Posted by: Teri Simon | 2012/12/16

Peace in the Land of Lung Junk

Dear Friends and Blog Buddies of our favorite Flying Elephant,

It is with a bittersweet mix of profound sadness and grateful serenity that we send out this week’s blog.
Last night at 9:45 p.m., our brave and caring sister, our selfless and generous mother, and your courageous, graceful and always-inspiring friend, took her final “Flying Elephant” flight.  She was lovingly surrounded by her three children, Emily, Taylor and Joey, sister Tami, and brother Sam.

Teri’s last hour with us, which commenced as soon as Emily had arrived home from graduate school, was an especially peaceful one for her. As we cried, laughed and spoke our last messages of goodbyes, Emily softly told her mom that while she was clearly heartbroken to lose her, she knew that those 20 Connecticut children, whose lives had just been so tragically cut short, were fortunate to have the world’s greatest mom with them now.

Although no longer able to share new insights and inspire through her challenging story, we are committed to continuing Teri’s amazing legacy of helping others.  She remained, even while physically struggling these past few months, completely committed to her weekly writing, to attending her support group at Gilda’s Club, to responding to texts and e-mails from people who read her books/blog and became her friends, and to caring about and for others inflicted with Lung and other types of (cancer) Junk.

We invite you to join us, as we celebrate Teri’s life and honor her burial, at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, December 18th, at Congregation Micah in Nashville.  For those unable to be here, you are welcome to “attend”, by visiting , and using the following log-in:
Username: micah
Password:  webcast2010

In lieu of flowers, Teri’s request was for us to continue supporting Gilda’s Club of Nashville, Second Harvest Food Bank, National Healthcare for the Homeless Council, and Congregation Micah.

 Thank you so much for the multitude of prayers, thoughts and love sent both Teri’s and our way during this journey.
And, remember to watch the skies – she will surely be flying above us all, now and always.

the simons at the beach

with love,
the grateful family of Teri Ragosin Simon, the FOREVER-Flying Elephant



  1. Even from New Jersey, we could feel Teri’s love and strength in her books and blog; my wife (the fighter) and I (the caregiver) found strength and solace from Teri. Though we never met, and only knew her online a short time, I felt like I knew her all of my life. Teri’s legacy will live on, through her children, and through the power her words. I will continue to re-read blog posts to find strength and peace, and expect to receive it even quicker now that Teri is with God to help deliver it from heaven. Grace be granted to her children, family, and loved ones. With love, Mike and Kathy

  2. Thank you to the Ragosin and Simon families for sharing Teri’s service today. While I haven’t seen Teri since high school her candor and wit have made a profound impact on my life through her book and blog. May you always remember her joy and strength as she shared and taught many people what it really means to live. May G_d bless you all!

  3. May you find peace. Soar high Flying Elephant.

  4. Funny, Honest, Matter of Fact, Determined, Spunky (lots of spunk),
    Strong, Patience (really, quite patient). Lovable, Beautiful, Generous, Intelligent. These are only a few of the words that describe Teri. I have no doubt that these traits were imparted onto her children. I know that I am a a better person for having known her. Grace and Peace to your family Teri.

  5. I am so sorry to hear the news!

    Teri was a beautiful, soul-full “mentsch” who epitomized the value of having a positive mental attitude.

    The world has now lost a spark that brought a very spirited light to all of us.

    A sad day, indeed.

    Her far-away friend,



  6. I was a friend from Catholic Charities long ago, before and after Emily’s birth. Occasionally I would run into her at Krogers. I was able to benefit from her wisdom. I can still hear her laughter. My thoughts and prayers to her beloved children.

  7. My heart is heavy learning that my dear friend Teri has passed. From the moment I met her at the JCC in Nashville 25 years ago – she had a special spark and her beautiful spirit always shined. Although distance has separated us, the connection always remained strong. She has given love, comfort and support as a teacher and friend and mother. Her memory will be an inspiration to many. All our love to Emily,Taylor and Joey and the Simon and Ragosin family.
    Zichrona Livracha – May her memory be a blessing for all those whose lives she touched.
    Nina Estner Gordon

  8. dear lindy,
    this is sam… wow, i had no idea you were following teri’s blog all this time. what a wonderful surprise, and yet, no surprise. i remember you so clearly before me, as if we were back in 6th grade again…
    teri had a way of keeping the important people in our lives still connected to what was going on. you are right, she meant so much to me, and to so many others. her children and i thank you for sending these comforting words.
    again, i’m wow’d.

  9. Teri will forever remain in our hearts and memories from that beautiful smile to her good sense. She educated all of us adults and children in such a passionate way. The world was so blessed to have her and she has left a legacy in her children to shine light in the darkest parts of lives. I am glad that she doesn’t feel so much pain and illness anymore and will be received by love from those who have passed over like Wendy Kanter. No doubt she will continue to spread her light in heaven.

  10. This is for Sam. I remember Teri was the cool older sister when we needed a chaperone for New Years Eve in the 6th grade. Then she was the cool older sister in the drama department at McKinley. Then she was the cancer Activist and still, so cool. You never knew many of us from your days at Woodland were keeping track of your family through Teri’s struggle. She will be greatly missed. Feel our arms around you now as you must celebrate her life and all that she meant to so many. You were blessed to call her sister. We are blessed to have known her. I pray for Peace for you all.

