ForeverMissed
Stories

Share a special moment from Heather's life.

“I want to carry my own welcome mat with me.”

Shared by Liz Trice on June 15, 2021
My name is Liz Trice. I went to college with Heather at St John's College in Santa Fe. We sailed in Europe, Maine, and Cuba together, at times lived together, worked together in Boulder and Denver, and have stayed friends across these decades. 

For me, the most amazing quality about Heather was that she welcomed me (and strangers) into spaces, conversations, and adventures that made me feel special and made the whole world feel magical. 

Within the first month of college at St. Johns, she invited me after a seminar class - that ended at 10pm! - to drive almost two hours across the valley to hike into hot springs with two male classmates I hadn't met before. I said yes, and we did it. We lay there softly talking under the starts, moving from hot to cool to warm pools, and drove back at dawn in time for a nap before breakfast and class. 

At St Johns, we rock climbed, we trained in search and rescue, and we danced, often pulling off sweaty gear for a quick turnaround into evening gowns. There were dance parties on weekends, and dance classes and informal practices on weeknights. We went swing and salsa dancing in town, and once she discovered tango, we all - including Sarah, Michael, and others – we danced tango, too. 

The unifying elements of my times with Heather were sensual and social adventure. “I want to carry my own welcome mat with me,” she said, and she did, allowing her to go to new places and make herself and others welcome, expanding experience and intimacies, getting us all to step just beyond our comfort zones, dancing with strangers, loving and teaching love. 

A funny thing happened while planning this service with some of her other friends; everyone wanted to be acknowledged as a best friend of sorts – at least in some realm or chapter of her life. It almost felt like there would be a squabble, but then we laughed and sighed: Isn't that just it? That she made each of us feel so special! It's incomprehensible she could make so many people feel that way! We were all in love with her and the sparkley-eyes-of-life world she brought to us. And what joy to be brought all together now, friends from different chapters to connect and delight in each other! She would love that. 

I and so many others tried to help these past two years. There was no lack of trying and who knows the workings of the universe, the choices of her soul and all of ours. I'm now left with grief, and gratitude for having her in my life, and I'm left with the question of how to carry her flame in me. 

I live in Portland, Maine now. I've played in tango bands for more than a decade, and my closest community there is dancers and musicians. Much of my work is designing support networks for innovators, and building neighborhoods that encourage community. I'm asking myself, how do I design spaces that can allow for and spark special moments, lifelong friendships, and new ideas that enliven both the present and the future? 

I want to keep dancing, hang onto her coattails, fly to new countries to experience foreign festivals, arts, and friendships, fly a four line kite, dance with a new partner. Embrace the seasons, the weather, rejoice in my body, indulge in good food with friends, jump in cold water at dawn, bike and hike far and hard, and be welcomed warmly on my return, with fire, mystery, and soft openness to possibility. 

And always, in conversation, and introspection, on life and on love. And to welcome others along the way. 

It's a tall order. I'll do my best!

(from 6/13/21 service in Aspen)


June 13, 3 pm Celebration of life

Shared by rebecca driscoll on June 5, 2021
Please join us for a celebration of life 3 p.m. Sunday June 13th at John Denver Sanctuary in Aspen 

Our Children introduced us

Shared by rebecca driscoll on May 18, 2021
Heather and I met when our kids, born a week apart, went to Wildwood Preschool in Aspen High School. They wanted a playdate, and we complied. These playdates became the staple of our lives, and we raised the kids together, like an episode of Sister-Wives, with friday pot lucks, camping in Arches, trips to the playground, Moab, Denver, the Florida Keys. Even when the kids stopped hanging out, we never did. She became my inspiration; turning a frumpy cerebral introvert in mom-jeans into something more. She taught me a little tango and salsa, spiced up my wardrobe choices and hair, coaxed me into shape, dragged me out to concerts and social events. I was never really in her league, but that was her greatest talent: to make everyone feel like they belonged with the popular crowd. Around her, we all felt prettier, more talented, more adventurous, more important, more in. 

Its really hard to make a new friend, especially after the kid-connection opportunity has passed. I was so blessed have 15 years with her, but the hole she has left is staggering and her role irreplaceable. 

Total Memories: 1

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