Dear Chandra

chandra2017My Dear Friends,

It is with deep sorrow that I must inform you of the passing of my sister Rev. Dr. Chandra Taylor Smith.

For several months, Chandra had been battling stage four liver cancer. Fourteen days ago, complications from her radiation treatment took a turn for the worse. I sent a friend to Philadelphia, to the hotel where she was staying near her hospital, to bring her to Ojai California. Chandra has been with me here in Ojai California, staying at a lovely home where she was being cared for around the clock.

At 10:00 PM Monday evening, Chandra ended her battle with stage four liver cancer. I want you all to know that Chandra was at peace, she was not in pain and she was not alone, she was loved. Chandra had time to get her thoughts together, she had time to receive lots of love from so many people (angels) who came by to sit with her and care for her, but most of all Chandra found peace.

There are so many people I want to thank, for a thousand miracles that took place over the last thirteen days.  To Sabine, Christina, Olivia, Alarra, Steven, Kimya and so many other angels who blessed Chandra and showered her with love, I cannot thank you enough.

To Chandra’s husband Benny, I thank you for loving my sister and playing such a major role in Chandra’s life experience.

To Mom, I cannot fully fathom the loss that you are feeling having now lost your first born daughter; I can only empathize a little having just lost my best friend.

To my sister Audreanna, again I cannot fully fathom your pain either because you have known and loved Chandra longer than me.

To her son, Benny III, she loved you most of all; you are bone of her bones and flesh of her flesh.  You are the light of her heart, the center of her joy and her greatest accomplishment. I take great solace in knowing that at the moment of her passing you heard Chandra shout your name.  She’s telling you that she’s OK, she loves you and she will always be with you.

To all who knew and loved Chandra, I thank you for providing her such a rich and wonderful life experience.

Please know that Chandra is OK now.  She’s back home, she’s with the elders, her guardian angels, with Dad and with God.

Dear Chandra,

I love you
I already miss you so very much
You got me through so much in life and you taught me so much about life
My life has been made so much better and richer because of you
You were such a beautiful and wonderful person
You are such a sweet and wonderful spirit
Right now, I cannot imagine the world without your voice, the world without your smile, the world without your love
But, I rejoice in this physical life that you lived, a life so well lived
I rejoice in your transition back to pure spirit and light
And I rejoice, for I know that I will see you again.

Love forever and always, your baby brother,

I and my father and my sister are one.


18 responses to “Dear Chandra

  1. Tracey E. Zeckhausen

    So sorry to learn of your sister’s passing, Hycel! You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

  2. Rev. Linnette Hill

    Beautiful tribute, and beautiful memories! Know that I and your SBC family are praying for all of you; for you all will always be a part of family…

  3. Buddy (Little Buddy 🙂 ),

    We are sad and devastated at the loss of our love one, Shaunie.
    Our hearts, prayers, and memories are with you, Benny Sr., Benny Jr, Audie, and Aunt Ann as we grieve through the coming days.
    We take solace in knowing she is in a better place.

    God Bless the family!
    With Love, Hugs, and Kisses,
    Cousin Cathy Ferguson-Lynch, Aunt Bebe, cousins: Debbie, Angie, Tessie, Toy, and Junior

  4. Cousin Buddy-
    My heart breaks but is at peace because I know Shaunie is at peace. She and I talked for hrs a month ago and she was at peace then. We talked and laughed about growing up and are families. I’m comforted by you being who you are and the rock you were for her. Many peace and blessings to you and the Taylor family.

  5. Cathy Ferguson-Lynch

    Buddy (Little Buddy),

    We are sad and devastated at the loss of our love one, Shaunie.
    Our hearts, prayers, and memories are with you, Benny, Benny III, Audie, and Aunt Ann as we grieve through the coming days.
    We take solace in knowing she is in a better place.

    God Bless the family!
    With Love, Hugs, and Kisses,
    Cousin Cathy Ferguson-Lynch, Aunt Bebe, cousins: Debbie, Angie, Tessie, Toy, and Junior

  6. beautiful tribute to a beautiful woman. Know that you are in my prayers as you mourn your loss and celebrate the gift of her life. And do share my greeting and love especially to your mother,

  7. Buddy/Hycel, I am truly devastated. The pain of losing someone so special lingers forever. But, the beautiful smile of this happy, energetic child of God and the love she shared with so many will always remain with those she left behind. Your tribute to her is priceless, and I am so happy you help her find peace and happiness in her most precious hours. Thank you for sharing. Her Son will become your Son with shared responsibilities. Love and hugs to Mom and Family.

  8. I am so sorry to hear about Chandra. My heartfelt sympathy to you and the entire family. The memories will help you keep Chandra close in your hearts.

  9. My deepest condolences. I am saddened and sorry to hear about your sister’s passing. I pray that you all (your family and loved ones) will find great comfort in your wonderful memories of you Chandra! Be blessed and know that He is Lord! May Chandra rest in God’s loving arms!

  10. Alberto F. Cabrera

    I am most sorry for the passing of Chandra. I’ve got to know her due to her work at the Pell Institute. I remember her as a most caring and loving person. She enriched many lives around her.

  11. Buddy, It was devastating learning of the passing of my beautiful niece. Knowing Chaundra was surrounded by loved ones and your affectionate tribute somewhat salve the pain. Thanks for being there for her; I know how much you mean to each other. And I too look forward to seeing her again!
    Your cousins Kimara and Natalie send their love.

    May the peace and love of our Lord envelope you,
    Aunt Dianne

  12. May God bless you and your entire family.Being a member of Second Baptist Church I saw and marveled at the three of you grow into two beautiful young ladies and a wonderful young man..
    I pray that, according to the riches of his glory, he may grant that you may be strengthened in your inner being with power through his spirit. Ephesians 3:16
    Minnie Choice

  13. I am a former Chicago Public School co-worker of Chandra. She was so smart, intelligent and thoughtful. I am in shock right now. The love she gave to others in the workplace was professional and genuine. To the family, especially her husband who use to send her roses to the office – May God give the strength to endure at this time. Carla Smith.

  14. I am so sorry for your loss. This is a beautiful tribute to very beautiful soul. I pray that God eases the pain of losing her here on earth. I am praying for you and the family. May God bless you.

  15. Chandra was my boss at Audubon. And in my 40 years of working, I never had a better boss. We quickly became close friends, confidantes and conspirators 😉

    When Chandra wasn’t tackling the huge issues of conservation, education and diversity, all she talked about was her family. Her dad, mom, husband, brother and–most of all–Ben-Ben.

    I have so many wonderful stories in my head about the Taylor clan (and its history)! I am proud to have known Chandra and to perhaps have done a little to help her out. She did much more for me than I did for her. Chuck Remington

  16. Michele Croswell

    Thank you for sharing this beautiful tribute to Chandra. I was stunned after receiving the news in a phone call from Audreanna. Peace and much love to the family. You all are in my prayers.

  17. Elaine O'Sullivan

    I am so lucky to have worked for Chandra at Audubon and was blessed to have our work relationship evolve into a true friendship. I will never forget her. We would speak for hours most days and we worked on so many fantastic and meaningful projects together. She shared her enormous heart and her great intellect fully with all of us at Audubon, and traveled extensively around the country making things better everywhere she went. She always spoke of her family with great affection and pride. Thank you to your family for sharing her with us.

  18. When I learned of Chandra’s death this morning, I burst into tears. She inspired me with her radiant joy and faithful devotion to environmental justice. She was–and is–a great soul.

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