Thursday, July 28, 2016

Shar's birthday obituary from bubby

A month and half later I tried to follow in Sharry’s footsteps as I often did and wrote her obituary for her 29th birthday. I never would have imagined that would be the last birthday she had on Earth. Thoughts like that break my heart all over again. My letter is much longer and much less polished but I do want to share it because it does echo much of my love and appreciation for my lost best friend. Also I would be remiss to not once again share the beautiful words that Sharry's brother and mom published in her actual obituary.
FYI It is written as if we are in the twilight of our lives after many kids and grandkids were brought into our lives. My additional annotations are in red.


Pregnancy pics from 27 weeks, wasn't she beautiful with that baby bump?!
Sharry Buhanan-Decker,  an incredible friend, a fierce and loving mom,the largest heart any of us ever had the opportunity to ever meet and my soul mate is presumed lost at sea. A typical case of wanderlust struck her so off she went an 88 year old woman full of courage adventure and love. She leaves behind Jared her loving husband of 68 years. Only 59 years longer than what actually happened. What the hell am I supposed to with these 59 years?? Three children Sharroll Ruth, Francis Mark, and Joni Ann. Four enamored cats and ten adoring grandchildren.

Sharry Buhanan was born August 11, 1986 into a loving and full house where she was the seventh of seven children. Her childhood was carefree full of play, learning and fun where family and friends played a critical role in her development. From her mother Sharroll she was taught love of reading and the importance of kindness and faith. Karl her Father taught her to embrace who you are with authenticity and to find your niche in the world where you can be content and thrive. Her six older siblings, five brothers and one sister adored their little passionate ragamuffin of a sister and all had their own individual impressions that they left on her upbringing. Sharry is the glue that kept bringing them back together time after time. She set up stores, shows, organized games, jammed at concerts, inspired trips, rolled through reunions, and setup general get togethers. She was the rock that the family could depend on through the hardest times and the best times. When the family went through the crisis of losing Mark too early in life Sharry was there for him and for them all. Shar was AMAZING throughout the horrible process of losing Mark. She was the rock for him and the family. Now I hope that she is reunited with him. Later after Sharroll and Karl passed on Sharry became the new family matriarch who kept the Buhanan clan ties strong. No parents should have to bury their children and they have done it twice! Why can life be so hard for a family so good?

As a child Sharry was a true friend who all could rely on. Whether meeting half way with the “girl down the hill” a lot of inside info in my obit for her, her best childhood friend Becky lived right down the hill or planning California trips with others she was someone that all could rely on. Always sticking to the B side of life Sharry was a great listener who befriended others with authenticity and having a small group of friends that she cherished fiercely. She was an easy friend who was beautiful, fun, loyal and cool.

I met Sharry at the dawn of the century in the Spring of 2004. She was bewitchingly beautiful with long brown hair, plump lips, a supermodel body and a smile that pulled you right in. The very rare beautiful black Irish. She often had people ask her if she was a mix of different diverse races and she would always respond nope just European And she was incredibly likable. She was quick with a joke, had incredible taste and seemed to be incredibly fun. As I have mentioned in past blogs Shar was very hard on herself but one area that she was confident she was good at was her taste, life, music, trips, adventures, movies, books... She was so interesting, an anachronism. A hippie peace, rock n roll babe who was born into a conservative LDS culture 30 years too late. And this was the first impression! Unfortunately she was only 17 and I was 21, she was still in high school. So I had to pump the brakes and hold off for a few months.

Sharry entered her first semester of college at Dixie and the rebels everywhere rejoiced. She was sought after left and right and somehow she gave this nerd a shot. Our courtship was a whirlwind of romance, dates, kisses, gifts and blossoming friendship and love. Vinyl records, DI shopping, dancing in the dark, attending random churches, rocking at concerts, playing at the beach, hiking in the mountains and making out in every corner under the beautiful red rocks were our daily and weekly experience. All the while Sharry blew through an immense amount of credits dabbing in German, art, literature and more. She was so bright and ambitious her first two semesters at Dixie she took 21 credits not because she was in a hurry to graduate or anything but because she was excited for college. And she carried pretty much straight A’s!

