The world lost a very special person this morning. Sarah Labelle should be in the prime of her life. Sarah was a beloved mother, daughter, aunt and friend. I met her at an Incurable Cancer retreat outside Montreal last fall. She made a huge impact on me. I wrote the following to be read at a celebration of life Sarah was going to host mid October. October is a very hard month to navigate when you have metastatic breast cancer. The passing of friends, and peers to this unfair disease brings this home. Please remember her, and all her potential and the tragic loss of all those that left this earth way too soon because of this disease. Breast Cancer is not pretty and pink.
Rest in peace dear Sarah, you will be missed.
Your laugh is the first thing I noticed about you Sarah. It was in the fall of last year when I walked into a large room at La Petite Auberge de Jouvence and fond you sitting amongst other people with incurable/advanced cancer. You were beaming and I was surprised. For some reason I expected a room full of young people dealing with advanced cancer to be quiet and somber. But there was that laugh. I remember looking around the room to find the source. There you were playfully teasing Doreen about a new tattoo she had got on her foot. There was a freedom in that laugh. There was colour, mischief, warmth and love in that laugh. Sitting across from you Sarah with your honest laugh, your ability to be strong, honest and vulnerable in the face of this terrible and unfair disease. Your acceptance, openness and warmth towards me, who started the weekend as a complete stranger and left feeling connected and part of community, is a gift that is immeasurable. Connecting with you Sarah, as a woman with metastatic breast cancer, as a mother, and as a friend has changed my life forever. It has empowered my voice, and given me confidence in who I am and in my situation.
The following is a link to a letter written by her daughter Jordan in February of last year: