For Anna Banana – Lizzie

Sweet Sweet Anna, It’s been a week. Soon it will be a month. Time heals but leaves scars. Your purity has reminded all of us of how to live. You embodied the phrase you often wore around your wrist: Pura Vida.

This letter is for me to put words to the paralysis I have been feeling. You were not mine, but Ours. Every life you touched is now shining with your light. I want to honor you more than anything – to let the light shine even in the darkest of places. The memories I have with you are endless, they are timeless, they are Ours. Anna you taught me about the strength that comes with genuineness. You saw people for who they were, and you recognized their strengths and their shine. I admire you, Anna. I respect you, Anna. I look up to you, Anna. A month before your passing, you reached out to me. The exact day, a month before. We reminisced, we laughed, time moved on. I know you’re here. I can feel your Spirit, and I swear I see you in the most random places. Energy is never created nor destroyed, only transferred. You’re still here. You’ll be found in the times you want to be seen. When you want to remind us to live Pura Vida. To remember our adventures. To laugh, and to cry. I will see your light in the darkest of places. I will strive to rise indeed, because of you. I will laugh, I will dance, I will weep, I will live, because I can find you in all of these places, in all of these emotions. I am so proud of your accomplishments, of your hard work, and of your vida. I will strive to emulate your determination in my studies, in my decisions, and in my fun. I’m sure, as time ticks on, I will see this differently, through a different lens based on different co-factors and life stages. But I will keep my eyes open. I will not stray away from the paralysis that will haunt me. I will be brave, because you were brave.

You taught me so many lessons, that I am now uncovering and will continue to unravel. Your light will shine in the times that we are stumbling through the dark. It will remind us to strive to rise indeed. Never did I think I would be the spiritual type, but Anna, within the last two years, I have felt so connected to this side. Death does not divide us, it challenges us to seek out truth in that that often cannot be seen. I know I will see you when you want to be seen, and that I cannot be selfish and demand to see you. I cannot be selfish. You were never selfish.

And so, I will keep my eyes open. I will look for you under every rock, in every corner. I will look where I usually don’t. You will be there always. I just have to look. I will see you in the things you loved, in the things we shared, in the moments I wasn’t looking for you.

I will see you in the times that I reminisce, in the times that we cry, in the times that we remember you. You will grow up with us, you will grow old with us, but your spirit will keep us youthful – it will remind us that we only grow old when we stop learning and doing.

You will challenge us to keep our eyes open, to live Pura Vida, pon las manos en el aire y dejar ir.

Elizabeth Riggall “Lizzie” Via Email

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