Rachael Streich

My sweet Delta Omicron sister, Rachael, has joined the angels in heaven. She fought a very courageous battle with melanoma.

Rachael was one of those amazing people who handled every challenge with grace, and she took on this particular challenge with unending faith in God’s plan for her.

I ran my first marathon in her honor. I carried a necklace for her, and I gave it to her after I finished the race. I have run so many miles while praying for her that I can’t even give a solid number. When a training run got hard, I prayed for her and hoped to handle that specific athletic challenge with the same grace that she showed while battling cancer every day. Running just won’t seem the same without her.

I was blessed to be able to see her on her last day on this earth. Our college friends and Delta Omicron siblings all went to UW hospital in Madison, and we got to hold her hand. We cried together, prayed together, and laughed in her memory. Special thanks for my friends… Ashley, Amanda, Mary, Curtis and Mo, Jaime and Karl, Kenny, Sarah and Josh… We all got to be together which was wonderful. Rachael would have been happy to know were there for each other.

Grief is a very strange thing. One moment, I feel like my world is crumbling, then the next moment, I feel okay. Just when I think things might be getting easier, something reminds me of her, and the vicious, stinging tears begin again.

Yesterday, my friend Kim suggested that I meet her for a run. I didn’t want to get out of bed, but I’m glad I did. A quick five miles made me feel so much better… Until I put on my Delta Omicron sweatpants and lost it in the locker room.

Last summer, we lost a sister, so Rachael is the second in eight months. After TK was gone, I swore that I would live my life to the fullest. I’d be a better _____. It’s amazing how when your friends are taken from you at such a young age, it gives you perspective. I wonder how my life will change this time as I heal from this wound.

Right now, I am filled with sadness. I know in my heart that Rachael wouldn’t want me to sit around, crying for her. Nonetheless, I feel like I’m wearing an invisible cloak that weighs 1,000 pounds, and trying to be my normal positive self seems impossible. I just ordered the flower arrangement for Rachael’s funeral, and I had a hard time writing the card- there just isn’t a way in existence for me to put into words how special Rachael was and how much she meant to us.

I will continue to pray for Rachael’s family and all her friends, as we grieve together. I ask for special prayers for Truman, Rachael’s boyfriend, as he goes through this intense sadness.

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6 Comments

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6 responses to “Rachael Streich

  1. Thank you so much for sharing this. I was searching for a bit more information on Rachael and found this. I knew Rachael a very short period, one semester of college to be exact, and she has left a huge impact on my life. She is the true example of what a kind heart is. She reached out to me and showed me nothing but kindness and friendship the short amount of time I got to spend with her.
    She was a completely positive person. I remembered one time I challenged her to say something bad about my performance on a piece I was playing for my clarinet studio class and even though there was an abundance of things she could have said she absolutely refused to say nothing but positive things! That was the moment I could see just how pure her heart was. Even though her passing is a tragic loss, I can’t help but feel how lucky I was to know such a beautiful soul. If anyone deserves to be free of pain and suffering it is without a doubt, Rachael. I hope your grief does not blind you from the fact that she is going to a place where she will never age, never struggle and will always be there for you whenever you need. A piece of her will remain in your heart forever and it is only going to make you stronger. I will remember her for her beautiful smile, her amazing musical talent and most of all the incredible warmth she brought to everyone’s life.

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  3. Saw this on SR’s blog. I just sent you money! I’m raising money too for Fred’s Team and running the Boston Marathon. As a melanoma survivor, I’ll do anything to kick this deadly disease in the face. GOOD LUCK!

  4. I am SO SORRY for the loss of your friend, I can’t even imagine….

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  6. Pingback: When was the last time you thought about Mesothelioma? | artistandathlete

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