Friday, December 05, 2008

I will miss you, Beek.

Last night, December 4th, 2008, at 11:35pm, Erica Jean Murray passed away. It was a calm and peaceful moment... she simply took a few deep breaths and fell asleep. We held her hands, stroked her face, whispered our love and hope for her to find peace...

The last week has been a beautiful and natural progression of tears and laughter, memories and hope... I am confident that her spirit will never leave us.

There is one moment in particular I would like to share... Yesterday afternoon, we were able to wheel Erica's entire bed outside into the garden to enjoy the sun and perfect California weather. We sat with her for nearly two hours and I'm certain she enjoyed this.

The funeral will be held Tuesday, Dec. 9th at 10:00am at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church (400 Fullton Street, Redwood City, CA). After the service, we will have a Celebration of Life at our dear friends' home, The Wang's (214 Olive Hill Lane, Woodside, CA). The Celebration will follow after the church service until 4pm. Due to the number of people who love Erica, we are prepared to accommodate everyone with valet services at the Wang's home. Additionally, we ask that in lieu of flowers, please make a donation in Erica's name to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Personally, my heart hurts. I am grateful for her release of pain, but so selfishly want her near me, to grow old with me, and fulfill all the dreams we had together. I acknowledge that I may never fully heal from this experience--and that's ok. I don't want to forget this raw ache because I believe it will be my guide to live a life she would be proud of... I will miss her smile, her kisses, and her unwavering support... oh, the list of things I will miss can go on forever... my soulmate...

The last three years has shown me what it is to feel truly thankful. I am thankful for time with Erica to tell her daily that I love her... I am forever grateful to the support team that has built up around me and my family. Words don't begin to scratch the surface of my gratitude and I know that I will try my hardest to repay these kindnesses.

I hope you all can find a sense of peace too....

147 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dear, dear Erica. May you rest in peace. My deepest condolences to Jaci, Judy, and all Erica's family and friends.
-Hallie

Anonymous said...

Jaci,
So sorry to bother you, but you did not mention what day the funeral will be held. Could you post it so you won't be innundated with calls.

My heart goes out to you, your mom and all of Erica's huge circle of friends. She was and still is an angel, just watching down on us now!
Carol

June said...

God bless and hug you tight.

June and George

Saba said...

Dearest Erica,

We will always remember your strength, your courage, and your smile. We will miss you. You are an inspiration to us all!

Anonymous said...

My heart hurts. Even though I did not know Erica personally, I feel the loss of her on this earth. I spent some time this week re-reading portions of her blog over the years, which actually made me feel inspired, invigorated, and moved all over again, in spite of my sadness. She has impacted my life in such a positive way, just as I'm sure she has many others. And she will continue to do so, even though she's no longer with us. I thank Erica and her family and friends for sharing your journey and changing so many lives (including mine) for the better. My thoughts and prayers are with you in this very challenging time.
Neha

Anonymous said...

Judy and Jaci,
Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time. Erica will be greatly missed!
-Kellie and James

P. said...

I didn't personally know Erica except through her blog, but my sense of loss is great. I will miss her! She left her mark on this world and touched so many lives. Thank you Judy and Jaci for sharing her with us. Blessings and peace to you all.

Amy said...

Jaci and Judy: I cannot imagine the pain and loneliness that you must be feeling right now. Know that Erica touched so many people who now carry a piece of her spirit with them. We all share that with you now and always.
Peace and love,
Amy

Anonymous said...

Jaci, sweetie, I was so sorry to hear these news. I'm so so sad, but at the same time I cannot stop remembering Erica's bright smile and how cheerful she always was. I will never forget her, or her friendship, or how she was and continues to be an inspiration. Not even her sandwiches will I be able to forget, for God's sake.

She was such an amazing human being, there aren't enough words to describe her... Oh! everyone who reads this blog can tell.

I wish I were there with you, but I can't, so I will be thinking of you, her, your mom, Josh and all your family and friends during this time...

All my love, and may God bring you peace,

Giselle

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Erica, for reminding us all that the way that you live your life every day is a choice. You chose to live yours with passion, love, laughter, courage, and an unending quest for knowledge and adventure. The connections that you have made with people around the world are so apparenent here in this blog. I hope they help all of your friends and family find their way to a sense of peace in this difficult time. I know that they have helped me immensely. You will be dearly missed. Much love, Lisa

raquel said...

Jaci,

I didn't know Erica personally, but reading everyone's posts it is easy to see what an amazing person she was and so clearly touched the lives of so many people. It must run in the family! This blog was beautiful and a wonderful tribute, thank you for letting us share this journey with you.

My thoughts are with you and your family.

All my love,
Raquel

Kim said...

I am truly sorry to hear about Erica's passing, she was a true inspiration. She fought a huge battle, she did it with dignity, love, and inspiration and so many more things. She will always be with you - in your heart, I know that can not replace her earthly being with you, but her love will always be with you.

I have come across your blog recently, and although I do not know you or her personally, I will miss her, my heart sunk when I read your post, I been thinking of your family and checking the blog frequently.

Many prayers for you and your family - as my Grandfather always said to me, and now I say to everyone "Keep the Faith", it will carry you through.

Katy said...

Rest in peace, Erica. We will all miss you. Tears are being shed around the world right now.

-Katy

namowal said...

I'm truly sorry to hear she's gone. She was a remarkable woman (and had a remarkable set of friends and family). I've followed her story for a long time and will remember her every day for the rest of my life.

Please take care of yourselves.

Anonymous said...

"What we have once enjoyed we can never lose. All that we love deeply becomes a part of us."
- Helen Keller

I am so sorry to hear of Erica's passing. She was a true inspiration to everyone who met her, and the world is a better place for having her in it. Few people accomplish as much in their lives as Erica did, and I know the ripples of her actions will continue on.

I grieve for your loss but know Erica will always be with you in memories.

- An Oxy Alumna

krista said...

