As someone who believes in reincarnation, my relationship with death can be complicated. For me, it’s not an end, but the next stop on a journey. I take comfort in that knowledge.

Last Friday, a distant friend of mine passed away. I am saddened by her passing even though we weren’t close. With that said, I believe that she was not only ready to take that next step but needed to as well.

Please don’t misunderstand me, she was a wonderful person, inspirational to many. I say that it was time due to a steady and painful struggle with cancer. She was a beautiful example of not allowing illness to keep her from living life to the fullest. She fought, not only for herself, but also for her daughter. When we first met, her daughter had cancer at the age of six. What surprised me the most about her was that it had happened after her first bout with cancer.

Fifteen years later, it was round 3 that finally got her – yet, with being told she had weeks to live she was still seeing the world.

Her nickname was Noonie and she showed why we should be the light in our lives. I am saddened by her departure, yet I know that when I lit my candle to say safe travels to her, she was running forward while crying out: “Look out, heaven, here I come!”

Amanda, you are loved, you are in the hearts and minds of many. Know that you are an inspiration and will continue to be for years to come.

With love and blessings, until we meet again.