Rest in Peace, Wellness Warrior

I awoke on Friday February 27th at 2am, bright eyed, bushy tailed and ready for the day, convinced it was later. I went into the office and checked my email – not something I usually do at 2am – looking at an account I don’t normally open.

And there it was: an email from someone named Tallon.

The email was a photo of Jess Ainscough, 30, and it told me that she had died on February 26th after 7 years of thriving with cancer.

If you don’t know who Jess was (I can’t believe I’m writing “was”), Jess was a young Aussie woman who lived with a rare cancer mostly found in the youth. I don’t what happened in the end, but what I do know is that despite that I didn’t know her personally, many of my friends did, and what I did know of her, inspired me.

Jess created a movement of holistic cancer survivors (Kris Carr is another such Warrior) who taught about green juices, keeping the system clean and living a holistic lifestyle.

She was diagnosed at 22!

At 22!

22 is when most of us are still coming home from all night bingers and wondering how we’ll pay rent. This girl was beginning a holistic cancer treatment…

Over the years she wrote books, kept a popular blog and shot videos of everything from oil pulling to gardening. I learned some great stuff from her.

She was an inspiration. She was loved.

So of course, being the endless optimist that I am, I was genuinely shocked by her death, writing to a friend who was close with her: “She was not supposed to go. She was supposed to be the forever poster-child of healing from cancer naturally.” Yet as soon as I wrote those words, I realized that we don’t really know why certain things happen, that sometimes we see later, that the impact of her death, both positive and negative is yet to be seen, and that whatever that impact is, I am no less a believer in holistic methods of healing.

Everything comes down to the specifics: type of illness, environment, stressors. (Her mom had died the previous year, and she did write about the impact it was having on her.)

Overall, from what I read of, about and by Jess, she was an incurably honest and raw person, whom the public loved because of her complete authenticity and kindness.

A massive inspiration to many, she will remain with all of us who knew her (to even some degree), and if this has reminded me of anything at all, it’s this:

We simply never know how long we have.

So waste not a minute being joyful and of happy service to those you are called to reach.

Jess always had a smile on her face, it seems, and that’s how I’d like to remember her.

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