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  • Writer's pictureDom Siewko

An Easter Note from the Shann's

On March 22nd 2024, our sweet Emily would have been celebrating her 16th birthday.  She would have been thinking about getting her drivers license soon. She would have been gearing up for a winning season of high school softball with her beloved Bishop Fenwick teammates.

She would have been stoked that Sarah made the varsity team and that they would be playing together. She would have been cheering Ashley on at level 8 States, and Regionals for gymnastics. She would have been keeping me posted on all of the successes of her past gymnastics teammates from Reading and Yellow Jackets, and she would have been so happy for them. She would have been anticipating the summer and all the travel she’d be doing with her Hurricanes Softball team. And knowing Emily, she would have been finishing up the school year with straight A’s so she could get into the college of her dreams.


We will always have a hole in our heart thinking about what Emily would be doing now, and dreaming about what she could have achieved. . .

But even though we grieve these things, we also refuse to become paralyzed with grief. Doing so would lead our family down a path of despair which could destroy our lives. We do not want to be stuck in an abyss feeling sorry for ourselves, and we certainly do not feel sorry for Emily. Her life may have been cut short by OUR standards, but not by Gods’. We may feel sad that she “missed out” on so many things, but Emily is not missing out!

She is living in a place of perfect peace, love, and happiness– it’s where we all hope to be one day!  I bet she can’t wait for us to know what she knows and see what she sees. Everything is in context for her, now, and she is really more alive than any of us!

As we approach the one year anniversary of Emily’s passing, rather than focusing on her death, we hope you will help us to celebrate her life. We don’t want to be sad when we think about her, we want to remember all the happy memories. Please do not hesitate to talk about her with us because we love to hear the funny stories, moments shared, and special ways that Emily touched your life. The best way we can think to honor Emily is to follow her lead in pushing through the struggles of life– this kid never gave up. She faced her challenges head on– and we will do the same.

Emily is an Easter baby. The first and last moments of her life were during Easter. After much reflection, I believe the Lord put her in our lives as a beautiful reminder of the Resurrection.

While we must all carry the cross in this life, it becomes easier when we allow others to help us; and much easier when we allow Jesus to help us. . . but more importantly, the victory won by our Lord is our inheritance if we choose to be His child. Emily simply received her inheritance sooner than us. How can we be sorry?

April 16th is the upcoming anniversary of her being born into Eternal Life. It is a life without sorrow, without pain, without death! In Heaven, she is ageless– and we choose to celebrate it as her new birthday, a day of great joy!

Thank you for all your love and support this past year. Thank you for helping us to carry our cross. May God bless you at Easter and always,


Kenny, Rita, and the Shann Clan

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