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A Tribute to Hannah M Manning

Hannah Manning
Sarah Real, Hannah's Sister
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Hello beautiful girl! I love you more than all the stars in the sky.
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Haji, Haji Banji, Hannah Banana, B
Hannah Marie Manning is a beautiful soul who was ripped away from us too soon. During her life she inspired so many people with her love and compassion, and she is still affecting all of those she left behind.

Our lives will never be the same because of her life and as a result of her passing. She was truly a unique and special person. Hannah was a loving daughter, granddaughter, cousin, sister, girlfriend, and she was the best friend you could ask for.

In early 2011, Hannah was diagnosed with a rare disease called Budd-Chiari. She faced challenges that none of us can imagine yet she dealt with them with overwhelming grace and dignity. In her struggle she did everything that she could to better her situation, and she never stopped her effort to better the lives of those around her.

Hannah wanted more than anything to survive, and put an end to the suffering that she came to experience on a daily basis. That is why she decided to go through with a risky and complicated liver transplant surgery that could have potentially saved her life.

Hannah was brave and strong, she made it through the surgery, but a day later, she suffered heart complications and the doctors were unable to save her.

A beautiful soul left this earth on Dec. 12, 2011 but she will never, ever leave our hearts.

Rest in peace Hannah Marie, our precious angel, we will always love and cherish you. Thank you for blessing us with your kindness and love.
There are currently no announcements for Hannah Manning's Warm Tribute Online Memorial yet.


A Journal Entry by Sarah Real posted on Tue, 6/23/15, 10:24 PM

When we were younger we shared everything. I knew you from your birth to the day you passed onto the other side. For most of our life together we spent the same nights in the same house, and we even had the same friends. We ate at the same dinner table, we went to the same schools, and we shared the same struggles. As we grew we shared the same clothes, and the same taste in music. Through our very existence we were as close as two people could be. Because of this, for years almost every dream I had included you! We shared the same home inside of our mother’s warm uterus, just at different times. This to me is where I first learned about you, my sister. You were my first lesson about life, its meanings, and its endings.

Before the world lost you, I had no idea the capacity my heart had to love or to suffer. You are one of my greatest teachers in death and in life. For that I can never begin to repay you. And it is only when I closely examine the depths of what little understanding I possess, that I can truly begin to see the impact you made on my life.

 It’s not enough to say that you shaped me as I grew up, teaching me about loyalty and cooperation. As most siblings do. You fundamentally changed my thoughts and perspectives as I grew into a woman, and you protected me at my most vulnerable stages with the depths of your love and consideration. Truly, I would not be alive if it wasn’t for you.

When I saw you looking for me at the bottom of the rocky pit I stumbled into, I needed to climb up to be with you. Even seeing your picture or hearing your voice made me consider what my actions would mean for you, and ultimately for us. At times I feel that maybe during my adolescence I was unfair to you, or an unnecessary burden. But I grew up and subsequently we grew together, blossoming into independent yet interconnected beings that loved each other wholly and without exception. Unconditional love is a term I grew to know by the definition of our relationship with one another.

And still I can’t say that I was wise in the same way you were, but you gave me a sense of wholeness and security in myself and life that also came from within me through the ability to give back to you. I enjoyed our long conversations where we seemed to know inexplicably what the other was feeling. I believe we shared an experience language is incapable of defining. We were so vastly different yet so connected. 

We would laugh hysterically and talk for hours about our deepest opinions, aspirations, fears, and joys. I would read you my diary and I trusted you with every fiber of my being. When I spoke to you in troubled times, all of my worries seemed to melt away, or at least become manageable.  We referred to each other as twin souls, soul mates, and maybe that’s what sisterhood is in its purest form.

We may not be together but even now you’re teaching me what it means to take on the role you had in my life through the words of a time we were once together. “Talk to yourself as if you were a baby. Love yourself.” This was your wisdom from a young age of 13 years old when I came to you with self-loathing behaviors. “You are beautiful. You are inspirational. You are capable. You are strong.” Even if your shoes are not filled, I know you would want me to fill them myself. Like you did all of those years you had to take care of people much older than yourself who selfishly chose their own emotions over your innocence.

The words you said over the years echo in my mind. They give life to the example you gave with your spirit. You are so strong, so beautiful, and you are still capable of inspiring and creating love with all of the light you left with those who love you so.

