"And when great souls die, after a period peace blooms, slowly and always irregularly. Spaces fill with a kind of soothing electric vibration. Our senses, restored, never to be the same, whisper to us. They existed. They existed. We can be. Be and be better. For they existed." — Maya Angelou
A good friend lost his wife to cancer recently. I didn’t know Chelsea personally, but I knew her through the pictures she shared and powerful words she wrote. Chelsea reminded me a lot of Naya. Cameras had a way of capturing their joy. They both glowed in pictures, and you could feel their personality through the page and off the screen. Even though we never met, Chelsea left an impact on me, much like the impact Naya left on so many people she never met.
Naya died at 11. Chelsea was 34. While their chapters here were far too short, their lives are far from over.
It’s been almost four years since I’ve heard Naya’s voice (excluding the voicemails or movies I save on my iPhone and listen to often). She still feels very present to me. Naya guides my life. She shows up at just the right time and reminds me to look for the upside in each day, help kids with cancer, laugh, treasure my family and friends, and don’t take life for granted.
To me, viewing life through our physical world seems overly simplistic. I don’t know the answers to life’s biggest questions, but I do deeply believe that Chelsea and Naya continue to live, and their impact will continue to grow through the people they touched, inspired and loved.
Chelsea Berler founded The Foye Belle Foundation. Through its Blue Bag movement, the foundation brings a smile to people battling breast cancer. Learn more at https://foyebelle.org.
Our hearts go out to Chelsea’s family and friends.