Death is nothing new to me.
Both of my parents died young, I’ve experienced the loss of friends and other family members, and I held my mother’s hand as she passed into the afterlife. As a journalist, I’ve covered more funerals and death-related tragedies than I care to count.
So, when I was assigned a story today about a Minnesota Catholic journalist who lost her 16-month battle with cancer at the age of 40, I didn’t flinch.
Then I read Emilie Lemmons’ column — “Notes from a New Mom” about how she was dealing with her grim prognosis — in the Dec. 17 issue of The Catholic Spirit, newspaper of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, and I found myself more inspired than sad.
The column was moving, spiritual, and forced me to examine my own mortality. I highly recommend giving it a read.
It turned out to be the last column Lemmons would write for the paper. She died Christmas Eve, leaving behind a husband, two small sons, parents, siblings and friends. The number of comments on her blog, Lemmondrops, reacting to her husband’s announcement of her death (280 at last count) would suggest that she has continued to inspire others.