In Memory of Abbe

Samantha Jay, Abundant Yoga Community Member and childhood friend of Abbe, shared with us about how special Abbe was. Please read more about Abbe below!



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Tell us a little bit about Abbe… her personality, her interests, hobbies, career, family, etc.

Abbe was the most kind, generous, brave person I have ever known. She gave of her time and herself so fully, and remained committed to her people until her final breath. She loved her work at the Nashville Children’s Alliance as a child and family therapist. She worked with children who suffered terrible traumas, and provided a safe and loving path to healing.

She fiercely loved her friends and family. She found endless hours to be with us all, serving, listening, and helping.

She found great help and healing through yoga. She was trained as a yoga instructor through Holy Yoga and taught classes to the parents and children she worked with as a support to their healing journey.

She fell in love with the country of Ireland, and visited many times through her church mission teams. While serving in Ireland she would work with addiction treatment centers, helping them train and equip recovering addicts how to parent and love their families.


Can you tell us a little bit about Abbe’s breast cancer battle?

Abbe was diagnosed with Triple Negative Breast Cancer on March 28, 2014. She immediately started chemo, followed by a double mastectomy. She fought hard and strong for over a year doing treatments and surgeries. She was able to enjoy about one year of remission before being re-diagnosed. Once she was re-diagnosed, she fought so hard. She did more chemo & radiation, she did 3 different trials, but ultimately the cancer had spread throughout her body. Until the very last breath she fought and would not give up. It was remarkable and beautiful to witness. We lost her on June 24, 2016.

What was the most inspiring thing about Abbe?

Her strength. Abbe suffered greatly throughout different stages of her life. She suffered abuse and trauma in her childhood and spent years in therapy and healing to find peace and strength on the other side. It was not easy, and required her to hold her boundaries and resolve in place when most would have crumbled. While I watched her battle the most oppressive cancer I have ever seen, she never complained. She found beauty in the ashes. She would ask me about my day, my kids, my life, even while her suffering increased exponentially every day. Her last words were about her love for me, and her family. Her strength endured even until her final breath.

How did yoga/Abundant (then Beyond) Yoga or any of the teachers have an impact on Abbe’s journey with cancer?

Yoga was a space of healing until the end. I would find her on her mat daily. She loved Keleah so much and was eternally grateful to her for fostering her yoga journey and being a faithful teacher in the art and beauty of yoga.

She is the one who introduced me to yoga, and Keleah. I am forever thankful for the gift it has brought to my life. I have her yoga mat now. I bring it out to practice on when I want to honor her memory, when I am working out something in my own heart that requires extra strength and resolve. She worked out her fear, pain, and sadness as she moved on that mat.

What would Abbe have wanted us to know? Either about her, her faith, or her journey with cancer?

Honestly, she wouldn’t want any attention on her. She didn’t love being a poster child for breast cancer. She never wanted that to define her. She wanted her work in the child trauma field, her love for her friends and family, and her commitment to the healing journey to be what she was known for. And for me, that is what I remember. When I am struggling with my teenagers, I think about what she would have recommended for me to do. When I doubt my place in this world, I remember the foundation of our 30 year friendship and know I am grounded in love. When I wonder if the work is worth it to find healing from pain, I remember her story and the legacy she left for me to stand on. It is her gift to me for the rest of my days

Is there a Scripture, quote, or song that was Abbe’s favorite or one that reminds you of her?

She believed God gave her this verse after she was re-diagnosed: “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (John 1:5)  Until the end she chose light to shine through her, she did not give into the darkness.

One of her favorite songs was by Matthew Perryman-Jones called “Land of the Living.” He was kind enough to come and sing it for her celebration of life service.

Into the land of the living
Black bleeds orange into blue
I am coming to life
Light is breaking through
I can hear the bells in the city
Across the ancient shore
I am ready to fight
Let down the scarlet cord
It’s time to shed this masquerade

You cannot love in moderation
Dancing with a dead man’s bones
Lay your soul
On the threshing floor
Between the walls of the river
Shoulders bare the sacred stones
We made it alive
We are not alone
Kiss the ground
And change your name

You cannot love in moderation
You’re dancing with a dead man’s bones
Lay your soul
On the threshing floor
I heard the distant battle drum
The mockingbird spoke in tongues
Longing for the day to come
I set my face, forsook my fears
I saw the city through my tears
The darkness soon will disappear
And be swallowed by the sun
I am coming home
I am coming home
I am coming home
I am coming home…

Anything else you want us to know about Abbe?

She was one of my best friends. I miss her more than I ever knew I would or could. She will live forever in my heart.