After learning that Linsey Malia ’18 died in a tragic boating accident in Copenhagen, Denmark on Saturday, May 6, the Stonehill community gathered on Sunday, May 7 in the Chapel of Mary to remember Linsey. Below are the remarks delivered by her friend Colleen MacDonald ’17, as well as a letter she shared from Linsey’s boyfriend, Kyle Collins ’18.
For photos of a campuswide celebration of Linsey's sunshine spirit, visit a gallery here.
Feeling Her Sunshine
I had the privilege of being Linsey’s freshman year Resident Advisor (RA) as well as her RA during her last semester here at Stonehill. But more importantly, I had the privilege of being her friend. I got to feel her sunshine.
Stonehill was Linsey’s home. Yes, she loved the beautiful campus, but it’s the people who made it her home. It’s her mentees but also those who gave her high-fives when she was rocking the ACE costume at the football games. It’s the people she considered family but also those who cut her off in the breakfast sandwich line.
I’m going to do my best to talk on behalf of Linsey’s close friends here at Stonehill who were her family in more ways than one.
All of us here have different levels of knowing Linsey, and in different capacities. But let me tell you, she’s just one of those people who makes Stonehill home for so many.
Sense of Remembrance
Linsey is the embodiment of pure joy. She is the joy that you have to work for. Many wouldn’t know through her beaming smile and loving ways just how much she has had to endure in her life. She is the definition of resiliency and bravery. She turns the pain of her bad days into comfort for others. Linsey is the model figure of knowing that everyone is fighting his or her own battle; and therefore we need to be kind to one another.
There are a lot of emotions in this room. Shock, sadness, confusion, disbelief. But there’s a strong sense of remembrance. Remembrance of a life lived to the fullest. A life lived out of love.
Linsey’s closest friends, her family, have written a letter to her that I would like to read:
Letter to Linsey
Linsey, you were a special friend to all of us. For many of us, you were our first friend at Stonehill. You brought your own sunshine with you everywhere you went and were truly such a joy to be around. You always had the best laugh, it was so contagious that even if nothing was funny we would still laugh.
You knew how to brighten our days and make us laugh until our stomachs hurt, especially your crazy dance to “All Night Longer” you did every time the song came on. You had a big heart and cared so much for everyone you met which is why we called you Mom. Your compassion extended through the world, a passion for service and social justice was shown through your studies and all the work you did outside the classroom like your dedicated service to My Brother’s Keeper or Horizons for Homeless Children.
You were an excellent student who put hard work into everything you did, but more than that, you were a genuinely good person. Your strength has truly inspired us. Your legacy will live on through the love and affection you constantly portrayed to not only your friends and family, but to whoever you encountered on that specific day.
Linsey, you are the epitome of joy - you have been so important in making Stonehill our home, and I know many can say the same. You are, and always will be, one of the most incredible people we have had the privilege to love.
Lins, we will all miss and love you so much. Thanks for all of your sunshine, your love, and all of the laughs, best friend.
Maggie, Peter, Sesen, Kyle, Faith, Katherine, Eileen, Cassie, Becky, Kristen, Karina, Steph, Rich, Joe, and Allison
Linsey’s boyfriend, Kyle, has a few words he would like to share:
Remember Her Smile
To put it simply, Linsey is the love of my life and my soulmate. Words cannot express how special she is to my family. There are a few of my family members here now and the love they showed for Linsey and the way in which they welcomed her into my family was unfathomable. My family loved Linsey as if she was one of us and for that I will never be able to express my gratitude.
The one thing I would want to emphasize is for everyone to remember her smile and to remember her laugh. Both were contagious and so full of life and joy. It’s her smile and laughter that gave me the energy I needed when I was sad. It was truly breathtaking the effect it had on me. And together through our smiles and laughter we will get through this. Stonehill was Linsey’s home and all she would want is for her home to stay strong and stay together! I love you all, as did Linsey.
Coping with Loss
There’s a whole lot of love for this remarkable friend that we lost far too soon. There’s a special saying that addresses coping with the tragic loss of someone so remarkable.
It reads, “take your love for me and spread it all around.” Whether Linsey is your best friend, Peer Mentor, Teaching Assistant, familiar face, or someone you never met, please feel this love. Foster those you love. Spread it to all you meet and into all that you do, for Linsey.