I've Been Thinking

The meaning of the elephant

(My beloved niece Seana passed from this life to the next on May 19, 2012. Ovarian Cancer took her life. She was only 31 years old. Over the next while I will share the thoughts that I recorded during the time before and after Seana’s death. I invite you to join me as I share what was on my heart, and also pay tribute to my niece, and to her family.)

Written May 28, 2012

Today John and Gail brought me some jewelry that had belonged to Seana.

One piece is a sterling silver ring, it has elephants on it, connected and encircling. 

I was curious about the elephants and so Googled them to see if there was a particular symbolism surrounding them.

About elephants

Here is what I discovered –

– “we revere elephants for their strength and power… The elephant is probably one of the most positive animal symbols known. Here are some lessons we can learn from the elephant:
Strong sense of loyalty to the family

It profoundly moved me. For this description pertains and pertained to the spirit with which Seana lived.

Seana and Leanne

Strength, wisdom and solitude

Seana displayed great strength and power in her fight against cancer. She wanted to make a difference. Seana did everything she could to add quality and meaning to each day.

She worked on developing and maintaining a positive attitude – though the cancer ravaged her delicate body. Hope was a flame she would not consent to blow out.

Seana had a steel-like strength of faith – she demonstrated love and trust in Jesus. A week and a day before she went into septic shock, Seana said she was done trying to figure out the mysteries in the Bible. She would say like Job did, “blessed be the name of the Lord.”

Seana generously shared the wisdom she gained, honed through great suffering. Her hope, her gratitude for each day. She shared her discovery of books that helped her. And, one in particular entitled, “The Shack.” It brought her such comfort and encouragement.

During times of solitude Seana meditated, prayed, read and pondered. She worked on developing good and fine qualities of character .

Loyalty and intelligence

Seana displayed a strong sense of loyalty to her family. She loved Vincent with all of her heart. Yearned to spend time with her family. Her Mom and Dad. Her sisters, their husbands, and her sweet nephews. And Seana did – she made the most of every moment, loved with passion and depth.

Seana exhibited great intelligence. She earned a Master’s Degree. One of her jobs was working in cancer research at Sunnybrook Hospital.

There were many fascinating discussions about life, faith, and the state of the world. Seana knew how to communicate with clarity and effectiveness.

Never forgotten

So, I take great comfort in these discoveries today. I put the ring on my finger.

The elephants, reminding me as elephants do, that our beloved Seana – will not and cannot be forgotten.



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