It's never easy to mourn a lost loved one, but after 17-year-old Rebecca Townsend died unexpectedly after being struck by a car earlier this month, her family decided to bring some positivity into the world. To honour her memory, they are inspiring people on social media to do something wonderful for someone else.
You see, as part of a high school assignment, Townsend had written a bucket list that included kissing in the rain, flying to Spain, and saving a life. She had completed the first two items and, on the night of the accident, completed the last by saving her friend's life.
Her friend Ben Arne was also involved in the accident and sustained serious injuries. According to BuzzFeed, Arne spoke to Townsend's family and told them, "The last thing I remember is Rebecca pushing me and telling me to hurry up." Coincidentally, her family found Rebecca's bucket list on her bed shortly after she died. In a post on Facebook, her sister Monica Townsend wrote, "Who knows why Rebecca was looking at that letter the night she left us … but I think it's her little way of telling us she is ok; she accomplished what she needed to; she made it."
The family decided to honour Rebecca's life by creating a Facebook and Instagram page, as well as a hashtag, #RememberingRebecca, that should be used when "paying it forward or sharing a meal." As the family wrote on the Facebook page, ". . . We have made this page where people can share a memory or document ways they have kept Rebecca's spirit alive by showing kindness to others. Whether paying for a meal, volunteering time, or donating to a cause, we all have the opportunity to pay it forward every day, just as Rebecca strived to do."
Strangers from all over the world are not only participating but sharing their stories of how they're trying to emulate Rebecca's kind spirit.
Though a young life was tragically lost, Rebecca has clearly inspired others to be a little more kind to strangers — something the world can always use.