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Corynna’s Reflections



Anonymous... replied on Sat, 09/24/2016 - 13:20

Corynna’s Reflections

Corynna Strawser was just 16 when she died of Mitochondrial Disease.  It was very important to her and her family to inspire and support others while she lived with her disease. They even started a Facebook page called Courage for Corynna where you can see life stories and the goals they accomplished while Corynna was alive. Corynna’s mother, Kristi, continues sharing her daughter’s messages of inspiration and brings awareness to the disease that took her daughter’s life through this page. There is one video that Corynna completed, with the support of hospice, which Kristi has shared more recently. This was a video created from a service that many hospices offer called life review.

Life review is a service offered by many hospices that gives patients an opportunity to reminisce, and create something to leave behind for their loved ones. Life reviews are as unique as the individual, and families can choose what they wish to do with each creation. It is often hospice volunteers who assist with this offering. 

Kristi shares a post from their Facebook page as Corynna was completing the life review video.

“Corynna is hoping to finish up her life review video tomorrow. This video is her special memories, feelings, thoughts, and things she wants to share and people to remember. It made me think about what did she share? (I haven't seen it). Did she have a good childhood? Where we good parents? We think as parents we have OUR whole life time to make memories and give our children a special life. We never think we may have only 16 years. I was 20 when Corynna was born. I was so young growing up with her in many ways. If I had known what I know now I would do more, I would be better. I always tried to show her love and laughter but if only I knew then that every minute was even more precious because our time would be cut short I would have let somethings go, I wouldn't have wasted so much time. I thought I had a life time...Remember tonight and tomorrow and then next day this post....Take that minute and stop and soak up every minute you can with your child! Think about what they would say if they had to do a life review video today!"

Corynna didn't want me to see the life review video as she was making it. It took small timeframes multiple days to complete because she was so weak and having trouble breathing. There was a part of me that thought we would make that video and she would still be with us years later and I still wouldn't have watched it but it was 2 months later and she was gone. She was so worried about remembering what she wanted to say so Pam the Social worker helped her with the questions and to write down her answers and that was reassuring for her to not feel pressured that she would draw a blank or not know what to say during the video.

I have had people who watched it say they were prepared to cry the whole time because it was so sad but they were surprised how much they smiled and even laughed as they watched the video. Corynna was so very wise and knew far more than I understood. It shows in the video. This video is priceless. I often describe having a love/hate relationship with time. I love that time has eased the intense pain that I felt for so long after Corynna passed away. Eventually I stopped crying everyday thanks to time. On the other hand, time takes little bits of my memories. That scares me so much. I never want to forget one thing she said or did. This life review video will forever keep these memories sharp and always able to reach.”

Corynna and her mother were very close. Her mother is also a hospice nurse and was Corynna’s caregiver throughout her disease. Kristi continues her daughter’s message and brings awareness to the disease that many people know little about.

We thank Corynna’s family for sharing this video, and State of the Heart Hospice for providing this life review opportunity. 

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As a hospice nurse I am reminded of the beauty that can be found even in the most difficult times.

Anonymous... replied on Fri, 09/23/2016 - 20:45

Beautiful story, live every moment..god speed on her journey into the heavens of God

julie... replied on Fri, 09/23/2016 - 15:25


Anonymous... replied on Sat, 09/24/2016 - 13:20

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