Sunday, November 27, 2016

BD3 Media Matters

164 Days
I have had the unique opportunity of sharing our love story and our love tragedy with multiple media outlets. The media interest came primarily by route of the goodness of strangers on the social media site reddit for whom I am very grateful. They helped me convert a handful of Sharry’s recorded songs that JJ and I listen to pretty much daily.

At first I was very hesitant to open up to the wide world of online journalism. Sharry was usually a very private person, I tend to strongly dislike seeing pictures or videos of myself, the tragedy is very recent and my broken heart is still empty and raw. Yet the opportunity to share Sharry’s voice, light, goodness and inspirational legacy and to spread compassion and love eventually led me to answer in the affirmative.
Shar was a fabulous aunt 

Below is a list of media outlets (that I know of) that have shared at least some aspect of our story with most taking the goodness of strangers approach, which I love as it adds a few drops of kindness, compassion and gratitude to world’s often troubling narrative.

CBS This Morning The most thorough video investigation
The Spectrum (local newspaper) The most in depth look at our love story
I think our story is one that speaks to the innermost fears and desires of many. The desire to find someone, a soul mate, a best friend and forever love who you can share your life with and connect on a deeper level than you ever thought was possible. The fear of loss, to tragically lose a treasured loved one way too early.

I have received hundreds of messages from people thanks to these stories. Messages of condolences and love. Individuals sharing how they listen to Shar’s songs, the voice of an angel for comfort and peace. Fellow pilgrims in suffering along life’s journey who share with me their own stories of love, loss and pain. People in relationships commenting that they have been inspired by our story and by Shar specifically to live life to the fullest and to love more authentically and deeply. I LOVE receiving messages like these and they help me feel confident that I have made the right decision in sharing the BD3 story, LoveSharred.


Also in case you were curious Thanksgiving has been pretty rough. As great as it is to be surrounded by wonderful and loving Buhanans and Deckers, the holidays are a poignant reminder that physically, at least, Shar is no longer here and will not be ever again. On Thanksgiving I spent two hours at the cemetery talking to Sharry and napping by her graveside. Great start to the holidays haha!

JJ photo fun below:
Buhanan family annual Turkey Trot

Hanging with cousins

Hike to elephant arch with Grandpa Decker and Uncle Josh

Red Cliffs hike with Uncle Josh

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Thanksgiving (without her)

5 Months and 3 Days
Always thought this picture would be a great album cover
Sharry, baby girl, how am I supposed to approach the holidays without you?! We were supposed to be excitedly preparing Buhanan-Decker traditions for our family with our baby boy together...
You loved this time of year and always made October through the New Year such a magical time for me. I still plan to bounce back and forth between the Buhanans and the Deckers with JJ but it obviously will not be the same. I long to watch Pieces of April and It’s a Wonderful Life with you just like we have every single year. And to have pumpkin pie for breakfast with you the days after Thanksgiving. To have all the days off together and cuddle in bed late into the cold night and sleep in holding each other as we wake lazily and chatting and savoring one another. Who’s going to buy me a seasonal supply of almond milk “holiday nog” to be kind to the animals and my body? Who will orchestrate a simple but cute Christmas card to share with our families and close friends? Who will be so excited to drive around nightly with hot cocoa listening to holiday music and looking at lights and then get home to turn off all of the lights except the christmas tree and have a BD family fireplace cuddle? Who will gift wrap all the presents by recycling old newspapers and taking the time to thoughtfully match the pictures and articles with the person receiving the gift? Sharry approaching the holidays without you fills me with such agonizing aching in my chest where I miss you like a phantom limb.
One example of the little things Sharry would make and do

Our only Thanksgiving away from home when we taught English in South Korea
But Shar it is Thanksgiving and a time to attempt to be grateful. Yet it is so difficult when 2016 has proven to be a tormentous hell. As much as I loathe this year I must admit that there are things in my life to be grateful for. JJ is my best friend who I love far more than my own life. I love cuddling him close at the end of the day and picturing you there with both of us looking on. He is happy (most of the time), cute all of the time and his health has outperformed all the early fearful expectations.

I am grateful for my new job and as much as I miss my old job I love my co workers and especially my students who I have been blessed to have enter my life and allow me to work and serve as their counselor.

Our families are amazing and JJ is so fortunate to be immersed with such bounteous, generous and deep love. I literally would not be surviving without them, most specifically our two moms. How did we get so lucky Shar?

I have had more kindnesses bestowed upon from friends and even strangers than I can count. People can be so good especially in the face of such tragedy and pain. I am incredibly grateful to counselors and spiritual guides who have taught, counseled and comforted.

I have had many opportunities to share our love, lovesharred you might say. Your blog name choice has proven more true than we would ever have possibly imagined. My favorite thing to talk about (as it has been for the last 12 years) is still you only now you’re not here to prevent me from babbling on too much. I talk about you with new and old friends, family, strangers, students and even quite a few news outlets. Let lovesharred reign haha.

Flying Lanterns for the new year, another Shar idea

As is always and forever the case though Shar you are what I am primarily grateful for. I sincerely doubt that there is anyone who has undergone such a horrible tragedy that is left with so much goodness to remember their lost soul mate. And it is entirely a testament to you. Our powerful memories from the small cuddles to the grand adventures float around my mind ceaselessly. The pictures of you, of us, that I always resisted I now cherish as some of my most prized possessions. Your art. Your art in all of its forms is so full of creativity, life, passion and love. Love for all living things and love for me, your soulmate. Your drawings, paintings, music, recordings, journals and writings bring tears of gratitude and loss whenever my ears, eyes or mind come upon them. Thank you so much for leaving me so much to cherish and remember and to pass on to JJ as I teach him about his extraordinary angel mama. Thank you finally for searing your legacy of compassion, goodness, and vitality onto my heart and soul.

