Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Dancing With the Angels

On the night of April 23 the world lost one of its brightest lights and I lost my only child. On that night, Shanna Sandmoen relinquished her struggle for life in the physical and passed peacefully from this world. She returned “home” to joyously dance with the angels, and I know this as I have seen her dancing.

If you have been following this blog than you know about Shanna’s illness and the courage, optimism, and humor with which she faced each day.  The path she chose was a difficult one and it was a path many people found hard to understand. Still it was her choice to make and who is to say that a different path would have led to a happier ending. The truth is there are no wrong or right paths, some paths may be more arduous than others, but they all eventually lead us to the same destination...home.

There was so much more to Shanna than most of you ever knew, she was creative, compassionate, selfless, courageous, intuitive, and talented. She was a born leader and naturally gravitated toward managerial positions. She preferred writing by hand and loved sending hand written letters. She was an avaricious reader who could spend hours exploring a book store. Dogs were so firmly entrenched in her heart that doggy was her first word.
She was passionate about women’s causes and admired strong women like Queen Elizabeth I, the singer Tori Amos, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. On more than one occasion she put herself in danger to help a friend. She talked to angels and had the ability of looking into your eyes and “reading” your soul.

I hope that you have been touched by Shanna’s story and inspired by her words, and I hope that when you think of Shanna, you don’t just remember her as the girl who had cancer. Instead remember her as the girl who was passionate about dogs and vegetarian food, the girl who loved music, dance, poetry, art, theater and ballet, the girl who joyously played the violin, piano, and harp…the angels do love to play the harp!

Most of all remember her because She Loved, She Laughed, She Lived!

I end this blog for Shanna now on it’s two year anniversary in the same way in which it was started, with one of Shanna’s favorite quotes from E. E, Cummings;
“Existing’s Tricky, but to live’s a gift.”

In Loving Memory of Shanna

Rhonda Sandmoen

Shanna's ashes have joined those of her grandparents in the Unity Village Rose Garden.
Her Celebration of Life is being held June 2, 6:00 to 9:00 at the Unity Village Clubhouse.


  1. Shanna taught me so much about this world. I am so blessed that she came into my life. Rhonda, this is a fitting tribute. My heart goes out to you, and I will see you this weekend to celebrate a life that was so meaningful to many. <3

  2. I have been following Shanna's blog for some time, and had her guest blog on my blog I have been thinking about her a lot the past couple of weeks. When I saw "Existing's Tricky" in my mailbox, I laughed out loud and said, "THank God she is back!"
    She is an amazing soul, and I am sure the angels welcomed her into their arms.
    Florence, a.k.a. Cancer Warrior

  3. Rhonda,
    Thank you for being a human angel. Your faith brought so much light to Shanna's life. I feel her with me always. Shanna is my SHERO. I love her and today consider her one of my spirit guides.

    Many blessings to you and your family.


  4. Rhonda,
    I had the pleasure of meeting Shanna at Kripalu last summer, and guest-posting here about my experience with Bodyheart. Shanna's conviction and boundless faith definitely sparked something in me- I am more fierce and on-fire for helping others heal, honoring my spirit, and eating clean because I met her. She will inspire me for many, many years to come.

    My best,
    Katie Lamie

  5. My heart goes out to you and your family, Rhonda. Shanna and I both enjoyed Bruce Coville's unicorn series and Carrie Bebris's Mr. & Mrs. Darcy mystery series and I enjoyed her enthusiastic reviews and recommendations. Bless you all.

  6. My prayers to Shanna's family at this time. I have posted a tribute to Shanna on my blog:
    Cancer Warrior

  7. Rhonda, I am so sorry for your loss. I can't even imagine what you must be feeling. I only met Shanna online a few months ago, when she sent me a letter to be pens pals from Gala Darling's Radical Self Love Bootcamp, though I had read her blog for a few months before that. She was an amazing, strong woman, an inspiration to me. The world is a little darker without her.

  8. This was a beautiful tribute. Shanna is the strongest person I have ever known and I am so lucky to call her friend. I look forward to celebrating Shanna's beautiful life with her family and friends Saturday evening!

    Peace to you Shanna, and to your family and friends!

  9. I am so incredibly sorry for your loss. I did not know Shanna well except for exchanging emails and blog comments but I felt a deep connection with her somehow that is not easy to explain. She was one of my first inspirations to really look harder into natural and alternative therapies for cancer. I loved reading her blog. Every time I make my almond milk I think of her, every time. She is the one who made it look so easy to do that it motivated me to do it. I know she is out there looking out for everyone she loved. She will remain a part of my life in my heart for all time. Thank you for sharing more about her with us all. I wish I could have gotten to know her better, but somehow I feel like we will meet again.
    Laura (a.k.a "The Cancer Assassin")

  10. Rhonda - your daughter is amazing. I'm so sorry for your loss. She sounds like an inspiring, strong, and terrific person. What a lovely tribute you wrote for her.

    I met Shanna through my blog, we both love to read Jane Austen. :)

  11. I'm so sorry for your loss. Nothing equals the pain of losing a child <3

  12. How sad Shanna have died earlier in this world but I know here memories still lives in you. A little girl with a loving heart like her will not be forgotten.

  13. Awesome post and right to the point, I am not sure if this is in fact the best place to ask but do you people have any idea where to get some professional writers? Thanks in advance
    Cardsharing Server


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