Your strength holds me up and says, “Smile in the face of adversity”. Even through pain and suffering you still had the courage to make us smile, to make us laugh, to lend a hand, and exhibit deep gratitude. You showed the world that even through the worst suffering you can choose to be LOVE. Everything that you stand for is what I strive to become, and I have confidence in knowing that even if I fall short- love doesn’t come from a place of conditions. You always loved me for my flaws. I’ll never forget the words we used to tell each other “Your imperfections make you perfect.”

You taught me that you don’t have to lose yourself in the process of being patient and kind. You taught me that sometimes boundaries are important to maintaining your own sense of stability; even with the people you love the most. The key is to always act from a place of love for yourself and for others. It is an important lesson, but a very difficult one indeed.

I’m grateful that even though you are no longer here physically, your love resonates so powerfully that it stops time in its tracks to say: Hello, I’m still here! I never left! Time is only a perception and I feel you with me now. Your love teaches me that the capabilities for connection, understanding, compromise, peace, friendship, and depth are endless. Seeing this makes it possible for change to occur in every single one of the lives around us- which in turn affects the world at large. If that’s not living I don’t know what is.

If you can make an effectual change on our hearts years later, touching my children through the spiritual growth that continues to take place when I honor your life and struggles--that is as real as any other human exchange. When I let go of my fears just a little bit more and think about what you showed me, I grow. When I grow our relations benefit, and your memory becomes my breath. Yes you are alive. More alive than some.

A part of me is missing, but I know you would want for me to be whole. A part of me has grown in other corners of my spirit and I wish that our two lives and experiences could still intertwine. I still dream of a world where you would be able to show my girls what an amazing person you are. I just know you would be such a great role model and auntie to them.  Our family will always be missing a place at the table, and we will never stop wishing for it to be different.

True love can cause such a pain we all feel, but I want to smile in memory of your amazing gift of love. I want to smile in memory of your beautiful heart. I want to smile knowing that the world isn’t as cold as it sometimes seems now that you’re gone, because you truly have shown me that we are all capable of so much more. We are all capable of smiling and loving, living and laughing. You gave us a smile as a gift and we will keep it with us always. Today I may be empowered, and tomorrow all I may want to do is cry. But so long as I live my love for you will never die! 

April 19, 2012: A Poem For My Sister

A Journal Entry by Sarah Real posted on Tue, 6/23/15, 10:13 PM

 Arrogantly assuming we know what is to come, but preparation is ineffectual. Prepare for powerlessness.

A force surrounds us, swallowing up everything in its time. Even universes collide. Overwhelmingly obvious as our finality may be, until the time day turns to night, you have yet to truly see.

Standing in the wake of a loss. Shadow shrouding the light of joy and peace. Such loss time cannot defeat.
Reason cannot comprehend, cannot contain the essence of this pain. No words can bandage the injustice of innocence robbed. Suffering. Life lost.

Nothing  can soften the grief of two becoming one. One slowly becoming none.

Behind tightly closed blinds, a glimmer of light still shines through. Revered love shared between two. Anguish rooted in passion. One profound moment reflects a bond so true. The very essence of life changes as a love so strongly shared was physically stripped away from you.


Hannah's Eulogy- A celebration of life

A Memory of Hannah by Sarah Real posted on Sat, 5/23/15, 9:38 PM

 Hannah Marie Manning is both my sister and my dearest friend. During the hardest parts of my life, she was always there to support me. If not for her I would not be the person that I am today. Her compassion and strength still continues to shape my perspectives. I owe so much to her love, and to the friendship that she graced me with.

In the weeks before Hannah went into surgery, she was very concerned about how I was feeling, what was going on in my life, and she wanted me to unload on her. Can you imagine? Here she was, battling with a life-threatening disease, and yet she was so deeply concerned about the petty day to day things that we all face at one point or another. But that was just who Hannah was. A loving and compassionate person every single day of her life, despite all odds. 

The way she lived her life took courage. It required a lot of patience and understanding. The kind of patience only a wise person has. Although she is my younger sister I never looked at her as being younger. Despite the fact that I couldn't forget her age or her birthday if I tried, I always felt like she was older than she actually was. Her wisdom always amazed me. It was beyond her years. She often taught me lessons about life, that are lost on many adults.