  11. Teri left an impact everywhere she went. I was so blessed to know her – what Teri taught me about courage and strength, I will never forget. All of us at the National Lung Cancer Partnership are grieved; saddened to lose such an amazing advocate.

  12. I read this last of sweet Teri’s blogs with a heavy, sad heart. What a remarkable, funny, strong, determined, courageous, inspiring lady she was. And she happened to be a gifted writer who enabled all of her “blog buddies” to share every aspect of this journey with her. We shared the laughter, the tears, the hope, the disappointment, the wry and whimsical humor, the determination, but most of all the love! I felt privileged to be a part of it. Sundays brought “60 minutes” and “The Flying Elephant”. Now there is only “60 Minutes”‘ But we are all kinder, gentler, more compassionate and caring people because Teri the Flying Elephant was in our lives. I send love, hugs and heartfelt condolences to her children, her parents, and the huge army of supporters.

  13. With love and prayers for all who were part of Teri’s vast circle of friends and family, her life was an inspiration to us all, her words of comfort and wisdom a blessing. Laura Ariel Hoffman

  14. Dear family and friends, I have gratitude for knowing Teri during different parts of our lives. She truly gave of herself in so many ways and this journey and her thoughts are special to all of us.

    The human heart opens itself to love-

    Being a parent, a child, sister or brother
    A spouse,
    A grandparent, an aunt, an uncle, a cousin,
    A friend,,,,
    When the heart needs mending and healing,
    The human soul then goes searching.
    May you find your loved one in God’s loving arms
    May you find God’s love, comfort and compassion.

    You will remain in my thoughts and prayers.

  15. My heart is broken for the loss we all share. Anyone who knew Teri knew that she was certainly one of the greatest and most gracious people on the planet. I know that a part of her will live on in each and every one of us. My prayers are with her family and friends. Emily, you are truly your mommy’s daughter. Your words to her was so sweet and true. You put a positive spin on what is sure to be the hardest moment of your life…just as she would do. Taylor and Joey, you have been awesome in taking care of your mom. While your time with your mommy was cut short, you had one of the greatest moms ever and I pray you will realize what a blessing that is. Tami and Sam, you were so blessed to have such a wonderful sister and she was just as blessed to have you as well. She will be in my heart forever. May God be with you all!

  16. My heart is so heavy while I read this. She became my friend through all her writings. She gave me strength and encouragement as my husband fights his lung cancer. She was also so positive. I will miss her even though we had never met. I no that she isnt suffering any more and is flying high. Prayers to all of her family and friends.

  17. overwhelming sadness and simply heartsick…. All of us at LUNGevity were blessed to know Teri and I was blessed to have become friends with her over the past year. I will miss her greatly. She left footprints on my heart and life. My prayers for her children and family.

  18. I was very saddened to hear of Terri’s passing. We attended McKinley High School together and have kept updated on her status through Jane Gear. Prayers to her children and to all the many people whose lives she touched.

  19. My darling friend will be missed by the masses and so personally in my heart. My heart is broken for you Emily, Taylor and Joey. I send you love and many prayers to guide you through this time and the years to come. Such a gift our Teri to most importantly you three and to so many. Thank you for sharing her with us. I love you all.

  20. With tears I send my condolences and thank to someone who helped me through my fight with lung Junk! Peace and feel no more pain…..

  21. You are in my thoughts and prayers….

  22. Prayers of comfort to Teri’s family. She was incredible, teaching us all the way to the end. I will love her always

  23. Just like Terri who always could find something positive in something horrific, Emily’s words did the same.  I can just envision  Teri with arms outspread embracing those 20 tiny ones who are also being missed this week .  I know that you 3 children who she adored more than life and was so very proud of will find strength in the legacy of love, generosity and “positive thinking” that she passed on to you.  She will be missed.


  24. I will miss you a lot Terri. And, we never even met in person. Hugs to each and everyone of your loved ones. You made a trail for the rest of us to follow and I am grateful.
    With much love,


    Sent from my iPhone

  25. She gave those of us in her Gilda’s group so much love and safe space for all our ups and downs. We will miss our little elephant, but we are so grateful that she flew with us for a time!

  26. I’ve never known anyone who battled this insidious disease with as much grace, courage and humor as Teri did. She was an inspiration and a great source of comfort as I had my own skirmish with the big C. God bless her family and friends, and God bless the legacy she leaves behind. Hers was truly a life that mattered for so many of us. She will never be forgotten.

  27. MY heart is broken and eyes filled with tears. And yet I am comforted some knowing that our dear Teri is at once finally at peace – physically and emotionally. Her memory will be here for more years that I have on this earth because she profoundly touched so very many lives. Bless those that brought her happiness and care. Bless her children who proved to be more than children, but indeed friends. And finally, I am blessed to have known her and called her my friend. May she truly rest in peace.

  28. Teri was a beautiful, beautiful woman, and her life shines on brightly in her children. Taylor, you are my best friend, and I love you so much. You had an amazing mother, and she raised you to be an outstanding person. You’re the most loving and understanding person I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. To Teri’s family, I pray for your journey in continuing the wonderful work Teri was doing. Lean on those around you, and take comfort that Teri is now educating heaven and making it an even better place. With love and respect, Robby Coles

  29. My heart is so heavy right now. My love to Teri’s wonderful kids, her brother and all her family members, her faithful friend Lisa, and all other members of her huge circle of supporters. Through my tears, I put on a smile and give thanks for being able to have such a wonderful person as my friend.


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