The Bold Soul

I became friends with Lisa Taylor Huff through our blogs. Hers was called The Bold Soul. I’m sad to say that Lisa passed away yesterday after a very short battle with cancer. I still can’t believe it. She was living in New Jersey and had long had a desire to try living in Paris and made it happen. She was lucky enough to be able to work with a computer so she could live anywhere. Lisa came to visit us in Provence in the beginning of her time in France and I remember rolling along in my car showing her the lavender as we sang along to Celine Dion’s Love Is On The Way and I think it must have been prophetic because not long after that she met George, the love of her life. They married in New Jersey and they had a party in Paris to celebrate the marriage. I still remember that the bath tub was full of ice and bottles of champagne and the pretty green dress she wore, the same one she had been married in. So she became a wife and stepmother, happily going about day to day life in Paris. She even eventually became a French citizen.

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Last Thanksgiving we had invited Lisa and George over for lunch. The night before she called to cancel. She ended up in the emergency room with what they first thought was a kidney stone, which she did have, but it turned out that she also had kidney cancer which had eaten its way through her kidney and filled her abdomen with blood. Eventually her kidney was removed but the cancer had spread. They started her on an oral chemo treatment that she didn’t do well on, and then another. We were at our beach place when I saw on Facebook that she was in the hospital so we started exchanging textos. They were concerned with her blood work and trying to normalize that and she was also anemic so she was having blood transfusions. She didn’t go into detail but I think she was also there to get a catheter put in for more intensive treatment of her very aggressive cancer. She didn’t tell me this, just mentioned “other things” going on. I never talked to her as I think it tired her out but I sent her a little photo each day and a short message. Then last week I sent a photo of a flower and she just sent back a smiley face, an emoticon. The next day I sent a photo of a sunset but got no reply. I thought maybe she was busy going back home. The day after that I texted again and Georges said to call him. She was in an induced coma after a shut down of her respiratory system during the short procedure to put in the catheter. If she was able to start breathing on her own, she would only have a month or two to live due to the cancer now in her liver and lungs. She died without really gaining consciousness the next day. Her family from the States were with her as was George. It was such a shock-she was so young with so much to live for. Just heart breaking. She and a friend were responsible for the No Love Locks movement getting the tons of locks removed from several bridges in Paris and starting a movement across the world. She truly was The Bold Soul. I’m so glad she got to have the years that she did in Paris and that I got to know her. I want to be inspired to do the same, to make every moment count. Rest in Peace, Lisa. You will be missed.

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31 thoughts to “The Bold Soul”

  1. I’m just stiring here in Zurich (on a short visit) and peeking at blogs. Linda, I’m so sorry to read this – it’s so very sad. I was aware of her huge efforts to remove the locks and cheered her on. I’m glad they achieved success.

    How incredibly sad. My heart goes out to her loved ones, her friends. It’s heartening to know she had a full life of love and fulfillment in France, but sad that she passed so young.

    Peace to you.

  2. Such a tragic, devastating loss. Beautiful tribute, Linda. I know you and Lisa were great friends and we send deepest sympathy.

    Thinking of you and all who knew and loved Lisa. Take care – with sympathy and loving thoughts xx

  3. Thank you for posting this sad update about Lisa. She was one of the first bloggers I read years ago when I was still living in Atlanta and I am so sorry to see she has died. I had hoped for a different outcome when I first read of her cancer.

    She was an inspiration to me when I met my Brit born husband online a few months before she married Georges. Reading her adventures as she navigated through her new life in Paris made my move to England far less scary and I so enjoyed seeing her find such a sweet love and life with Georges.

    1. She was so happy in Paris with Georges. I think she would have been happy anywhere but having followed her heart to Paris even though others thought she was crazy to do so made her time there especially sweet. And meeting Georges, of course, was the icing on the cake.

  4. Thank you for letting all of us know – I had been checking her website each day wishing for hopeful news. She touched more lives than she knew – she touched mine. I will miss her writing and her view on life.

  5. Ah, I was worried about this, as she hasn’t been updating her blog or Twitter. Thanks for letting us know. I’m so sad for her family, and especially her husband! Truly a love story there.

  6. Linda, thanks to you I had the pleasure of meeting Lisa. She was a beautiful person with much to live for, and you were an amazing and loyal friend to her, right to the very end. That last photograph you sent to her, a beautiful sunset at the beach, was eerily appropriate. Followers of her blog are surely grateful that you posted this, as there was no more news on her blog, and I almost put something up on mine (and still might). However if they search her name, your blog with this wonderful tribute now comes up. Lisa truly was a bold, and brave, soul, and I have no doubt that she will continue her boldness on The Other Side!

  7. I am so very sorry to hear of the death of your friend. I’d recently read of her, in the recent stories of the locks being removed, but didn’t know she was fighting cancer at the time.

    It is always sad to hear of those who leave us far too soon. But it was even more of a shock to read about it today, because this was third time in just a few hours that I’d heard about a death which happened yesterday.

    My older daughter texted me of a friend of hers who’d been a victim of a hit and run in New Orleans while riding his bike, and my son in law texted my younger daughter – who is currently traveling with me – that their new puppy had unexpectedly died.

    Yesterday was filled with sadness, and the news of it brought the sadness to us today. Those of us who are left behind have a hole in our lives that no one else can fill. I am so very sorry for your loss.

    1. Thank you, Rebecca. It’s hard for those of us left behind, especially when it is sudden. Thanks for taking the time to write. Linda

  8. Linda, I am so sorry for the loss of your friend, Lisa. I have been reading her blog as well as yours for many, many years. As Georges will do and we all must do- Live boldly, for ourselves and for Lisa. She had a wonderful, wonderful life in Paris.

