[Update: Shann's daughter, Alia Radabaugh contacted me via Facebook to correct a couple mistakes in my post. First, she did not suffer two heart attacks. What I thought was the first heart attack was actually an arrhythmia caused by a virus that revealed heart damage during ECGs. Second, her heart attack occurred on December 11. The post below has been corrected to reflect these changes.]
I don’t normally spend a lot of time on the personal lives of our poetic community, but I just learned on Facebook that Shann Palmer has passed away. Some of you may not know her well, but she was a big part of the Poetic Asides community in the early days. In fact, she won the first ever November PAD Chapbook Challenge for her collection titled Change.
But Shann had a bigger poetic footprint than what she did on this blog. She participated (and led the way) with her local poetry scene, read and commented on the poetry of others, and was always very supportive of other poets, including me.
On December 11, she had a heart attack. This followed an arrhythmia in November caused by a virus, which revealed heart damage during ECGs. After recovering, she got back to what she loved: Writing poetry. If you go to her blog, you can see that she wrote poetry until the end. (Click to continue to Shann Palmer’s blog.)
After her December 11th attack, Shann went into a coma. Today, on solstice, she passed. I can’t help but think of something Tammy read me earlier about solstice (which Lisa Nanette Allender shared today): “In ancient times, in cultures around the world, the Winter Solstice was the holiest time of the year. As the shortest and darkest day of the year, it is a powerful planetary time of endings and new beginnings.”
As the organist and choir director of Grace Episcopal Church Goochland, Shann displayed her faith openly on Facebook and elsewhere. I have faith that while her time here has ended that she’s moving on to a new beginning.
Shann, you will be missed.