Celebration of Life: Remembering Eden

 

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Sometimes, someone crosses your path and changes everything around you. The way you view yourself, how you see the world, your attitude and priorities. Eden was that someone for me and I know for a fact that she impacted anyone and everyone she encountered. ❤

When Eden’s husband, Colin, emailed me to break the news of her passing, I did not expect to react the way that I did. I literally dropped to the floor and cried. It felt almost irrational considering my friendship with Eden never got the chance to go beyond emails and Instagram, but I think that goes to show just who she was – a remarkable, young woman. A true gift to this Earth.

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With Willow by my side while I was sobbing, I chose to welcome the tears and pain rather than wiping it all away. I shared with Willow what happened, briefly touching on her battle with cancer and we spent the next hour or two talking about Eden’s life – who she was and all that she did. Together, we watched the videos on Feed Life and I showed her some photos. Her response was, “Mom, she’s pretty.” More than you know, sweetheart. More than you’ll ever know.

A few days after the news, I felt the need to write about what Eden meant to me and remind myself about all that she taught me. I originally intended on keeping my thoughts private, but as I was pouring the words out on paper, I realized that the world needs to know who this beautiful human being was.

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I had the honor of interviewing Eden for my blog last year and through that interview, my admiration grew leaps and bounds. It also sparked a beautiful friendship. They say that not all superheroes wear capes and this is a prime example. She was the most selfless person I knew as her life was spent helping others – inspiring, teaching and impacting. Eden developed programs in Sri Lanka to help children and families and also co-founded Feed Life with her husband, Colin, where they provided the tools to live a healthy, vibrant, plant-based life. Everything I learned from Eden was not by way of preaching, but rather indirectly through example. I thank the universe every single day for connecting me with such an amazing human being and I wanted to write this post to celebrate her life.

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When I first got word of Eden’s passing, I immediately felt guilt and anger. Not towards her, of course, but at myself for all the things I didn’t do or say – and for such a beautiful life being cut short. I remember being so impressed and amazed at all of her accomplishments, along with the list of projects and goals she had. It’s as if she was unstoppable – no limit to what could be done. Through Eden’s life and actions, she taught me rather than comparing yourself with others, to focus on what your gift to the world is. Your purpose. What makes your heart sing. To follow your passions and dreams.

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Eden also opened my eyes to finding the beauty in everything. It’s easy to dwell in the darkness, to get stuck in the negative mindset. Train your eye to find the light in all things. During all of my conversations with Eden, she never let on to just how bad things were. I knew she had cancer and I knew she had her struggles, but her words were always positive. Whether in her Instagram posts or our exchange of emails, I was always left feeling inspired and more often than not, she shifted my perspective or realigned my spirit. Eden was such a source of peace and encouragement – whenever I think of her, I am filled with joy and honored to have known her.

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I thought I knew all about gratitude, but Eden changed the meaning of the word for me. Thanks to Eden, I acknowledge all that I’m grateful for each and every day. It’s the little things in life, small gifts from the Earth that I give thanks to and feel incredibly blessed. I have gotten in the habit of writing down or saying aloud, what I am grateful for each night before bed – which has also helped me be more present and mindful in life; refocused my priorities, along with who and what really matters.

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LOVE. A four letter word with BIG meaning. Eden helped me with self-love and the importance of not only filling yourself with love, but also spreading it to others. Words are a powerful thing and choosing to express yourself in a positive light, to shine on others strengths is a beautiful gift. In one of our emails we discussed one of my struggles and how I let others actions (whether directed at me or someone else) bring me down. She taught me to continue sending out good energy & love no matter what – to be a light to the world. Love is an essential part of life. And as I’ve learned from reading one of Eden’s favorite book (A Return to Love by Marianne Williamson):

“The way of the miracle-worker is to see all human behavior as one of two things: either love, or a call for love.”

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I know that I didn’t get the chance to tell Eden just how much she meant to me and all the ways she impacted my life, but I’d like to think that on some level, she already knew. She will be deeply missed by many and I know that because of her, lives have been changed for the better. I will forever carry Eden in my heart and one day, I will journey my way to Sedona, put my bare feet on the ground, feel the magic all around and know that she will be there with me in spirit.

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A huge thank you to Colin for helping me with the photos – her beauty and spirit shine through each one. If you’re not already following Feed Life, I encourage you to visit the website and learn more about their mission – Colin plans to continue the work they started together and I would love for him to get all the support he deserves.

My interview with Eden (August 8, 2014): Interview with Eden Elizabeth

Below is the slide show from her Celebration of Life service:

Love and light ❤

 

 

14 thoughts on “Celebration of Life: Remembering Eden

    • My thoughts exactly!!! Imagine what this world would be like if more people were more loving and compassionate. She will definitely be missed by many. Lots of love ❤

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  1. Totally in tears over this amazing, beautiful tribute to Eden that you wrote Mandy. She seems like she was one of the most caring, compassionate and giving people in the world. I am so sorry that you lost a friend and her wonderful family I’m sure misses her beautiful selfless heart so much. So hard to understand how somebody could be taken away so early, but you are doing the most beautiful thing for her, by sharing all the amazing, giving things she did for others. Your post touched me so much and I loved reading it. You wrote so beautifully and I’m so honored to have you as a friend in my life. Thanks for sharing. Love you.

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    • Thank you, a million times, for being such a wonderful friend – your support and kindness mean so much. I, too, am honored to have you in my life. I appreciate you taking the time to read this post and for leaving such a beautiful comment. Love you ❤

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  2. In tears. My heart aches for everyone she touched. Sometimes life seems so unfair. What you did here with your words is an amazing gift to her , her loved ones and to you. She was brought into your life journey to inspire you and so that you could continue her life work, to love. She will never be forgotten. (((Hugs)))

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  3. I know I saw this first on your instagram, but finally had a chance to read through it today. I’m so sorry for the loss, and what an amazing post you have written. I had visited their site awhile back, and remember what they stood for through their site. It was nice to read more about her, and really puts life into perspective. Thanks Mandy…and hope her family is getting through ok.

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    • Thank you, Anjali, for reading the post. I am so impressed and inspired by all the work that Eden did during her life – she definitely impacted so many people. Feed Life is amazing and I have no doubt that Colin will continue to spread the message. Such a tragic loss.

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  4. Thankyou!!! What a beautiful blog for my amazing cousin. She was an amazing person with a beautiful giving heart. She will always be an inspiration to me.

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    • Hello, Heather!! Thank you so much for reading this. Eden was truly a beautiful and amazing human being – she continues to cross my mind constantly. Definitely someone we will forever be inspired by and someone we will never forget. Sending so much love your way ❤️❤️❤️❤️

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