At her funeral, Shannon's brother Tom read a beautiful eulogy written by her Mother. This
poingnant rememberance of Shannon reminds us all to live life to the fullest; live life a little more
like Shannon did.
A mother never plans to write her child’s eulogy… even a fleeting thought of losing a child is just too painful to bear and yet, here I am doing just that and trying to find the words that are in my heart.
Shannon was special from the start. She never did things the usual conventional way. She was reading at 3 and when all the other girls were being mommy’s when playing house, she insisted on being a dog or a table. She could never quite understand why others did not share her same passions. Whether it was camping in the middle of the woods or snowboarding in the Rocky Mountains..she just expected you to share her passion. And she did everything with a passion. She had energy about her and a special knack of bringing people together from all corners of her life… high school buddies, college roomies, friends and family. We called her the Pied Piper and when she came home, the house was filled with her energy and she lit up the room with her beautiful smile.
She hated to lose and was competitive by nature. She worked hard and wanted to be the very best in everything she did. As she matured she became more accepting of things in general but had no tolerance for bigotry and prejudice. She cared nothing for the material things in life and treasured her family and friends above all else.
Shannon was more than just a daughter... she was my soul mate. She knew what I was feeling without words.. I use to say I lived my life vicariously through her. She lived more in her 28 years than many people do in a lifetime and I loved to hear about her adventures.
She was a very strong person in many ways. Although she too grieved the loss of my mother, she was my strength and helped me through those difficult days. She had a deep sense of faith and although attended church regularly, she truly felt connected to God when she was immersed in nature. She loved to hike, fish, horseback ride, and camp and of course snowboard. Shannon’s idea of a perfect day was to be at the top of a snow covered mountain with the sun shining down on her snowboard… and that was how she spent the last day of her life.
Shannon was determined and once her mind was set, there was little you could do to discourage her. It is funny to think that she felt she had to make a real contribution to the world with her life. She had no idea how she already had done that.
Perhaps what everyone will remember most about Shannon was her quick wit. She loved to poke fun at just about everything and everyone. Her sense of humor was contagious. Even if you were initially offended or annoyed, it wouldn’t be long before you were laughing along with her. It was impossible to stay mad at her for very long.
Although an extremely independent woman, her love of her family was the most important aspect of her life. She never missed an important event or holiday no matter where she was. She was a firm believer in family traditions and we can all remember searching for the Great Pumpkin and freezing to death looking for that elusive perfect Christmas tree. But Shannon seemed to be always searching for something. She had a restless energy that pulled her from place to place .. From Colorado to Virginia to New Hampshire and Maine and yet had still not found what she was looking for. She had settled in as a high school physics teacher in New Hampshire but again was ready to move on - but this time she was coming home. I believe she was entering the next phase of her life and yearned to find a special someone in her life and have children of her own some day. She teased us that we had a Grand Dog and that was Chauncey whom she loved with that same passion and intensity she brought to everyone and everything.
We used to say that my mom was waiting for us on a bench in heaven… and I now know there are 2 people sitting on that bench... one sitting patiently and one somewhat restless… busy planning her next adventure and anxious to see all the sights she has never seen. She will wait there for all of us to arrive and when you do, be prepared for Shannon to take you on the greatest journey of all.