Erica, you will remain one of the kindest souls I have been blessed to know. My condolences to Erica's family and friends.

christina said...

i must admit that i didn't know erica super well in college - but her story touched us all and her loss is felt deeply. today is a very sad day for me. my thoughts and prayers go out to her family and friends. she will be missed.

Sue said...

Such a loss...may you all find strength & comfort in the beautiful memories you hold of dear Erica. And, may we all put time & energy into fundraising for a cure. I know Eric will be carrying a piece of Erica in his heart when he runs the Desert Triathlon for TNT in March. Love and God Bless...Sue, Eric & family

Anonymous said...

To Erica's dear family and friends,
May beautiful memories light your way through this sad time-
Our memory is of Erica-so sweet and caring-playing cribbage with us.
You are in our thoughts and prayers,
Rita and Jim (Josh's grandparents)

Anonymous said...

My very deepest condolences to Jaci, Judy and all of the family and friends of Erica. As much as I -- selfishly -- will miss Erica's joy and brilliance through her writing, I pray now that she is an even greater force for all of us. Her impact on this world will never be forgotten. I know "I" will always remember her and I hope that brings you all peace that her spirit is with us forever. Thank you for sharing her with us. And I wish you all the peace Erica wished for us all.

Another Life Erica Touched,
Wendy

Anonymous said...

My deepest condolences to Erica's family and close friends. I lost my mother in law to AML almost three years ago (12/21/05). I wasn't with her at the time of her passing, but my husband was. She too passed taking a few deep breaths in her sleep. May Erica's memories live on in our lives forever.

-Pim

Anonymous said...

Dear Jaci and Judy,

All my deepest condolences to you and your family for this great loss. I will always remember Erica's beautiful smile and be grateful for her courageous fight...it has taught me so much. May she rest in peace and may you always carry with you the spirit she endeared to all of us.

Many blessings,
Stacie Quintanilla Miller
Oxy '01 '04

Anonymous said...

God bless and rest in peace.

wxz

** SAVE MICHELLE ** said...

As I sit here in my hospital bed in Seattle, I am filled with great sadness. When I relapsed, one of my first thoughts was that I would be on the same transplant floor at Stanford with Erica. Then i hoped that there was enough time for her to come to Fred Hutchinson. In my heart I always believed Erica and I would get the chance to meet in person. I have always looked to her as my mentor and inspiration.

My deepest condolences to you family. I am so sorry for your loss. Erica will be greatly missed.

Samina said...

My darling Jaci,

You and Erica have both been my heroes for the past three years.

I do now know how you find the words, the courage, and the peace to write the way you do. You echo the unarticulated thoughts in my head:

"I don't want to forget this raw ache because I believe it will be my guide to live a life she would be proud of... "

You have both already been my guides, and I will continue to follow your example as I walk my own path.

Thank you for seeding this community with that first brainwave you had in Feb06 to create a blog and document the journey. You started something that snowballed into something beautiful and therapeutic not just for yourselves, but for so many you have never met.

So to you, I say what I also wrote here for Erica:

Thank you for making my life better.

To Judy, the biggest bear hug imaginable.

For Erica's friends and family, you have always and continue to amaze me. I love you all very much. I will be Celebrating the Life with you from afar.

Om shanti shanti shantihi,
samina

Anonymous said...

So many memories from when we hung out in high school...I will always remember playing tennis at Sunrise Hills, Super Nintendo sessions and most of all your beautiful spirit...may God's calm be upon you and your family during this time...eternal love

~ the Trujillo's

Anonymous said...

Isabel Allende wrote about her daughter Paula and although I didn't know Erica, I am sorry for her loss and believe these words could have easily been written for her,

"Her mission in this world was to unite all those who passed though her life, and that night we all felt sheltered beneath her starry wings, immersed in that pure silence where perhaps angels reign."

In sympathy, CML

Anonymous said...

Dearest Judy and Jaci....
Our prayers are with you at this time of such great sadness. Erica was a ray of sunshine in this sometimes harsh world. What a beautiful legacy she leaves with you. The Community here at St. Louis de Montfort are praying for you as are all the faculty and students at St. Joseph High School. Our family knows your pain and will always keep you in our prayers. Love, Kiki & John Domingues

Joe.Karen said...

My heart hurts with yours. {{{hugs}}} for you. Wish that made it all better.

Love,
Karen

Anonymous said...

Two prayers for Erica-

When we are young, O Lord, we believe ourselves to be immortal and that life is ours to command. And ye, our presence here today reminds us that this is only an illusion. We pray, therefore, for all young people. Help them to fully realize what a precious and fragile gift life is, so that they may never jeopardize it carelessly, but that they may use it wisely and generously in love and service for others. We ray also, for parents. Grant that they may never miss, nor foolishly squander an opportunity to express their love and pride in their children. And grant us all, we pray O Lord, the precious gift of time to mature and grow older together in your protection and undying love.

O God of grace and glory, we remember our sister Erica. We than you for giving her to us, her family and friends, to know and to love as a companion on our earthly pilgrimage. In your boundless compassion, console us who mourn. Give us faith to so that in quiet confidence we may continue our course on earth, until, by your call, we are reunited with Erica and all who have gone before.

+Amen.

Clif said...

Jaci, I'll see you, your mom, and everyone else on Tuesday.

All my best.

Anonymous said...

Dear Erica,

Thank you for touching our lives in such a profound way.
May you rest in peace.

Omar

Rach said...

I am so sorry for your loss and for that of all the people who loved her. I can not imagine what you must be going through. I hope you find some peace and comfort at this time.

Kent said...

Judy and Jaci, there are no words for times like these. Know that you all are in our hearts and thoughts. You are all loved.

Kent & Joyce

Caroline said...

My sincerest sympathies to all of Erica's dear loved ones. I know you are heartbroken, yet happy for her release.

May she rest in peace, and may you be bouyed by her love for you as she was by your love for her.

Erica touched so many lives, far more than anyone can calculate. For one so young, she has left a legacy larger than most three times her age. What a wonderful gift you all and Erica have given with the world, letting us in to share in your joys, sorrows, struggles, triumphs, hopes and loss. Thank you.

