This week my partner Laura Gaddy and I want to pay special tribute to Dawn Pitkin, our beloved friend and family member, who passed away this week. Laura wrote this post to share what we have learned from her.

Dawn was an amazing, beautiful, funny, compassionate, brilliant and loving person. She touched our lives, and our hearts, in countless ways. She was one of the brightest lights we have ever seen, and we will miss her deeply. Even in our sadness we know that she lives on, and that we will carry her in our hearts always.

Dawn’s life is a powerful lesson for all of us who knew her, and we believe it can be even for those who did not. Within each of us burns the bright light of love. Dawn was one who was not afraid to let hers shine to everyone she encountered. She created no false barriers between herself and others. She did not allow the challenges of life, and she faced many in her short life, to diminish her light and love. She gave freely, without condition. If more of us allowed our hearts to remain open, what a world we could create. The supply is infinite, and yet many guard it like there is only so much to go around. It’s time to put that notion aside, and truly live from the abundant source that is in all things.

Yes, Dawn was very special to us, but each of us has the same opportunity to be a bright light in the world. It is so easy to let our busyness, distractions and hurts to throw veil after veil over who we truly are and what we are meant to be—it doesn’t have to be that way. When we peel all of that away, and allow our full brilliance to shine, we create a ripple effect in the world that goes far beyond what we can see. When we light the way for one, they in turn have the power to light the way for another, and so on and so on without end.

Dawn’s light created such an effect, we watched it happen as she interacted not just with friends and family, but with the hospital and clinic staff these last few months. She knew the name of every office worker, nurse’s assistant and nurse that assisted with her care. She spoke to them with kindness and humor. You could see the smiles on their faces when she came through the door. What a gift!

Thank you, Dawn for sharing your love and your life with us. We have been honored and blessed by your light.

May we all pass the light on.