Obituary of Anna Sylvia Conley
Depression and anxiety are wearying opponents and even with the support of family, friends, and mental health professionals, Anna Sylvia Conley, 21, lost her battle with them on May 15th, 2019.
Born in Nevada City, California on February 4, 1998, Anna is the youngest daughter of Tom and Holiday Conley. She has five sisters, Polly, Becky, Susie, Marika and Theresa. Eventually she became the older sister to her favorite brother, Joseph. Anna is a beloved aunt to her nieces and nephews, Kirtee, Marshall, Luke, Coen, Charlie, Beckett, Zeke, Olivia and Rachel. She is also loved by many aunts and uncles and her dynamic duo of grandmothers, Mary and Olive. Anna spent her formative years in Nevada City living in the mountains where she could roam, explore, read and sing. It was there she fell in love with nature, from the tallest of trees to the smallest of insects.
Anna was deeply curious and respectful about all living things, especially her beloved pets; chickens, goats, cats, dogs and eventually her very own rabbits, Pip and Jack.
Moving with her family to Chico when she was in middle school Anna started a whole new part of her life as she pursued her passion for music, specifically choral singing and horn. Anna was a dedicated musician and student, excelling at nearly everything she set her mind to. She was also a wonderful and supportive friend to everyone who crossed her path.
She was accepted to Brigham Young University and attended until she went on a mission to Poland for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Anna fell in love with the Polish people and the beautiful country. She was able to return this spring and visit her favorite cities, say hello to old friends and eat authentic pierogi.
In her short life, Anna was able to find a deep connection with her faith, her family and her path in this world. She keenly felt her responsibility to be a kind and loving daughter of God and chose over and over to lift up those around her, to make people’s lives better, their days brighter…even if she could not do it for herself. Hers was a life of service, love, dedication and passion.
The price of loving Anna is to live with the waves of grief that overcome us as we walk this path towards understanding and acceptance.
Suicide is a difficult topic that goes against so many of our natural inclinations. Anna chose to no longer live in pain. She also chose to spend most of the past year diligently seeking treatment and support.
She would want everyone to know that treatment is vital, essential and necessary. Her treatment wasn’t unsuccessful, it was merely incomplete. It is important for us to support positive attitudes about mental illness, to reframe misconceptions and to help remove the shame that is all too commonly associated with this disease. Look to those in your life that are struggling and let them know you love and support them. We cannot carry the burden of another’s pain, but we can ease the load with loving support.
While we struggle to understand her pain, we can sustain ourselves by understanding her love. To honor Anna, we invite you to kick off your shoes, take a walk in the grass, lift your face to the sun and appreciate the feeling of the earth beneath your feet. Hum a little tune, look for sunflowers, snails and double rainbows. Maybe even adopt a bunny.
A memorial service will be held at 10:00 am on June 15th at Cedar Grove Meadow in Bidwell Park (1890 E. 8th Street, Chico).
We invite you to stay and enjoy some of Anna’s favorite foods. Casual dress and bare feet would be appropriate for this celebration of Anna’s life. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Anna’s name to the Children’s Choir of Chico or anew-day.com.
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