Be secure in the knowldege that God's newest angel is watching over you.

~ With love and prayers, a cousin of an Oxy alum and friend

Anonymous said...

I am very touched by Erica's journey. My prayers are with your family during this time. May peace be with you all.
All my love,
Erica Jean Wyner
Oxy '04

Van said...

Rest in peace Erica.

Van

Anonymous said...

i only knew you through this blog, but my heart breaks... rest in peace.

Anonymous said...

Goodbye Erica. You will always, always be missed.

Kim F. Oxy '02 said...

I know of her at Oxy since we had the same friends but I've followed her story and my heart is broken for all of her friends and family. My thoughts are with you.

Anonymous said...

I have only come upon this blog in the last few days through a link on facebook. In the short time since I became aware of her existence, I have been deeply affected by Erica Murray.

I am so sorry that Erica's physical presence has been extinguished so prematurely. She was such a light in this world. I have no doubt in my mind or heart that her soul is within the peaceful and painless presence of a higher power. I have faith that she has moved on to a better place.

To those who were lucky enough to know her personally, and in particular Jaci, Judy and Josh -- I am so sorry for your loss. I know that there are not words sufficient to comfort. You are in my thoughts and prayers. I wish you peace.

Anonymous said...

Dear Erica and Jaci,

Last year in January you visit me in Perugia for 2 days during your trip to Italy.
We had a lovely time together and I treasure the opportunity I had to know Erica better.
I will never forget your smile and enthusiasm Erica.
Be strong Jaci, I know you lost the most precious friend you had.
I am praying for all of you,
love

Sara

Drew said...

Jaci, I'm a friend of Erica's from Fletcher, though I've never met you. I just want to thank you for providing all of us with this vital link through such a difficult time. I think I have a sense of what you mean when you say that you have learned what it means to be truly thankful - thank you for connecting us to Erica, you're both extraordinary.

Anonymous said...

Jaci,
Thank you for being so generous as to share your thoughts about Erica with all the people who have been following her through this blog. I have a sister as well-- there is a different bond than you have with other people. Love to your mom and you and all those close to Erica, especially in the coming days.
- Tufts student

Anonymous said...

She was a gift, her entire life was a gift and you all managed to make even these past three years in a gift, a shining light for all of us, near and far.

Jaci I am so sorry and and sad at the same time almost embarrassed by your courage and the example you and Erica's family and close ones are setting from all of us following from a distance, those of us who've met you and Erica and those who have not... but feel like they have because of this virtual space.

There will be many more, like you, Celebrating Life for Erica from afar. I will be one of them.

Peace and hugs

Sara

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry for your (everyone's) loss. My memories of Erica are of an exuberant young woman with boundless energy to face whatever task was put before her.
Thank you for sharing her with us.
An Oxy alumna

Anonymous said...

Jaci,
Thank you for choosing to share your life and Erica's with us. My last paper in my sprituality class was about and dedicated to Erica. She brought out the creativity in me through her beautifuly written words. I couldn't end the semester without writing something about her, and I truely feel that the love she created on this site was spiritual.
I hope to make it next week,and if anyone is coming from Sacramento please call me and I would love to carpool. (916)833-1924 These past few years of reading about Erica and coresponding through snail mail and email with her was life changing. Thank you Jaci for sharing your sister with us. She was so blessed to have a sister like you. Soulmates for sure!

I can't help but read her past blogs over and over. She will be an inspiration for a lifetime.

Anonymous said...

Loving thoughts to Jaci and Judy - you pain is unimaginable. A comunity (local, international) connected by heartstrings and computer wires, stands around you, encircling you in love and comfort. Can you feel us? We love you, and we loved your Erica.

Respectfully, Hope

Anonymous said...

judy...jaci...jamie...marie...anna...john.

sad, hurt, frustrated, miss erica.

love,
uma

Anonymous said...

Jaci,
I am so terribly sorry for your loss. Erica's life brought inspiration and happiness to so many. Her spirit will live on and her friendship and sweetness will remain in the hearts of all who knew her. I hope knowing that will bring you and your mother some comfort and solace at this very difficult time. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

Sincerely,
Anne Hager, Occidental '00

"If I can ease one life the aching, or cool one pain, or help one fainting robin into his nest again, I shall not live in vain..."- Emily Dickinson

Anonymous said...

Murray Family,

I am so sorry for your loss. Erica was a beautiful soul, a talented and passionate woman whose light shone brightly, but is gone all too soon. Her courage and humor in the face of unthinkable circumstances moved me more than I can express.
I plan in the near future to register for a marrow registry.

You are in my prayers.
-fellow Oxy alum

artineh said...

Dear Jaci,
I want you to know that when I met Erica in my very first class at Oxy, we connected because of you. We connected because she had a sister and I had two. We connected because we had the most wonderful gift in life in common. Since then, our conversations were never void of talk about you and my two sisters. I am certain that she will never be far from you. Soulmates never are.

Goodbye Erica. I will miss you so very much.

Nancy said...

To Erica's family & friends,
Erica was lucky to be surrounded by so many loving and caring people. Our deepest condolencs to all of you. Nancy & Mark

Anonymous said...

I never knew Erica, but reading this blog fills me with so much sadness. She was truly an amazing person and I hope she is resting peacefully now. My heart goes out to Jaci and Judy - I wish you and your family strength during this difficult time.

Daveychan said...

I'm so sad. I got to know Erica at Oxy. She was so intelligent and kind, considerate and funny. certainly a beautiful soul... truly special.

Anonymous said...

Dear Jaci, dear Judy, dear Josh, dear Erica's family and friends,
I am so very sorry for your enormous loss. Words can never be enough even to attempt to console. But I strongly believe that it is important how we pass from this earth and what we leave behind and I hope that you can find some comfort in the knowledge that Erica's legacy is enormous, shining brightly.
With much love,
Connie

Anonymous said...