Miss you more than you can ever know but I pray our love, our bond will help us to connect now and forever.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Saint Sharry, angel of compassion

150 Days without my best friend, my other half, in a new broken life
I have found a measure of purpose to my life. JJ, our Buhanan-Decker baby boy, is of course my exhausting, yet delightful, primary anchor to this existence. But in recent days and weeks I have been awakened to a new additional meaning to my life and connection to Sharry. In a world plagued by pain, loss, apathy, division, violence, bigotry, distrust, suffering and negativity I aim to live a life that both embodies and teaches compassion and empathy.

"make love not money," the type of signs Shar would make for protests and marches. Life>Profit/things
Sharry, as usual, is my inspiration. She was born with her heart on her sleeve and literally could not help but to be compassionate. I love the word compassion. Com=with, passion=suffer, to suffer with. Empathy is the key to unlock the depths of compassion because you cannot suffer with someone if you are unable to personally imagine and feel where they come from or what they are going through. Sharry ached deeply with the lost, sick, hurt and broken things of this world and was usually motivated by that ache to find ways to make a difference with her voice, creativity, feet, time and/or money.  
Sharry regularly wrote about compassion and making a difference in her journals
A memory (one of many) that shows Sharry’s compassion in action is one time we were driving down the road in Salt Lake City and Sharry saw some kind of little bird that had obviously lost its ability to fly and had ended up near a road. We were not in the lane closest to it but after a couple of blocks driving she overcame my resistance and convinced me to turn around so she could attempt to save the life in danger. Unfortunately we were too late and the bird had been struck dead. That experience haunted Sharry.
she did
Shar loved this quote and idea
Sharry had been a strict vegetarian for 7+ years because she could not bear to think of bringing pain to any kind of living creature. Any friend or family member that had the opportunity to know Sharry knew that she would never hurt another’s feelings purposefully. She could not bear to because in hurting others she herself would be racked with pain...even when done accidentally.

Her motivations in life can be summarized entirely by simply saying she wanted to deeply experience life through meaningful relationships & experiences and by a passion to make the world a better place for all living things.

"Never be Silent find your voice for animals"

Sharry is a Saint of Compassion and an angel of empathy and
together the BD3 will make heaven and earth a more loving place. We will do this by standing up to hatred and division with kindness, inclusiveness and understanding. Our trio will reach out toward pain and suffering with our own broken hearts and tears fueled by our love for each other and living beings everywhere. Sharry and I are connected now not only by our deep soul mate bond and love for our beautiful baby boy but through a purpose and mission that I pray reaches beyond the grave. #livelikeShar

Close with some BD boys pics 😀

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Sharry's 5 ??s

143 Days
When I was in California I hit a difficult milestone when I read my very last new to me Sharry journal. Of course I will reread these in the future and I’m sure new things will stand out to me but they will never be completely new again. In the last few pages of this particular journal she asked herself five powerful questions. I want to share these along with minimal commentary in red. Sharry was so reflective, and so damn good, always aspiring to be better..she is forever an inspiration to me.

35 Weeks

What is true about yourself today that would make your 8 year old self cry?
Not writing enough
Lack of religion, community and friends
Lack of play, too much work
Not enjoying life enough
Failing to savor
Not enough time outside
My sadness
Losing my amazing best friend
Agree with Shar’s

What is true about yourself that would make your 8 year old self proud?
Writing (at least some)
Traveled the world
Working for a non profit
Civil rights, activism, marching, protesting, writing letter to the editor/representatives
Reduce, reuse, recycle
Getting through struggle & loss, rising to the challenge and standing in the fire with people
Reading (lots of reading)
Art, journaling, guitar, singing, sewing, close family ties, game night, ***love for learning, talented, healthy, master’s degree, adventurous
Loving animals, good lookin, funny, smart, loving.
Music festivals, hippie love, idealism, trying to make a difference
*Married to the love of my life.*

What makes you forget to eat???
Art! When I’m in the middle of an art project days and nights could fly by without food or water. I wouldn’t notice. This actually includes, graphic design stuff, event/future planning, reading, writing, playing and listening to music and creative projects.

"Mother and Child" - Klimt, all I want for Christmas this year is Shar's art and some of her faves framed

How am I going to save the world?
Art and activism
Writing a few awesome books that no one except Jared may ever read (little did she know you all would be reading her words), painting meaningful & unique pictures, easing the suffering of others. Isn’t she so good??

If you were going to die one year from today, what would you do and how would you want to be remembered? Oh man isn’t this one so incredibly difficult???
This question has become so much more real to me after losing Mark. (Her older brother who passed 3 years ago) I think about this everyday, and I wonder all of the adventure and love that Mark has missed. So, the first thing I would do is treasure my loved ones and tell them how much I care and how sorry I will be to miss spending time with them - to miss meeting their future babies, to miss seeing their successes, to miss eating a piece of pie with them on Thanksgiving Day. So real and present now even though she wrote this a year and a half ago!
My second thought would be to notice the amazing beauty in our daily lives. Powerful message for me.
When Mark got sick, all of my senses were heightened and I can still remember the smooth, slick tile in the hospital hallway, and the gray colored parking lot view from the 8th story window.
Somehow, a realization of death brings an awareness of life. And I would like to soak all of those senses into my skin until I can no longer feel anything, and my cells have turned cold.
And finally, I would like to experience as much of life as I could squeeze into one final year, and one final day. To spend more time writing, and reading, and painting, and learning, and travelling, and singing, and dancing.
Life is a choreographed dance with death.
#LivelikeShar #Live4Shar