Michelle, One of my Teachers

My sweet, sweet, dearest, close friend Michelle passed away on December 3 after a long battle with breast cancer.


When Michelle got cancer, I cheered her on, encouraged, and supported her and her young daughter Zoey. When I got sober, Michelle was encouraging me, cheering me on and loving me through year by year.

We had long conversations about her disease of cancer, my disease of addiction, our recovery plans and support systems. We loved to share a meal, tea and cookies.

Some people stay with us longer than others and Michelle is one of those people. In her passing, I'm learning to be vulnerable, to just be with my emotions and let them flow.

I'm not stuffing my sadness, my memories or my tears.


Last week during my coaching session, I was asked to think about what I've learned about myself during Michelle's journey.

~ I am 'Olin' – it's not a conscious choice – I just am.

~ Acceptance is the biggest gift.

~ Judgement is immature.

~ Forgiveness and Trust is not the same thing. Trust needs to be earned back through behavior change.

~ Pay attention to strengths and qualities.

~ We all believe in something more powerful then ourselves.

~ Most of all, I learned that Love and Time is the most important thing, nurture it. Hold it gently and treat it like a precious stone.


Today I see how Michelle used her illness as a catalyst to change.


Losing someone you love is difficult, I'm looking at this time as a lesson, what can I learn, how can I share what I learned, and who will it serve?

I'm 'being' with what comes up, hanging with my supporters and trying not to eat sugar! (Michelle taught me how to eat clean, how to bake without 'white' and still enjoy a little something sweet. She'd be so proud of me. J)