Two and a half years after meeting we became each other's forever on December 28, 2006. The first few years of marriage were excitement and bliss. Our worlds were one and the same. She was my sun and I was her Earth. These statements are completely true Sharry continued her education and adventure towing me along for the ride. We backpacked in Europe where we became connoisseurs of local, cheese, breads and sleeping surfaces. After graduating college Korea called our names where we spent time eating bip n bop and bogogee, riding the transit as celebrities and teaching little tykes. After a courageous escape we returned to Salt Lake City to continue our studies. I will write a whole post about some of our experiences and adventures in detail...we packed a lot into 12 years!

In the Wasatch valley Sharry became a master with a degree from University of Utah in public administration. She used that degree to make a difference working with animals women and children in diverse positions and eventually having leadership roles for a couple of different non profits. We also slept in the infamous pioneer park where we were a part of the occupy movement which shifted national dialogue to the tremendous inequality occurring throughout the country. As always she was the brave one that actually wanted to camp there

In Salt Lake we put down roots. We found a house which Sharry made into a beautiful home with an amazing view (critical to any good house) and started our family. We were so damn close!! We got a house with a view (for 3 months) and a baby that never slept in the nursery that Sharry prepared As a mom Sharry’s adventuring ways didn’t slow as every year we would go on memorable trips, hikes, camping trips, sailing/kayaking excursions and international adventures forming memories and experiences that really brought our family together. I’m really going to try my best to make sure this becomes a reality

Sharry was in her heart a Franciscan, a protector of the small and beautiful creatures of the Earth. She found the divine in nature and beauty all around her and inspired those closest to her to do the same as her children and grandchildren show with their love of all things natural. Nothing would uplift her like a beautiful vista  after a long hike and nothing could bring her down like seeing an innocent animal in pain. Our planet has been protected and beautified thanks to Sharry’s direct and indirect influence where her ripples of creation care can be felt all around in this room. I myself owe my passion for the environment and this planet entirely to my beautiful Chere’.

She always had fun/hot pose ideas haha
Our beloved was an artist full of talent and creativity. I encourage all of you to admire her art and writing if you haven’t already. She would become one with color, charcoal, pencils, music and the written word where a piece of her soul would seem to shine from many of her works. She had a way of looking at things that I could never understand but only look on in admiration and envy. I know that many of you kids and grandkids carry on as artists and creators and you can thank your Grandma for that. Again I hope to make this a real legacy for JJ

Speaking of Grandma...wasn’t she a great one? I really can’t even read this without breaking down As a mom, grandmother and even cat mom I know that each and everyone of you never questioned that you were loved and cherished. Sharry had such immense love and caring for her family. From the moment Sharroll Ruth came into the world and Sharry held her close I have not witnessed a greater love. Sharry loved “cuties, babies and kitties” more than anything in this life and they knew it. She would always set high expectations for her family but it was because she cared and sincerely knew they could achieve and they usually did. She was their greatest cheerleader (even for activities that weren’t her cup of tea) and the ultimate comforter for the bumps, bruises and heart breaks that life can bring. She was the rock and soul of our family. We all turned to her for love, approval and inspiration and she rarely disappointed. I am so heartbroken that JJ will not experience this directly

Sharry had a love affair with reading that we all followed minus one or two of us (looking at you Joni haha). Stupid joke haha, but Sharry did inspire me to be a greater reader and writer. Plus thanks to many many generous people (many of you) JJ has an amazing library built from Sharry’s wishlist She taught us from the great fables of ages past. We learned creation tales, tricksters and moral stories about love and loss. She had a passion for children’s literature and passed the torch to many of you as soon as you could appreciate the colors, words and mom’s warmth. I think our unofficial family mascot is the Lorax. I speak for the trees From Sharry’s lips and Madame Bovary’s pages we learned that “Human speech is like a cracked kettle on which we tap crude rhythms for bears to dance to, while we long to make music that will melt the stars.” And oh did we try to melt the stars! Under Sharry’s guidance Tolstoy taught us lessons heart breaking and profound, “Ivan Ilych’s life had been most simple and most ordinary and therefore most terrible.” Compassion and love for the living must triumph over petty materialism.

