Goodbye Shana

Yesterday I received the heartbreaking news that my friend Shana passed away from a drug overdose over the weekend.  We hadn’t been in touch for over a year, but throughout college (which was sort of a difficult time in my life), she was my roommate for two years, my confidante, my support system, my escape, my partner in pot-smoking, time-wasting, road-tripping, music-loving, Sex & the City watching, Indiana exploring and much more.  She was one of my closest friends.

Shana was a southern girl from Atlanta with a big personality.  I met her freshman year in the dorms (McNutt) at Indiana University.  At first I was intimidated by her – she was loud and boisterous and commanded attention at all times, but by the end of freshman year we were  tight and we made the decision to live together the following year (along with three others – a random mix and a funny little family).

Though Shana consistently maintained a happy carefree exterior, with her “y’alls” her loud laugh, her pet names for friends and her amazing ability to speak the fastest gibberish I’ve ever heard, deep down she had a sadness that those closest to her knew about. Sadly, she never loved herself as much as she should have.

School was not her thing.  She made a habit of skipping classes and never took it seriously.  I always tried to get her on the right track.  I would bribe her to come study with me at the library.  We would sit outside on the library patio, take Adderall, drink coffee and smoke cigarettes while we studied,  but of course we ended up gabbing more than studying.  She had better things to do than study. She always just wanted to have fun, which I guess is why she was so much fun to be around.

I remember driving around Bloomington in Shana’s light blue old-school Beamer, with the windows down, sunroof open, listening to music.  Shana loved music.  In fact, a lot of the music I have in my collection today came from her.  For me, the best way to immerse myself in happy memories of Shana is to listen to the songs that we always listened to together.  Hearing them now brings me back instantly – to her car, with Bowie (her dog – yes, named after David Bowie) in the back seat – on the way to the dog park. These songs will always make me think of Shana and the happy times we shared together, land-locked in Indiana.


Shana was adored by a lot of people – even if she might not have realized it.  Unfortunately she never believed in the potential we all saw in her.  I wish she had.  It’s such a waste.

For all of you who knew and loved Shana like I did – I know we’re all thinking about her and remembering the fun times we had together back in Indiana.  I feel so sad I never got to say goodbye.  So, cheers to Shana – loyal friend, old soul, best mom to a puppy I’ve ever met, music-loving, sassy, ballsy, hilarious, gibberish-speaking, badass, big-hearted Georgia girl.  You took off way too early and you will be missed by many.  xo


16 thoughts on “Goodbye Shana

  1. Oh, Nell, I am so sorry to hear about your friend. Lots of love & healing to you and her friends & family. xoxox

  2. Wow. That must’ve been shocking to hear. I’m so sorry for your loss, and to Shana’s other friends and family too. That was such a lovely post Nell.
    Big hugs. xoxo

  3. I’m so sorry about your friend, Nell. Thinking of you and wishing peace for her and all her friends and family.

  4. Wow. I am so sad to hear this news. Yours is a beautiful tribute to her and describes her just as I also remember her our freshman year! I’m sorry for your loss of a special friend and for the world’s loss of Shana’s bright light.

  5. Nell, Harv and I were so saddened to hear about the passing of Shana. Even though we never met her, we heard you and Rob talk about her. Your tribute to her is very touching. Our thoughts are with you and Rob and our arms are around you both with a great, big hug. Our love, Elaine and Harvey

  6. I hope each day gets better for you and Rob. Such a tragic and horrible loss. I love what you wrote about her. She sounds like she was a lot of awesome and it sucks that her life ended so early. This is a beautiful post…wonderful words about a wonderful woman. Hope you’re hanging in there. Love you.

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