How to be a Supernova among the Stars: A tribute to Will Poovey

October 6, 2014


Success by Ralph Waldo Emerson:

To laugh often and much

To win the respect of intelligent people

and the affection of children;

To ear the appreciation of honest critics

and endure the betrayal of false friends;

To appreciate the beauty, to find the best in others;

To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch,

or a redeemed social condition;

To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.

This is to have succeeded.

If you have ever met one of these people, you know it instantly. They shine brighter than us all. They infect us with optimism and the thoughts of possibility. We subscribe to their joy and lust for life, and when they leave us, we feel the void so deeply we struggle to find the words to capture it properly.  We must lean on one another and layer on to  one-another’s stories, and memories, and smiles as we remember “that time” we as individuals, will never forget.

When KSP called me on July 7 as I touched down in Detroit, he led with, “I have some weird news.”  Unsure what “that” meant and how to react, I paused and uttered “ok.”  His words that followed landed like a bomb on my heart.  “I think Will is dead.”  I sat in shock as I felt the beautiful supernova of Will’s soul scream past me and evaporate leaving me only in deep sorrow.

My inability to rationalize what KSP was telling me came from the larger than life footprint Will created with everyone he met. It came from knowing his incredible wife, our friend K, whose own vibrancy and grace was what balanced Will and tethered him to this planet so that we could all dip in and out to benefit from his gifts.  It came from knowing his children who still model everything I hope Q, E & M will grow up to be one day; kind, thoughtful, polite, passionate and smart. It came from the notion that those of us that were lucky enough to know him beyond in passing, feel as if we wallow in that cavernous area left behind, at least so I thought until we went to his service.

As I looked down at his program, nearly 2 months after he passed away in a tragic accident while on holiday at a wedding in Zimbabwe, it hit me that Will’s birthday is today, October 5.  I knew Will’s birthday was in October. I had always thought it was the 13th due to the times we had celebrated in the past, the most significant of which was October 15th, 2009, the night I stayed out late, 28 weeks pregnant paying tribute to Will at a club in Hollywood.  After a fun filled evening of having random club goers come up to touch my burgeoning belly, and Q and E bouncing around with the thumping of the music as I sat under Will’s careful eye to make sure I was feeling ok and had enough water to drink, KSP and I came home and 3 hours later my water broke and our lives would never be the same.

If you have spent any time here then you know I believe everything, every moment, every person comes into our lives for a reason. Whether you know why immediately, or the big reveal is reserved for a series of chills that takes over your body as the realization of the impact of a chance meeting in a pool in Mexico would change your life forever as you sit at a service to say goodbye, you almost always come to connect the dots eventually.

Will’s gravity pulled us in as we enjoyed a vacation in Cabo.  Between a water spout and hurricane like conditions, we bonded with the Pooveys and spent most of our holiday finding ways to entertain ourselves indoors through endless hours of card games, business ideas and burning pizzas.  When we all found out we lived only miles away from one another we knew we would be life long friends.  And so it was; vacations, concerts and visits to one another’s homes for parties. During this time of our initial friend courtship, I was also trying to get pregnant. We had been unsuccessful, until April 2009 on the exact day that my grandfather passed over to be with my grandma.

If you have already read the post above, or if you don’t have time, in short, I believe my grandparents had a role in the very special delivery of Q & E and of course Baby M.

My grandparents we married on October 5. Will’s Birthday is October 5.

As I sat in Will’s memorial and stared at that date, chills spread throughout my body.  Somehow it was linked.  KSP and I never meet people on vacation. After years of travel, Will and K were our first resort friends.  We made time, invested time to spend with them and they with us. Will’s brightness and K’s spirit kept us coming back for more.

That night in 2009 for Will’s 39th birthday, I almost didn’t go, I was tired and working late. I was pregnant.  But it was Will. I wanted to go.

48 hours later I gave birth to Q & E.  What I once saw as the most traumatic things in my life (and some days it creeps up and haunts me), I now see as a blessing in most ways.

Had Q and E not been born so early, we would not have tracked E’s progress.

We would not have had such amazing access to doctors, and resources.

We wouldn’t have known she was delayed.

We might have waited even longer to have her genetics test.

We wouldn’t know she had Angelman Syndrome.

So today, on what would be Will’s 44th birthday, I know why we he came into our life. Why he flashed so briefly, but with such strong light and presence he will stay with us in our lives and our family, forever. Why his memorial program will go in Q’s memory box so he can one day explain the significance of what I always thought was a chance meeting to his sisters and his own children.

Will, you are missed, and we are and always will be connected.  Thank you for the many gifts you shared with us and even from afar we can feel you still burning brightly so that we will remember to aspire to the same success you achieved in your too short of time here with us.  You are the epitome of ‘mynewfavoriteday,’ the ability to find a moment of joy and share that despite what swirls around you. I may not have totally understood that then, but I do so understand it now. You are truly a Supernova in a galaxy of stars.

Happy Birthday dear friend.


And to my beloved Grandma and Grandpa, take care of our Will.  Happy Anniversary.

Much love,


 Source:  Cover image from

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About Shannon Pruitt from 'Mynewfavoriteday'

Welcome to 'mynewfavoriteday. This space is about gratitude and connecting through being open, vulnerable and real. I hope you will enjoy my take on motivation, inspiration and advocacy and will take the opportunity to tell me of your own thoughts and stories. Why I started 'mynewfavoriteday.' I am a childhood surviving, divorced, now happily married, IVF (and now natural pregnancy) success story, working mother of 2 amazing babies who were born 12 weeks premature. As life often seems to surprise you when you least expect it, we added another sweet baby girl M to our family in July of 2013. While our angel minis, Q and E are now 7 years old, our son, Q, has thrived while our daughter, E, has had a much more difficult journey. She is considered special needs and in September of 2012 was diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder called Angelman Syndrome. And so, as she has grown, so do we as individuals and as family. How to help her, how to celebrate our differences while allowing ourselves to cope with the challenges that we never knew to expect. Thus, while much of this blog is based on our experiences (good and not-so-good), it is also based on how we must not let ourselves become victims of our circumstances but rather advocate in our own lives. A little bit about me and who I am. In my professional life I am a marketer in the Entertainment Industry; however, ‘mynewfavoriteday,’ was not born of entertainment or marketing but rather as a pathway to help myself and others as we try to define who we are as parents, family members, spouses, friends, colleagues and people. I believe in never judging a book by its cover. Every cover is different, and no matter what your cover looks like, you never know how someone's book is written. Like mine. From the outside, you might never know what truly makes me who I am or what I believe. This blog explores the pages on the inside of my book. My vulnerabilities, fears, happiness, and all my triggers through the lens of being grateful for all the amazing blessings I know I have received but sometimes forget in the challenges of daily life. Thanks again for dropping by. I hope you will come back, subscribe, comment, share, and/or just hang out and be inspired or motivated to make each day for yourself or someone else 'anewfavoriteday.' By being here, you have certainly helped to make it mine. xo, Shannon

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One Comment on “How to be a Supernova among the Stars: A tribute to Will Poovey”

  1. Lisha Fink Says:

    So sorry for your loss Shannon. The Emerson quite above is the measure I use for success, too. Your friend sounds like he was quite successful in all the ways that truly matter.


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