We all loved Sharry’s own writing. On the rare occasion when she would share from her treasured journal we would hold close her words and memories of ink. There were many an occasion when she would write those closest thoughtful prose that could turn a cloudy day bright or a great day heavenward. Her published works that are cherished by many continue today as a momento to this star from above. I love sharing her words now and she had big goals to be a published writer someday...

Sharry was insightful, passionate, hilarious, sincere, private, thoughtful, empathetic and caring. She was an angel on the earth who made others soar. I guess angels can’t stay for too long I hope and I pray with all my heart and all my soul that she is in the presence of Sharroll and Mark, Karl and Lola. So agonizing to think that only one of those might be with her now That her heavenly Father and Mother are welcoming her home and that she is preparing a place for each of us where she will welcome us with a loving tear filled embrace where we will marry for the millionth time. She always wanted to “get married twice” I don’t know if there are tiny homes or sailboats in heaven but I sure hope to find out. This sadly is pretty much the main thing I want out of life (or death) right now, to know if she still does exist and if we do somehow get to be united someday. So dear reader please if you are of the praying type pray for me, that if at all possible, I might find answers to these questions or at the very least find a measure of peace, hope and faith.


  1. I pray for that for you every day. This is beautiful and I hope you continue sharing your thoughts, feelings, memories, etc. with the rest of us. Your words, as well as Sharry's life, are truly inspiring and the two of you have touched countless lives in ways you can't even begin to imagine including mine. God bless you and JJ.

  2. This is such a beautiful tribute. Thank you for sharing. I pray that you find the answers you need and feel peace again.

  3. You probably will never remember me but your family was in our ward when you were little. I've been following your journey my heart aches for you and j j I never knew your wife but she sounds amazing. I'm so happy you were able to at least have 10 great years with your soulmate. So many are not as lucky as you were. I know you may not feel lucky with out her. Loss is never easy. And I want you to know that I have prayed for you many many times since I heard what you were going through. Try to stay strong. You have inspired me to be better

  4. You two are, and always have been so inspiring. Loved reading this. So emotional, so powerful, so moving. Thank you for sharing all that you have been! You and Sharry make me want to become better at things like this!

  5. Dear Jared, Thank you for sharing these inspiring posts. It has been incredible to have a glimpse into the beautiful love you shared together & the ways You & Sherry made a difference in this world. Your words have impacted my life for the better. The answers and peace you seek are within your reach. Sherry most certainly does exist! God would never make someone so strong & beautiful, just to have her disappear forever. Go to your roots, get on your knees, gather your faith, trust your heart. Not easy...but worth it. God bless you & your beautiful Son on your new journey. Our love & prayers are with you & your amazing families. A place to begin: D&C 121:7 Philippians 4:6,7 & 13, D&C 42: 45-52, Alma 40:23 & 25,& 2 Nephi 11:5.

  6. I am so moved and impressed by these texts you share. I'm impressed to find so much wisdom in a 29 year old. I'm moved by your words of grief and loss. Thank you for sharing. I had forgotten my bucket list. I'm re-writing it now. Much love, peace, strength and blessings for you and your family.

  7. Jared something really amazing happened to me today because of this blog. Thanks a million for sharing your memories, for sharing Sharry's wisdom, for opening up and let us see your current vulnerability and pain. I wrote a little TRIBUTE to Sharry and you guys. Find it here: .

  8. Jared, your blog is so beautiful and my words cannot eloquently express how my heart goes out to you as you suffer in grief. I pray you find the answers and clarity you seek. Her physical body may be gone but dear one, the love you two shared stays here on earth. Death can never take the love or your beautiful memories away. You will always have that and may her memory and love always be your blessing.