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Friends and Family Remember Diem Brown on Her 35th Birthday

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Courtesy Diem Brown

Diem Brown would have turned 35 years old on Friday, and her loved ones celebrated her life and remembered the continuous strength she showed throughout her battle with cancer.

Brown’s sister Megan shared a childhood picture as well as the family birthday tradition on Instagram Friday.

“Any other morning on June 12th for as long as I can remember I started it with a phone call. A tradition our family has to never let our birthdays go by without being sung the birthday song … the whole song, full out, every word. Nine times out of 10 I’d get your voicemail and leave an obnoxious rendition, similar to the one I would receive from you on my birthday. I yearn so badly to make that call,” she wrote.

Any other morning on June 12th for as long as I can remember I started it with a phone call. A tradition our family has to never let our birthdays go by without being sung the birthday song .. the whole song, full out, every word. 9 times out of 10 I’d get your voicemail and leave an obnoxious rendition, similar to the one I would receive from you on my birthday. I yearn so badly to make that call. I wish we’d kept your number active so I could just go through the motions. Convincing myself you’re in LA, traveling to some remote country with MTV or you just missed my call. You’ll call me back. This delusion is how I get through most moments but on days like today I can’t seem to run from the reality fast enough to dismiss it. Grief overtakes me, and sits on my chest so heavy it’s hard to breath. During these moments I consciously know the pain will pass and I will keep moving, while acknowledging that I will live these pangs for the rest of my life. So instead of relenting completely I will be strong for you today, I will smile and laugh for you today. I’ll get on a plane, head to Nashville, one of your favorite cities, to celebrate your birthday and your life with some of our best friends. We will live, love, dance and we will sing to you today. The whole song, full out, every word. Always and forever your Yang 💕 Dance. Inspire. Be carefree. Give back. Be thankful for today and tomorrow. Love. Please celebrate the life of @diembrown us today! #diemstrong #happybirthdayD Email your memories, photos, inspirations to diemstrong@gmail.com

A post shared by Megan Clarke (Brown) (@cupeachez) on

Brown’s best friend Alicia Quarles posted a touching tribute to Instagram that included “I Carry Your Heart,” by E.E. Cummings.

After losing Brown last November, Quarles said at her funeral that “Diem was the happiest person I know.”

Happy birthday my beautiful, beloved @diembrown. You were one of my bridesmaids when I recited these words as my wedding vows. Now I dedicate them to you, my sister, soulmate, best friend and true love: "I Carry Your Heart" I carry your heart with me (I carry you in my heart). I am never without it (anywhere I go you go, my dear; and whatever is done by only me is your doing, my darling). I fear no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet). I want no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true) and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant and whatever a sun will always sing is you. Here is the deepest secret nobody knows (here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows higher than soul can hope or mind can hide) and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart. I carry your heart (I carry it in my heart). -E.E. Cummings

A post shared by Alicia L Quarles (@alicialquarles) on

Brown’s friend Julie Rotondi also posted a touching memorial on her Instagram account, urging fans to donate to MedGift, the charity Brown founded to raise funds and awareness for cancer.

"As soon as I saw you I knew an adventure was going to happen" – Winnie the Pooh I can't find a single quote to sum up what being a part of @diembrown's life was/is like but this is pretty close… From the first day I met her until the last. The moment you met her, wherever whenever that was, her smile, enthusiasm, magnetic energy and maniacal dance moves sucked you in immediately. This weekend in Nashville we will dance like you're watching (and judging), tear a few ligaments on the mechanical bull, pretend to know how to line dance, scam our way into several events and accost complete strangers in your honor. I literally think about you and miss you every single day and we'll do our best to make you proud this weekend as we celebrate your incredible life. Love you! Please help celebrate D's birthday this weekend by purchasing a #diemstrong shirt to support her biggest passion – #medgift – go to her sister Megan's page @cupeachez for details, and link is in my bio too. Thanks to everyone continuing to support our legendary angel 🙂 #diemstrong #nashville #dancefordiem #happybirthdayD #33rdBday #willnevertell #nashville #cma #whatisCMa? #country #celebrate #warrior #loveyou #missyou #fuckcancer

A post shared by Julie Rotondi (@julierotondi) on

Jamie Chung also posted a photo with her friend, saying, “You are incredibly missed. Your spirit has and will continue to remain with us as a daily reminder to live a boisterous, joyful life. ”

Other friends took to Twitter to pay tribute to their friend and costar, many of them using the hashtag #DiemStrong:

Those wishing to honor Diem