Dear Judy, Jaci, and Erica’s family and friends:

I am an alumnus of Occidental College. I graduated from Occidental in 1999, just a year or two prior to Erica’s graduation.

Although I did not have the privilege of meeting Erica at Occidental, I learned of her and her fight against leukemia through the Occidental alumni magazine. I have followed this blog and quietly cheered for Erica for about two years, hoping that she would overcome her battle and have the opportunity to pursue her dreams.

Since I started reviewing this blog, there are a number of things that have struck me about Erica – most notably, her courage, her grace, and her sense of adventure – which all have been mentioned time and again by other followers of this blog.

Today, after learning of Erica’s passing, I went back and reviewed much of this blog, including prior postings that Erica wrote herself. It is funny considering the number of people that have posted on this blog over the past week or so, that with regard to appearing on the cover of the Occidental alumni magazine, Erica previously said on July 2, 2008, “The alumni magazine is supposed to be about people who are out there in the world, kicking ass and taking names. I am currently kicking ass at playing games. I guess my main concern is for all the alumni out there who are fighting deadly illnesses of their own who say, ‘what's so special about that chick?’”

I think everyone on this blog would agree that Erica kicked ass and took names. She brought a tremendous amount of attention to those that suffer from cancer, and we are all better off for the efforts and contributions that she made.

What struck me the most however about Erica was how she handled the most difficult and painful events that we face in life, including the passing of those that we care for. Erica had a gift for knowing how to handle the important things in life, even when it must have been so difficult and so frightening for her.

As you will recall, Erica previously had a friend named Cathy who passed away from cancer in September 2008. In her September 19, 2008 post, Erica said with regard to Cathy’s passing, “I am a little bit in shock still, I think, but take comfort in the beauty of who she was, in my luck in getting to know her, and that she is no longer in pain.”

Erica’s words about her friend Cathy sum up my feelings about Erica today. Although I was not fortunate enough to know Erica personally, I was privileged to learn enough about her through this blog to know what a special person she was, to be inspired by her, and I am thankful that she no longer has to endure the pain that she so valiantly fought.

I thank Erica, Judy and Jaci for their willingness to share their struggle so openly and for the bravery and grace that they have all shown throughout.

Judy and Jaci, I am deeply sorry for your loss. You are in my prayers.

Anonymous said...

Erica's legacy will continue in each one of us for many years to come. May her family be comforted by knowing the so many people love Erica and hold her close to their hearts.

Saily

Corinne said...

When I learned the news last night I felt like my breath had been taken away. In the very short time that I knew Erica she came to mean so much to me because she was this lovely, amazingly kind, creative, funny, ironic, silly, serious, intelligent and beautiful person who seemed to emanated a sort of passion, strength and wisdom into the world. Its amazing to see through this blog how many lives she touched and how deeply.

Last night I spent some time with other Fletcher graduates who also knew Erica. We cried and smiled, sharing our pain and sadness but also our happiness at having had the pleasure to have known some one so unique and special as Erica. We thought of you, and the amazing strength you have shown at helping her share this story with us.

I believe that life is made through the people you come to know, not what you do, but who you share your time with on this little planet of ours. Erica has changed my life and for that I will never forget her beauty and strength.

Corinne

Katrina said...

Dearest E,
I will miss you terribly. You have been such an inspiring friend and roommate...I feel so honored to have known you. I wrote a good-bye letter to you last night after Addie called me and was overwhelmed with memories: from camping in the rain and listening to Lou Black in our underwear, to running around Montreal in the dripping heat, cooking and doing living room yoga on the weekends, and even getting into the hilarious altercation with that woman at the Logan airport. I remember how giddy you were when you got back from Costa Rica and told me you'd met Josh. I remember how I felt the first time I saw you and Jaci together: soulmates, as she put it. When I refer people to "if I had a real good donor", I first warn them that they will probably fall in love with you. I will miss your kindness, wit, and realness. Thank you, thank you for being such a inspiration and love in my life. Always,
Katie

Claire and Bonnie said...

Dear Jaci and your lovely Mum

We are so, so sorry for your loss - our hearts go out to you - thank you both so much for sharing your beautiful sister and daughter with us all. Our thoughts and prayers are with you, your family and friends throughout this very sad time. May you rest in peace Dear Erica - we shall never forget you or your beautiful smile. BIG LOVE & HUGS to everyone, Claire and Bonnie xx

Anonymous said...

God Bless you Erica. May peace be with you and your family. You will be missed thoroughly.

Anonymous said...

My condolences....I'm a new Fletcher student that never met Erica, but I have been praying for her since I arrived a few months ago. My heart goes out to her family and friends. I have seen how the Fletcher community has deeply missed Erica. May you all find comfort in her wonderful life and spirit.

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry for your loss. Erica has touched so many people and will always be remembered fondly.
-Jennifer

tsangano said...

I met Erica in Berlin through a common friend to eat Sushi and it was only for a few hours, so beautiful and friendly she was. From me and my husband our deepest condolences. May your soul rest in peace.
-Tania and Chipepo Chibesakunda

Spenx said...

Jaci, I hope that God gives you and the entire family peace and strength in this time. I know loss is difficult to handle, but I pray that Erica's life will be an inspiration to you and everyone she was in contact with during her life. God bless you all and many thoughts and prayers to you over these next tough months.

Spencer

Adria C. said...

Oh the tears that have been trickling down my checks at random moments the past day . . . I sit here with my cup of tea and think about how it was Erica who taught me how to like and enjoy tea: I think of that every time I make a cup. I will most definitely be there with you in spirit on Tuesday. All my love and support to those whose hearts are breaking right now.

-Addie C.

NCCPAleadership said...

Erica, I will miss the happiness and the light you brought to us. Take care.

Love, Sarah Morris

Anonymous said...

