community

We want to offer our heartfelt gratitude to everyone who responded to “The Opposite of Loneliness”; you cannot imagine how beautiful it was to learn that Marina’s words inspired countless people around the globe. We have read so many stories of inspiration, like the returning vet who now plans to pursue a medical degree; the sixty-five-year-old who realized it was ‘not too late’ to run for political office, and the Wall Street executive who left his job to work for a non-profit. The thought that, at this very moment, someone could be reading our daughter’s words, her beliefs, her concerns, and be inspired to make this world a better place is amazing and humbling. Marina would have been so honored. She would also want us to spend time not on accolades, but rather on action. It is through your actions that Marina’s spirit lives on.

In her sophomore year at college, one of Marina’s friends asked her what she thought about the meaning of life. Marina answered in one word, love. Marina went on to say that she planned to live for love:

 “What happens after or beyond this life is impossible to know, so I will focus my energies and love towards this life and the human race which inhabits it.”

While we can never hold our daughter in our arms again, we will hold tight to her vision of a world where each one of us makes a difference through the energy of our love.

We would be honored and humbled if you would join us on the journey.

–– Marina's parents

        Tracy Shoolman

        Kevin Keegan

If The Opposite of Loneliness has moved you in any way, we would love to hear your story.

Here is some of what you have shared with us.

From Jesse Terry

My wife often sends me blogs and compelling stories that she comes across during her day. Marina Keegan's piece for the Yale Daily News "The Opposite of Loneliness" simply stopped me in my tracks. Marina's writing was so extraordinary and inspiring; it instantly made an impact on my life. I couldn't believe that this brilliant person was gone.

I felt myself mourning the loss of someone that I'd never met. This line of the piece had the largest effect on me: "We're so young. We can't, we MUST not lose this sense of possibility because in the end, it's all we have."

It reminded me that the best years of my life are not behind me... They are in the present. Right here, right now. This fragile life is what we make of it and we must embrace that gift. That is what I personally took away from Marina's story. I'm not usually one to take things for granted but I hold my wife a little tighter now. Life feels a bit sweeter because of Marina's honest words.

It's always a tragedy when someone so talented leaves this world at such a young age. But I know that her writing has had such a profound effect on so many people. It has changed lives. And as a writer or artist, isn't that the greatest success you could ever hope for?

This song is inspired by Marina and dedicated to her memory.

 

Sincerely,

Jesse

From Lanesha Reagan

I got The Opposite of Loneliness when I was entering my freshmen year of college. I read it furiously in my dorm room looking for answers to questions I couldn't put into words yet and reading her words caught me by surprise. At the time, I was going through a rough patch. I've dealt with depression for the majority of my life and usually the only way I could crawl my way out of the dark place was reading or writing. Marina's words got me out of that dark place. I don't have any particular reason for writing this other than to say thank you. I was looking through my old books and stumbled upon her's and I felt convinced I needed to write something. I know she's no longer here and I wish I could've told her that her words changed my life but I can't, so I'm telling you. Thank you for helping me realize that I had time, and that I am young, and that I can still start over if that's what I want. Her book didn't drastically change my life in the moment I read it but afterwards, her essays and stories stuck with me, forcing a change in my head and my heart. I am so happy now and I can't thank Marina enough for writing when she was still here, because I know that I probably wouldn't be here today had she not. So, here I am 21 years old, about to start my senior year of college with dreams of becoming a writer and moving to New York after graduation. In a few weeks I'll be making a speech in front of classmates and faculty about how writing has saved me and I just want you to know that reading Marina's writing, saved me too. 

 

All the best,

Lanesha Reagan

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