Maybe this makes me a horrible person, but that made me love her even more.
Sejal was an All-Star Mom. I know all moms are all-stars, but Sejal was an All-Star. Her kids are driven, kind, respectful, funny, thoughtful, creative and resilient. At one of our visits, they stayed in the room with the adults for hours, showing us artwork from school, playing musical instruments they were learning, telling us story after story after story. Sejal sat quietly and watched. Sometimes encouraging them to share more, sometimes encouraging them to leave so she could have girlfriend time. More than anything, my heart breaks that cancer has taken her away from them.
Sejal worked hard. She was driven and did her work well. She was instrumental in a giant, multi-year project, and was sad when she realized she wouldn’t see the project through – mostly because Sejal finishes what she starts. I’m so sad she’s not going to be here to see the fruit of her hard work.
Sejal loved beauty. She loved the beauty in nature, especially. She loved clouds – her Instagram feed is pretty much just pictures of family and clouds. I learned after she was diagnosed that she painted. She made beautiful artwork. She loved creativity and was a big reason why I finally read Big Magic, which changed everything for me.
Sejal was brave. Mostly because she wanted to be, and in the last seven months because she needed to be. She read this blog whenever I posted something, and would make a point to chat about what I wrote and what she thought. We talked a lot about choosing butterflies and doing brave things.
Sejal was passionate, strong in her convictions, she was always working on herself, to be the best version of Sejal for her family.
I really could go on. And I’m sure there are people reading this that would have so much to add, and please do. Because Sejal was so many things, and it’s good to talk about those things.
It’s so weird to me that just days ago, Sejal was “is” not “was”. Just days ago, I’d say “Sejal is special. She is introspective and is professional and is an All-Star Mom”. And now it’s was. I hate that.
I’m not sure how to wrap this up. I’m not sure what else to say. When I took the class that started this blog, we were supposed to always have a take away for the reader. I have nothing. Maybe in a few weeks or months, but not today. Today I’m just sad.