Monday, September 5, 2011

Memorial Post: Suzi Phaneuf

Susanne (Suzi) Phaneuf, April 19, 1966 - August 29, 2011
This past week has been one that I would not soon care to repeat...not ever actually. Last Monday, we received the shocking news that one of our staff, Suzi Phaneuf, had passed away.  In the days that followed, I went mechanically about my duties...sometimes staring for many minutes at a time at my blank computer screen in utter denial and disbelief that any of this was even real.

Still, certain things had to get done. We did our best to ready ourselves for the Memorial Service that no-one had intended to be involved in for many, many years to come. Friday came. We gathered. We worshiped. We shared heartfelt memories of a life well lived.  We prayed together.  We shared a light meal together and re-connected with others from the past who had also shared the road of life with Suzi. And then we parted company and went home. One would assume that closure would follow.

One would only be partially correct.

Now in the quiet after the fray, thoughts still linger. Oh, I'm beyond questioning..God is God after all. But more than just remembering too. Wondering...wondering about life in general. About it's fragility. About it's brevity. About it's impact. Wondering about life in general and about mine in particular.

What will people say when I am gone?

Suzi's life inspires all of us to make an impact. To leave a dent on this world. To make impressions on the people that we come in contact with.

Suzi was awesome in every way. Fun to work with, a great friend, a devoted follower of Jesus and an all around amazing and beautiful human being.  Passionate about God, family, Paris, writing, reading, learning, Starbucks and her job - her life has taught us all to live life to the full.  Her death has left an unimaginable void.

Over the years that Suzi and I worked together, we got to know each other quite well – the way you do when you work with someone for a long time.  From time to time, Suzi would bring something to my office to get my input on and if I was really super busy and felt that she could take care of it I would say, sometimes without even looking up, ‘four words Suzi, four words’. And she knew what that meant. The four words were ‘make it go away’.

This week – she wasn’t here to ‘make it go away’. But there was another four word phrase we used a lot, and I think if she could communicate with me today she might be using this one.

‘Suck it up princess’. Because life goes on.

Goodbye friend…you will be missed!

Note: Suzi was a prolific writer. Check out her blog here.

3 comments:

W Scott Cochrane said...

All of us at The Leadership Centre Willow Creek Canada have been praying for all of you at Portico during this difficult time.

D J Futers said...

Thank you Scott. We feel the effects of your prayers and have been encouraged to see the Body of Christ functioning as it should. Be blessed.

bellaverita said...

Really appreciate you sharing your memories & thoughts of Suzi, Jeff. I know she so enjoyed working with you. Praying for you & her Portico family.