Hadley (left) hugging Sheralee (right).
My daughter posted the following on Facebook. It is a tribute to her good friend and companion Sheralee:
“I debated a long time about whether or not to make this post. I worried that it would be inappropriate, or that it wasn't my place to comment. But I think I need to say something. I'm not looking for likes or sympathy. I just want to remember a friend.
Last night, I said a final goodbye to my friend Sheralee L. Fielder. Sheralee was the kind of friend that you only get once in a lifetime. She was the most fearless and authentic person I have ever met. Sheralee was completely unafraid to be herself, others' opinions be damned. She never bothered with sugar coating or self-censorship. If she had an opinion on something, she would tell you openly and without fear of your response. Sheralee wasn't afraid to walk around strange cities at night. She loved to explore places that other people may find scary. And she had a tender, feeling heart that ached when it saw injustice in the world. Sheralee was a crusader for the underprivileged. Her life goal was to right the wrongs she saw in the world. She was remarkably kind, funny, brave, and authentic.
Sheralee was my first friend in undergrad at Hollins. I've always struggled with making friends. I take a long time to warm up to people. Sheralee and I met in my freshman writing class. Something I did or said in that class must have appealed to her, because she was determined to be my friend no matter what. I must have rejected her invitations to hang out one hundred times. Even so, Sheralee was undeterred. When I finally spent some time with her, I discovered what a beautifully unique person she was. And I am forever grateful for that. She is a friend that I will miss for the rest of my life.
Goodbye, Sheralee. Thank you for enriching my life with your creativity, humor, bravery, and passion. I will never forget you.
R.I.P” Hadley James
It took my wife and I four years to actually meet Sheralee. We kept on kidding our daughter that Sheralee was her imaginary friend. My wife and I finally met Sheralee on graduation weekend, and subsequently Sheralee spent a fun filled weekend at our house. There were plans for Sheralee to come and visit again with a reunion between her, Mara (her roommate and Hadley’s friend) and Hadley. Unfortunately, that never happened.
Sheralee is not famous, but she impacted her friends in ways that are difficult to describe. Sheralee’s positive impact on our daughter is still evident today.
As I wrote to Hadley, with Sheralee’s passing the world has a big hole to fill. With Hadley’s tribute to this wonderful woman Hadley just helped to fill that hole.
Stuart James, Publisher oneBlog