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"It was February, I had just arrived home from school. Mom was cooking in the kitchen. All of a sudden, she grabbed me and started doing some Tai Chi[1] exercises. She was moving her hands and arms calmly in the air, going back and forth as if she was dancing. She said 'This is Tai Chi. Maintain your balance while moving your body up front. Do it just like a sexy woman'. I cried out 'Mooom!' embarrassed. I was 17. Accompanying her nonetheless. Just as I was about to leave the kitchen and head to my room, she held me by my shoulders and said 'It was one of the best days of my life when I first held you in my arms. I love you very much'. I was happy. I thanked her and told her that I love her very much and left for my room afterwards. This was the last time I had seen my mother".

I met Shannon in Marrakesh, Morocco. She is from Canada, 25 years old. She decided to quit her position as a pastry chef and started travelling the world. She was considering returning to Canada to work for another period in order to save some money and continue travelling. 

"Mom was a very spiritual woman. My guess is she had sensed she was going to pass away. I saw her in the hospital shortly after her passing, covered with cabled all around her. Though the last image stuck in my head is her happily practicing Tai Chi in the kitchen. I will always remember her that way. I believe this is called the 'Marilyn Monroe Effect'. I have not seen my mom grow older. I will always remember her as a very beautiful and cheerful woman".

"It took a long while for my anger to pass. I was only 17. I still needed my mother. She should not have left. I rebelled thinking 'Why me?'. We were a very nice family and we did not deserve this. Later on, a friend told me 'if you ask yourself 'Why me?' for every negative thing happening to you, you have to do so for all the positive ones too. Cause nobody deserves anything like this'".
"My mother's passing taught me a lot. I grew up with the experience. I learned to travel, being self-sufficient, feeling confident, loving harder... Cause you never know. You never know what tomorrow will bring".

"She is there whenever I need her. Sometimes with the sun, the other times in the form of a butterfly that lands on me. I was in India during the eight anniversary of her passing, lying down at the beach. Thinking to myself 'I wish she was here with my so I could tell her about my day', missing her very much. There is a song that always reminds me of her. It's Sade's 'The Sweetest Taboo'. Just when I was thinking about her, the song started playing somewhere behind me. My mom... she always found a way".
'Mom loved her children and protected us. I still feel her protecting me when I need her. During one of my trips, I was a little scared and felt I wasn't sure what to do. I just heard her voice in my head telling me 'leave this place immediately' and I did so, nothing happened. I was very young, just 19 and naive. I wasn't going to leave on my own and it was quite possible that something bad was going to happen".

"Mom had this incredible energy. You know science says 'energy cannot be created not destroyed'. The fact that her body has left us doesn't mean she isn't with us. She is everywhere. That's why I got this tattoo: It says 'Death cannot kill'. Though she has left this place, she still continues to teach me a lot".

[1] Tai Chi is an internal Chinese martial art practiced for both its defense training, its health benefits and meditation.

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