    Jennie

  9. Thank you Linda for letting us know about Lisa. Her life and words were such an inspiration. I so looked forward to reading her blog posts. She always gave me something to ponder or to make me laugh, sometimes both.

    My condolences to Georges and all her family and friends.

  10. Linda,

    Thank you for sharing your precious memories. Lisa will be missed so much. I still cannot believe she is gone. She is and will always be an inspiration to me, and to all the many other friends I met today. She touched all of our lives in such a wonderful way. My heart goes out to Georges and his family and to Lisa’s family. I saw today, such a great outpouring of love for her… I just wish that she was not taken away from all of us too soon.
    Rest in Peace, Lisa and thank you for being the amazing bold soul you were and always will be because you will live on on us.

  11. Thank you for this beautiful tribute to Lisa. I, too, had long read her blog and was deeply concerned as her illness progressed. It’s a terrible shock, nonetheless, to know she has died. Hers was truly happiness, interrupted. My heart goes out to Georges and family, and to her friends, among whom you were a special.

  12. I was so shocked and saddened to read your posting, and later, Georges,. I so admired Lisa’s determination in moving to Paris and creating the life she wanted. My condolences to her family and all her friends.

  13. Thank you for such a gracious post. I have followed Lisa (and you!) for so many years – that her voice resonates in my head and I often think about some turn of phrase or tough-girl stance she took on something. Lisa changed the world and it always seems like God takes the good ones. I had planned on being in Paris in October and had hoped to help with No Love Locks – but my heart is broken – as is the world’s. They say that a person never dies until the last person who knew then passes on – LIsa has a long life to live in all of us.

  14. So shocked, I still cannot believe that Lisa is no longer here. I read her blog for many years, exchanged a few emails with her. She suffered from migraines, so does my husband and we talked about what works best to prevent these headaches.

    Yesterday I checked her Facebook, I felt nauseous when I saw that Lisa had died. I can’t even believe it. I was so certain that she would beat that forsaken disease. It just doesn’t seem real that she is gone. I am angry, sad, shocked and just scared how fragile life is. My heart brakes for her husband, they loved each other so, so much.

  15. Lisa’s Bold Soul story has the power to delight and quicken us to live life to the fullest…you never know when true love might come! She found her dream come true in France with the love of her life, her Georges. Love never fails, it always conquers, believing all things, hoping all things, enduring all things. The locks are off and more light is coming! The tears produce the rainbows when we see the sunlight filtering through the dark night of our soul. I loved reading Lisa’s blog and savoring her audacious boldness and love of her life. I have always had a dream of going to Paris one day to visit and experience the culture, and Lisa made it so real and alive through her blog. My thoughts and prayers are with you and her family and most especially her loving husband, Georges in such a sudden and unexpected passing. She had such a verve, such a passion for life, I’m sure everyone thought she would beat cancer…this is a very truth we all need to camp on: “life is fragile, handle with prayer!”

  16. Linda
    I started reading your blog and Lisa’s blog from slow travel and bonjour articles about 2006. I am so sad to hear of Lisa’s passing. You two shared so many fabulous stories and photos. I thank you for sharing your stories and photos. To Lisa’s family and friends and Georges, I never meet Lisa but through her blog she became one of my best friends. I will miss her. She inspired so many readers. She did a great job for the no love locks campaign. I am so proud of her and the other Lisa’s work. We are so fortunate she shared her life with us ❤️
    Cindy (one of Lisa’s groupies)

  17. Linda: Just wanted to thank you for this lovely tribute post.

    I was a long-time reader (since the NJ days of frustration!) and occasional commenter who checked every day for Lisa’s posts to see what she was up to. I never met her and I didn’t know her… but I sort of did. I knew so much about her, personal stuff, her likes and dislikes etc etc through her writing so she wasn’t exactly a stranger — but she sort of was too… I’m grieving for a woman I only knew as the Bold Soul. I feel as if I’ve lost a great friend. I wish I could have met her.
    I am so very sad.

  18. Thank you, Linda, so much for sharing the rest of Lisa’s story. Lisa’s adventures inspired me to move to Paris in 2008-2009 and I was lucky enough to meet her a few times. I join everyone in saying she was an absolute delight, beautiful inside and out. I did not realize the cancer was so aggressive and I am positively grief-stricken at the lost opportunity to say how much I admired and was inspired by her.

    I don’t know why your words are such a comfort to me, but I am so glad to know you were there for her in her last days. I’m sure when the shock abates, I will be able to join everyone in the celebration of her life, her work, her writings, and her marvelous warmth and personality, but for now, I am just so sad. May she know how many lives she touched and may she rest in peace.

    Thank you again, Linda and my deepest sympathies are with you.

  19. Hi Linda and everyone, I’m not an avid reader of blogs. However, I do read them when I’m looking for a little inspiration. The Bold Soul was one of those blogs I popped in to read everyone now and then. I the post by her husband and nearly fell on the floor. I never knew Lisa, but I started reading her blog back in 2006 when I was looking for like minded francophile souls before moving to France for a year from 2007-2008. I stumbled upon Lisa’s site. At the time she had not moved to Paris. When I returned to the States in 2008 and took back up with her blog and discovered she really did move, this woman who I’d only messaged once or twice became a true inspirer. She was the real deal. So when I popped on to the site tonight and saw the opening words by her husband Georges, I knew something bad had happened. I’m shocked and very sad for her family, friends and all of the people across the world that she touched. As Anna mentioned above, I did not know here, but she will be truly missed. Wow! What a TRUE, AMAZING BOLD SOUL.

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