TO ERICA
How do I say goodbye?
"With Silence and tears?"
You rather have me do it
With elegance, eyes dry and clear

You were so dignified and calm
Taking your sighing breaths
Yet I knew you were here
Waiting for the moment's breadth

The sun was flinging darts in my eyes
Soft autumn breeze bent the leaves
I so wished for you to feel the high
Perhaps you did, from beyond the sky

Just one more smile
Just one more song
One more burst of wit
To drown out sobs, tedious and long

How shall we say goodbye?
We shall shed no tears
We shall find someone to hug
Thankful for having had you near

If perchance we in heaven meet
We shall smile fondly and elate
We shall rejoice the precious fortune
Of an earthly kinship so well made

RBD, Dec. 5, 08

Anonymous said...

I do not know you or your beautiful sister except through the last posts of my niece Annie on Facebook.

Your description of the last hours spent together is simply such a beautiful testament of love, selflessness, compassion.

My sincerest condolences to you and your family. You will always bask in the beauty and strength of your sister.

God bless you.

Anonymous said...

Dearest Erica - the light will eternally shine on you. Even during your battle, you continued to shine light on others. We will never forgot. Merci du temps et de l'enseignement de dépense notre Français de Jonas.

Anonymous said...

Hugs and kisses my sweet Erica...
My dreams will always include you..

May Judy , Jaci ,Linda and all those touched by Erica have strength & courage during these difficult days.

Love
Derrick

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful young woman -- I only met Erica once when I was at her neighbor, Cathy's, apartment. Such a beautiful smile and her spirit filled the room. Condolences and love to all her family and friends.
Linnaea

Anonymous said...

I don't know what to say except that I am so sorry for your loss. I played rugby with Erica at Oxy and it might surprise you (actually, probably not) how ferocious this gentle person could be out there. So that's how I'll remember her, strong and running.

Drags

Anonymous said...

My deepest condolences to you Jaci and the rest of your family and friends. Erica inspired so many of us to truly live and to see the beauty and importance in all our loved ones. Jaci, you are also an inspiration - your strength and courage, the honesty with which you shared your last moments with you sister...they have meant so much - more than I could ever explain. Thank you.

-Oxy Grad

Anonymous said...

My heart goes out to everyone who knew and loved Erica. I didn't have a chance to know her well at Oxy but through her inspirational, courageous, and powerful words on this blog, I feel as if the world got the chance to know the most wonderful person and someone I will always look up to. Peace to your family and friends.
-Meaghan, Oxy '02

Anonymous said...

Erica, I don't know you but I feel like I do - I will miss you. You confronted your illness with grace and dignity, and I admire you for that. I admire that you did not let fear get in your way during these last three years. You are so special. Jaci, I am so sorry that you and Erica will not grow old together, laughing, talking, spooning. But, like you said, how fortunate you were to have had each other. She will always be your soulmate. To the rest of your family and friends, I am thinking of you all and sending peaceful and healing thoughts from Boston. - Angie

Debbie Conley said...

May God give you peace and comfort through this time of mourning and refresh your spirit as you ponder the great memories of one so loved. What an honor it is to have love. God gave His one and only son, Jesus, and knows the ache you feel, and He loves you.

Debbie Conley

Candace Ryan said...

My deepest condolences to Erica's friends and family.

What touched me most about Erica's story was that her life was an active expression of living, not a passive means of existing. Even in her final days, she was living, not dying.

May we all learn to be as alive in the flesh as Erica continues to be in spirit. Thank you, Erica, for the beautiful example. Godspeed.

Andrea said...

Dear Judy, Jaci, and the rest of the blogging team,

I have cried for Erica many times over the past months and I don't even know her personally. (And I don't even normally cry very much!)

She captured my heart and attention in her writings on this blog. Her courage and ability to keep a sense of humor never ceased to be inspiring every time I read the blog. Your love for her also has touched me greatly.

I just wanted to post to thank all of you for sharing Erica's positive energy, wit, intelligence, thoughtfulness, bravery, and love. I hope it's not too sketchy of me to say she'll be with me always.

May you have peace and love and draw strength from the gift of having had her in your life.

Sincerely,
Andrea

Brian said...

I'm so sad right now, and angry that the disease struck again with such swiftness. You truly changed a lot of people's lives, Erica. You did more in your short time here than most are able to ever dream of. You taught me what grace and serenity look like in the flesh. I won't forget our too-short friendship.

Anonymous said...

Jaci and Family,

PLease accept my deepest condolensces. May God bring you peace and comfort.

Blessings,
June

Anonymous said...

wishing you comfort and peace in your mourning, and warmth and wonder that such a beautiful human touched - and will always touch - our lives.

e.m.

Anonymous said...

rest in peace, erica. i didn't know you well (at fletcher), but what i knew and all i heard from those around you was light and comfort and warmth.
deepest condolences to your family, to josh and all of your friends.
much love.

Anonymous said...

The world is a bit darker now.

We miss you so much, Erica.

Anonymous said...

I struggle to find the right words to express and give proper weight to the profound sadness I am feeling with Erica’s passing. No words can be said to alleviate that sadness. All I can do is hope to one day have the strength and courage that Erica has shown throughout her struggle. She was a true warrior and remains an inspiration. Despite knowing her for only a short time, she has left a mark on me, and so many others. Her spirit will truly live on.

With the utmost admiration for Erica,
And my deepest sympathy for her family,
Hannah

Anonymous said...

Erica, may you rest in peace. you truly are a remarkable and beautiful woman who inspired many.

Jewels said...

so many emotions, but so few words to write - my deepest condolences, my hope that you'll heal and have courage, and a wish of safe travels to erica.

in spirit,
john

Lee said...

Your peeps around the world with the 125th will miss you!

Colombia said...

Dear Jaci and Judy,
I want to thank you so much for your constant updates through this hard time. Your strength has inspired me and I am so sorry for you loss. I am not good at these kinds of things, but wanted to say that I am thinking or you. I am truly sad to loose such an amazing person, but her spirit lives on and has changed so many people.
Thank you,
annie

Jeffrey M Blander said...

erica,

my wife and i met you through kenji. it was brief, but we have been hoping and praying for your recovery.

today we honored you by taking in the beauty of the day and remembering what a shining light you have been for so many.

you will remain in all our hearts and inspire us to love and live each and every day to the fullest.

hugs and much love

jeff and michelle

Anonymous said...

