“A project representing the different side of my cancerful life and the different sides of cancer. It represents my story and many others” Angela Amoroso
“I don’t believe we see enough of the ‘real’ side of cancer. I want people to see it, to see how light and dark it can be.” Angela Amoroso.
Those who knew Angela personally or though her blog, know that she was working on a three part Photo Essay on cancer. The first two parts, Beauty and The Dark are part of her blog. Part 3 she referred to as The End although I think of it as Legacy.
Unfortunately Angela was not able to complete the third part. She had completed an interview and her friends completed a song and music video as part of her project, both of which are linked below.
I believe that we all learned different things from Angela, from how she lived her life, her writing, photos, conversations, and what she shared with us.
It is my belief that her legacy is personal, individual to each of us with a general theme. It is about everything we learned from her that has become part of who we are and how we choose to live our life.
Angela’s legacy, for me, is about living. She lived with grief daily: loss of friends and family, living with a terminal illness, loss of independence, body image struggles, and uncounted challenges in her daily life. After spending many of the seven years bald, she once told me that she missed her hair. Angela also, despite the dark times, the challenges, acknowledged the the blessings she found in living with cancer. To see only the darkness, you miss beauty around and surrounding you.
Angela wrote openly and honestly about how she would be down at times, go to her dark place. Despite those dark times, she always found a way to continue to embrace the beauty in life and to find a way to live with her darker times while continuing to find joy in moments. The joy of working in the gardens and her smile as her plants thrived, listening to the birds and enjoying the dragonflies on the patio, time with friends and family, a good book, research for a trip. Living, for Angela, was not just about her struggles and challenges, but learning to live despite them. She recognized and believed that we all had struggles and also believed that each persons challenges were equal to hers. Angela did not believe that cancer gave her struggles greater weight than any others.
It is often said, we are born needing care and we die needing care. Angela knew it was how we lived the time we had between that mattered.
As I have learned from Angela, living isn’t just about our own challenges, our own struggles. Living is about our resilience, it is about how we persevere despite those obstacles.
It is close to two years since Angela passed away. While I continue to grieve her loss, miss her physical presence in my life, I am aware that I am taking steps to rebuild my life and think about how I want to live. With me in this process is all I learned from Angela. She is always walking alongside me. Despite grief, I seek beauty in each day.
Friends, acquaintances, and people who didn’t know her, but found their way to her blog, have shared with me how her life affected them and how they live their lives differently, more fully, with purpose because of what they learned from her. I see that as her legacy. As my grief becomes less brutal, I find Angela’s legacy, her voice becoming a stronger voice for me.
Angela’s legacy is about how she chose to live her life. It is about her effect on those in her life, however brief the time. It is how others live their lives differently, more fully, more present in the moment, and the ability to find joy in those moments. When we live our lives differently, that affects those around us, our loved ones. In that way, Angela continues to live on in all of us.
Below are the links for the interview and music video which tell more of Angela’s story. It is OK to cry and to smile when watching them!
My heartfelt thanks and overwhelming gratitude to the artists Angela was working with, who completed this project for her. This would not have been possible without their belief in Angela and her vision.
Liesl Clark – Photographer
Ben Proulx – videographer, director
Charlie Chronopoulos – songwriter and musician.
SONG AND MUSIC VIDEO:
I wish all of you well. Each step forward can be a challenge, but we always have Angela walking alongside us.
Enjoy moments. Laugh. Celebrate Life. Share your blessings with friends, family and people you are just meeting.
Posted by Carol Hordis