Her wisdom spread to many areas of her life. Hannah was not only deeply appreciative of those who were close to her. She was also naturally forgiving, trusting, and patient with others. She would treat even those who had hurt her with respect. Even more inspiring was her own self-respect. As with any well rounded person, she made her share of mistakes, but she quickly learned from them. Following her experience she used self-control, and determination to lead her life in a positive direction. She was never one to do something careless or impulsive. And no one could influence her otherwise. *Even I couldn't convince her to do something she didn't want to do (although she of course could convince me to do pretty much anything).* 

She truly lived by the advice she gave to those of us that were willing to accept it. She set an example to me in many ways. Her unconditional love made it possible for me to have love for myself. She taught me the value of self-respect, and the benefits of being kind to those who may be undeserving of such kindness. 

Although Hannah showed so much maturity already, she was still blossoming as a woman. I watched her grow even more throughout last year. Some people in her position may have felt victimized and hopeless. But Hannah did not make excuses, or expect sympathy. Instead her eyes were set towards her future, and not once did she give up hope. Being that her disease was rare, she found herself explaining what she had both her family and healthcare professionals alike. Her life drastically changed in a matter of months, but she showed courage and bravery in the face of it all. Last year she faced many challenges, but she took control over her situation. She assumed many new responsibilities despite how alien or stressful they were. For this reason, I felt genuinely proud of her. A girl who used to be afraid of bees and needles became the bravest person I have yet to meet. 

When I visited her in Indiana I saw how far she had come from the beginning. In Indiana I was with her during one of her routine parasynthesis procedures. Before she had the procedure done she explained to the doctor precisely how she wanted them to perform it. The doctors laughed, saying she was a pro. Because by this time she already knew more about the procedure than some of the doctors she had seen. Hannah told me that she considered being a nurse or a hospital technician because she believed her experience would be useful to people who were ill and she felt she could give them much needed comfort. 

For someone who was sick, in pain, and constantly at the mercy of others, Hannah was unashamed. As her body changed, she still remained beautiful and confident. Her dignity, kindness, and humility never ceased to amaze me at her hardest point in life, and at her best. She never took one day for granted. Instead she pushed through, and was always giving to the end. 

Even in sickness, her courage inspired those around her. With all of the changes she was going through, she invested so much of her time into her relationships. She changed each and every person who was close to her directly and indirectly. She brought us all closer together and taught us all about ourselves.

If not for the sudden onset of her illness, I believe Hannah would have gone on to do many great things. She still had so much left to teach those around her, and to accomplish for herself. She was more than just a kind soul. She was ambitious, driven, and motivated to learn and to create. Aside from her talents as an artist, she would also compose beautiful music on the piano. 

Hannah lived her life to the fullest extent. Rarely would she pass up an opportunity to take a hike, go on a trip, meet new people, or try new things. To put it simply she was just a fun person to be around. I have countless unique experiences that I am blessed to say that I have shared with her. 

Hannah was fun as well as deep. She was real and down to earth. She was someone who you could laugh with, and cry with. When she spoke to you, she always had something meaningful to say. Our conversations would last for hours, and yet I dreaded the inevitable hour of sleep or our parting that would bring them to an end.

To be close to someone who was so positive and thoughtful is a wonderful experience. Life can be lonely at times, but I have always felt completed. I never had a reason to feel like I was alone in the world, or misunderstood. Such a friendship is once in a lifetime. She is truly the best friend I have ever had and I feel very fortunate to have spent the time we did together. 

I have not just learned one thing from Hannah. I owe so much to her, and I continue to learn from her life. We all share in the pain of the loss of a soul that touched all of us so deeply. The love that she had for us remained in her heart until the day of her passing, and so her love continues. Although physically gone, Hannah's beauty and impact on our hearts will live on.

Hannah's Story on NVDonor.org

A Note to Hannah by Sarah Real posted on Sat, 12/13/14, 6:45 AM

Hannah's story has reached NVDonor.org! Hopefully her strength may inspire those who may not have considered the benefits of organ donation for familys and patients living with illnesses. Please encourage others to be an organ donor, and consider being an organ donor if you haven't already!

Read Hanah's Story Here: http://www.nvdonor.org/index.php/category/personal-stories/

Register as an Organ Donor Here: https://www.donoregistry.org/Register/Dynamic/Enrollment.aspx?RegistryOwnerID=3&LanguageCode=en

And for those of you who need to be educated on the FACTS about organ donation or have any questions please follow this link: http://www.nvdonor.org/index.php/understanding-donations/facts/

Thank you all.