To all those who loved Erica so dearly,

My condolences. I went to Oxy and didn't personally hang out with Erica, but Erica was one of those people who everyone "knew" whether you were her close friend or not. She was known to not only be physically beautiful, but also for her kind heart, intelligence, and warm spirit. She's the girl who you'd see smiling from a mile away, shining across the campus. It's apparent that she's forever left a mark on many, including me. Erica, may you rest in peace - thank you for all of the inspiration that you gave to a countless number of people.


Peace and Love.

Anonymous said...

My heart aches for all of you and us. My condolences to Erica's wonderful family and friends.

Rae

Tamu said...

Almost a month ago, I had to write a message just like this. (Yours says it better.)

On behalf of my family, I offer my deepest condolences to yours.

Chris said...

I'm so sorry, I wish I could do something to remove the pain you must feel at Erica's loss. I hope your family finds some peace.

Chris

Anonymous said...

Erica,

May your beautiful soul rest in peace. I am praying for your family and close ones so they may find the strength to get through this pain. You have made a big impact on many people with your attitude, resilience, and the love you shared with your sister. We are all better for having known you - even if it was just through your blog.

Anonymous said...

I'm so so sorry. My thoughts are with you all right now. I'm glad that she went peacefully, but it's hard not to be bitter that her life was ended too soon. She'll never be forgotten.

Anonymous said...

My dearest Erica, it has been so hard for me to write something, I have so many things to say and yet nothing makes sense... I will keep you in my heart and will cherish your dedication, your courage, your strength. With all my love, Marta

Erika said...

Erica, I hope you are finally getting a chance to rest. You fought so hard and never stopped living through all of it. I hope you are a peace now. I hope you know that I (and everyone else) miss and love you, but am glad that you aren't suffering anymore. I will never forget you and the lessons I have learned from you. Thank you and good bye. Erika

kwai see said...

Dear Kai Ma,&Jaci,
Our deepest condolences to you and Jaci. Know that you are in our prayers. Here is a poem I want to share with you that we will remember Erica with:
"Remember me with smiles and
laughter, for that is how I
will remember you all. If
you can only remember me
with tears, then don't
remember me at all."

Love, Grace,Margaret&Jimmy

Sydney said...

I met Erica only once. As a favor to family I picked her up at the airport in Toronto last October. She immediately captured my heart.
Such a bright and sunshiny girl to go. I can only imagine the pain of others who knew her more.
My heart goes out to all those who loved her and cherished her.
Although selfishly I will miss future opportunities to be with her, I rejoice in her final peace.

Charlotte Taylor said...

Yesterday morning, there was a rare thunderstorm in Dubai. Then the sky cleared to a piercing blue. I walked along the Persian Gulf and thought of Erica and the people who are so close to her. What an amazing spirit. What a well-lived life. I know that Erica will continue to inspire us all through the remainder of our lifetimes.

Anonymous said...

I haven't seen Erica personally since the day we graduated high school 11 years ago. Despite that, there's no doubt in my mind the world dimmed more than just a little the moment she left it.

Anonymous said...

Goodbye, dear Erica. I am grateful that you lived, and gave so much to the world.

-JP

Anonymous said...

I am very sorry to hear about your loss. It's beautiful to see how Erica touched many of us who never knew her. I am a '01 Fletcher alum who heard about her story through the Fletcherledger. I corresponded with her once to share one aspect of her situation that I could relate to - I also got very sick while at Fletcher and remembered the feeling of suddenly being ripped away from the exciting time I was having there (though in the end my illness was not as serious). I am sorry she never got to finish this experience.

My heart goes out to your entire family.

Devorah Isaac

Khadija said...

Rest in peace, Erica. You were a bright light that lit our lives even when things got harder for you. Love you, always.

Anonymous said...

I went to both Oxy and Fletcher with Erica (overlapping both times). We crossed paths, knew each other by name and face, and had many mutual friends. Walking around Fletcher it was always such a pleasure to run into Erica and see her sunny face, reminding me of herself, and of hundreds of other memories from other people, places and times (she was a reminder of sunny CA in the middle of Boston). She will be so very much missed.

I also want to say to Jaci and the rest of your family, thank you so much for sharing Erica with us. And for sharing yourselves with us, throughout this journey. You have been so brave. A close sister is a most precious connection. I know you miss her always.

Much love,

Sarah

Nick said...

The world is a smaller place.

I feel lucky to have known Erica and thankful for the opportunity to meet her wonderful community of family and friends.

Anonymous said...

A friend of mine's was a great friend of Erica's and I have followed Erica's amazing story over the years. Just by reading her posts, I was witness to some of the most amazing strength, courage, and wit any one person could possibly have.
Jaci, you're love and support for you sister is remarkable and I am sending you my deepest sympathy and hope for peace for you and your family as well as for Erica.

Anonymous said...

I am very sorry for your loss. I first came across your bog almost two years ago and have been following Erica's journey ever since. Erica is an amazing person - full of love, humour and courage with a healthy portion of feistiness.

Jaci, I am very close with my sister and I can not imagine how difficult it must have been for you these last three years and today. Erica was very fortunate to have you as a sister. It was easy to see that you brought her much laughter, support and love.

Thank-you to Erica, her family and friends for sharing their journey. Despite having never met you personally, you have touched my heart and made me appreciate each day. My thoughts and prayers are with you.
Tammy

Anonymous said...

Dear Judy and Jaci,
We will always remember dear Erica's beautiful smile, warmth and shining spirit. We love your family very much. Our hearts and thoughts go out to you.
With love,
Doreen, Whitney, Kendra,and Elyse

krissy knox said...

dear dear Erica, RIP. My husband also had a bone marrow transplant for two cancers. One was NHL, the other was MDS leading into AML (which I am sure you know is leukemia). Why am I talking to you like you are alive? Because those in heaven are more alive than those on earth. That is what the Bible and the Catholic Church teach.

Rost in peace, my friend. Know that in 2009, as well as last, my husband are walking in Light the Night, to raise money for the end of blood cancers. In your honor and memory, I promise we will carry a gold balloon with your name on it, the name of ERica. Why is that? Because that is what you would want. Good balloons are $10, and that $10, whoever gives it, will do it in the name of you, on their check, telling the Society they are giving it for you, as I know they would want your name to live on. This is how a piece of you will live on. Even after you go to be with the Lord, you will continue to give on earth. And we will carry a balloon for you, here on earth. I imagine your family members will also. And another way you will help is by praying for a cure, while up in heaven. The person who purchases your gold balloon -- I will ask them to pray in your name also, for a cure for cancer. This will be part of your legacy. You will NOT be forgotten. Why am I doing this? I don't know. I just feel compelled to. If this is okay with your family, they can email me at fisherkristina@aol.com Thank you and God bless, and so sorry you had to go so soon, and sorry to your family.
Krissy
and John (that's my husband -- cancer survivor)

Anonymous said...

I wish Erica, her friends and family so much peace. I've been following her courageous story cause one of my close friends, Michelle, is going through a transplant to help cure her AML. Erica has been such an inspiration to me and will continue to be. I am so deeply saddened but I'll continue to think of her spirit. Again, my thoughts are with all of you.

Anonymous said...

My deepest sympathies to Erica's family and friends. This site has been a beautiful expresion of her journey, thank you for having the courage to have shared it. I feel priviliged to have known Erica at Oxy where I was so impressed with her energy, intelligence, and kindness. After observing her courage in this fight, words cannot express my awe of her. This blog has made it clear that her character was a testament to an amazing family. The world is a better place because of her and her light will always shine.
Carisa

Anonymous said...

Rest in peace Erica. Thank you so much for sharing yourself with us.

Carol said...

Tears for Erica and her loving family and friends. Thank you for letting us take the journey with you, even though the result wasn't what we hoped for.

Erica was a gutsy, selfless model for us all. I read this blog with interest because a good friend from Occidental College (Lorna Higuchi '78) succumbed to leukemia also at a tragically young age.

Much had changed over the years in the treatment of the disease and I prayed for a different outcome for Erica.

Because of Lorna I registered to be a blood marrow donor 17 years ago. This year, after I had started to follow Erica's progress online, I was at last contacted (the first time since registering) for further blood testing to determine if I was a good enough match for a 2-year-old with acute anemia. It was due of Erica's blog and plea to donate that I eagerly stepped up and actually looked forward to being able to help. In other words, she erased a lot of what would have been fear and hesitation.

Unfortunately I didn't turn out the be the best match. But I wanted you--Erica's surivors--to have another tangible example of how her life and testimony had spurred me, a stranger, to act. Think of that multiplied and magnifed--that's but a fraction of Erica's earthly contribution.

May she rest in sweet peace and may wonderous, musical, humorous, soulful memories of her comfort you all your days. May you always recall of her luminous smile.

With love,
Carol Chen (Oxy '78 & '81)

Corinne said...

For those in the D.C. area who would like to come together on Tuesday, a few of Erica's friends will be hosting a small Celebration of Life Tuesday evening between 7 and 8.

Please come if you would like to be with others to celebrate Erica, everyone is welcome.

Please email me at corinne.onetto@gmail.com for the address.

Best,
Corinne

Anonymous said...

It is always sad that it takes moments like these to remind ourselves to wake up every day with a smile on our faces, each day is a blessing. Our deepest sympathy to all of you.

Afghanistan.

Anonymous said...

Erica will be truly missed. She was a warm caring person and was one of the friendliest people I've ever met. My sincerest condolences and thoughts and prayers are with the family.

Jamie said...

Dear Jaci,
My heart breaks for you right now. I cannot imagine what you must be feeling, but know that your sister will always be with you.

Take care,
Jamie

Anonymous said...

There is a spirit flying around the universe at this very moment showering us all with love. I picture Erica's light bouncing from person to person and I know that we will never be without her.

I miss her so very much.

Anonymous said...

Rest in Peace Erica! You are in a better place now! Thank you for sharing your life with us. You have inspired and will continue to inspire us all!

My deepest condolences to Jaci, Judy and all of Erica's family and friends! May you all find peace in your heart.

Anonymous said...

My deepest sympathies to all. I don't know you, but I found your blog through my dear friend Karen's blog. Wishing you comfort in this difficult time.

mabi said...

Thank you for sharing Erica's life with the world. She brought so much inspiration to others, especially patients and families going through the same. I never had a chance to meet her, but was truly touched by her spirit. Sending a lot of love and my deepest condolences,

Mabel

Anonymous said...

Peace.

Anonymous said...

My deepest condolences to Judy and Jaci. I am so sorry for your loss.
Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time.

All my love
W.H Gong & J.M Wang
(Judy's consin, from MD)

Anonymous said...

I am without words at the passing of such an amazing person.

I just wish you all peace and strength tomorrow as you celebrate Erica's life.

Anonymous said...

Being able to be Erica's nurse and share such valuable time with all of you was such an honor. Thank you for always being so real and wonderful at the same time. Thank you for reaching out to comfort me in all your saddness. I am truly blessed to have crossed paths with Erica and the people who love her.

Much love - Josie

Anonymous said...

Though I don't know Erica personally, I will be celebrating her life with you today and for many days to come.

Anonymous said...

thinking of everyone in SF, and celebrating Erica's life along with you

Anonymous said...

I wish so much that I could be in San Fran right with everyone celebrating Erica and being with with people who cared so much for Erica. I miss you Erica all over the world people are mourning your loss, but through your blog you continue to keep us conected so we can take care of each other. You'll never stop being a part of all of our lives.

Anonymous said...

My dearest Erica,

I have to write you this post even though I know you cannot read it. But Jaci will. The two of you have taught me so much over the past (i don't know how many years). I've been sharing my thoughts, emotions, reactions, sadness, anger, everything with my sister lately. We have become eachother's sounding boards. Jaci, nothing I say will make any of this easier, but know that you too have had an impact on all of our lives. Your courage, your strength, your humor, and your love for the most amazing person I have ever known has touched so many people all over the world.

I am sad that I couldn't make it to the funeral today, due to health problems of my own and a family emergency, but my heart and my thoughts were there.

It is a dark, cold and gloomy day in NYC. A day that E's smile would have made me forget about. And so I asked her to help me. Gosh, I sound CRAZY asking someone who is no longer physically here for my own selfish strength. But Erica, with her enormous heart and the unbeleivable strength she had was very much felt on this very difficult day.

I am so touched and comforted to read posts of sympathy and condolence from people who met Erica breifly and from people who never had the blessing of knowing her. I hope you feel some of this comfort, too.

Erica helped me through a very dark part of my life. She put things in perspective. She was supportive. She always said the right thing, and when she didn't, she was so good at making a ridiculous joke to cover it and make me smile.

This post is too long.

I miss you terribly, E. I hope...well..I hope you can feel all of our love wherever you are. I know I can feel yours.

Those of us that knew you will always know you and we are truly, deeply blessed.

With all my heart, tears, and laughter; with all the joy and sorrow; with all the fear, anger, excitement, and hilarity; with everything a person could ever dream of feeling...I love you.

Avital

Georg, Stephanie & Liam said...

The best way I know how to come to grips with Erica's passing is to celebrate her life! I don't know why but I have mustered all the energy inside myself to fundraiser on behalf of Erica. Anyone interested can see the flyer that her friends helped me complete. This is just a small token of support I can give to her family at this time. I feel a great loss, and can't imagine if I'd known Erica on a more personal level, how greater that loss would be. What a remarkable family she comes from! Please check out my website if interested in my event. www.wucrew3.blogspot.com or email me at wucrew3@yahoo.com.
Stephanie

Alex said...

Dear Jaci,
I am feeling with you! You and your sister are one of the most couraging people I have ever known in my life. I admired you during good times back in st. joes as well as during these hard times. Keep that courage!
love,
Alex

One Mother with Cancer said...

I am so sorry for your loss, your family will continue to be in my prayers.

Anonymous said...

Dear Erica, thank you for being you and for giving so generously of your spirit and light. The world is a better place because you were in it.

Much love, thoughts, and prayers to Jaci, Judi, and everyone who loved Erica.

~Kristi

Anonymous said...

I'm very saddened to hear that Erica is no longer with us. I had the pleasure of meeting her at the Cancer Center earlier this year. Her smile lit up the room, and she faced her battle with great courage and strength. My thoughts are with her family and friends. Erica was a very special person.

Gary Goldstein

Clif said...

The service and after-celebration of Erica's life were touching and beautiful.

The house was overflowing with love and adoration for our dearly beloved.

ruthliliana said...

Indeed she will never die, she has been evolutioned to better life, this was just a test for her and to give strenght to all of us that are always complaining for little things..
I hope you have received my postcard dear Erika..
Love you forever..
Ruth Liliana Tizon from
Peru, living in New Zealand

Anonymous said...

All I have to say is that although I did not even know Erica, she has left a gigantic impact on the way that I will live my life from this moment on. Thank you for sharing her story and allowing the world to be impacted by such a great life lived.

Kat said...

Jaci,

I'm so sorry for the loss of your sister, I can't even imagine and I don't know what to say. I didn't know your sister very well But I know she touched my sisters heart along with so many other peoples. I was talking to Casey Rosing about it and I said "it's such a shame her life was cut so short" and he said "the shame is that there are not more people alive in this world like her". And I have to say I agree. I wanted you to know I am thinking of you and your family and sending my best thoughts and wishes.

Kat Jerger

Alivia's Momma said...

Dear Jaci and Judy. I have never met you and will never meet Erica here on this earth but wanted to tell you how amazing it was to read Erica's beautiful words and see her bravery and joy throughout her struggle with this awful disease. My 2 year old lost her life to leukemia a year and a half ago so I know what these days feel like. I remember being shocked, sad, lonely but also relieved for my baby that she didn't feel the pain everyday. I remember thinking I wished someone would say that this sucked. I have been praying for Erica since I heard about her valient fight. I have no advice. A year and a half after I can say that it never goes away, the hurt, it just changes. It's not a constant driving pain but just a dull ache. My husband and I just try to live everyday so that she would be proud of us. Take care.
*Emily

Susan said...

My condolences to Erica and all of her friends and family. You are in my prayers, Erica, and I pray for you and your family during this difficult time. You truly had an impact, as anyone can tell from all of the comments here. You'll be greatly missed.

Patty Blaylock said...

Dear Jaci and Judy,
My heart is breaking for you and your family. Please accept our deepest sympathy for the loss of your beautiful sister (daughter). I have been following the blog and have been praying for your family for three years now. What wonderful memories we have of good times at St. Louis DeMontfort and St. Joes. The boys have shared some wonderful stories and we'll never forget the fun times at the house with your beautiful daughter. We truly will never forget her and will always keep you all in our prayers.
Love,
Patty and the Blaylock Family

Richard Yang said...

Tears are bittersweet at the moment for obvious reasons. Although Erica's passing saddens my heart tremendously, I'm quite content knowing that her spirit is now able to roam free.

My deepest condolences to her family, friends and all those who were touched by her strength, humility, beauty, and determination.

Erica, I will miss you. May you rest in peace.


+ Richie '02

Anonymous said...

I join everyone in offering my condolences to Erica's family. I think this blog opened many people's eyes and hearts (including mine) and made us strive to be better...to each other, to the ones we love. Erica will never be forgotten.

Anonymous said...

Erica,

I never had an opportunity to meet you, but as a fellow Tufts student, you have touched my soul.

May God bless you and your family.