Paula Meronek Pays Loving Tribute To Diem Brown

In a heartfelt memorial, the 'Challenge' vet shares her dear friend's 'secret to happiness.'

Through the years, Diem Brown and Paula Meronek traveled around the world as competitors on "The Challenge." Although they were mostly facing off against each other during missions, they formed an unbreakable bond outside of the game. Shortly after Diem's tragic death, MTV News asked Paula -- who will appear on the "We <3 Diem" special tonight at 9/8c -- to write a eulogy in honor of her dear friend. Here are her touching words:

I don't want to say goodbye to Diem Brown. And you can't make me. Instead, I welcome the flood of memories that sit behind my tears. I smile. I laugh. I remember the wild, beautiful tornado that is Diem Brown. If there is music, then there is about to be a dance-off. If there is a costume contest, you better be prepared to win second place. If you need a shoulder to cry on, she would offer you both of hers. There is no goodbye here.

Paula Meronek's Instagram


I don't want cancer to think for one second that it has won this battle. Instead, cancer, you have met your match. Our Diem kicked your ass… twice! Yes, you! Even when you came back more aggressively, she fought you with everything she had. You may have taken her life, but you did not take her spirit. And you know what else? Diem is still kicking your ass right now, with her legacy. She does this through awareness. She does this through MedGift. She does this through the countless people she has touched. Every time you decide you want to try to take more prisoners, we will fight you. We will donate. We will research. We will never stop until you are the one that is destroyed. You did not win this battle, and you will not win this war.

Paula Meronek's Instagram


I don’t want to forget the secret to happiness that Diem shared with me. I will share it with you, but remember, it’s our secret. I was visiting her with my son about two weeks before she passed. I will never forget the last thing Diem said to me as she was hugging Atlas and we were getting ready to leave. (Little did I know this would be the last time I would see her beautiful face.) While holding him close, she says to me -- and in a way, to herself -- "I love your life." She then hands him back to me and I give her a hug and a kiss, and all I can manage to say is, "Me too." All too often, we take time and the everyday for granted. Diem, in that one sentence, forced me to slow down and truly take in all the moments and to "love your life." I thank God for blessing me with all that I have been given -- the loves of my life, family, friends and, of course, good health.

Thank you, Diem, for being a constant reminder of how great life is and how to live each day, be thankful for each day, and love each day.

Take the time that passes so quickly and really love the crap out of your life. Hug your children tighter, tell your people you love them and always remember to "love your life."

I don't want to say goodbye to Diem Brown. And you can't make me.

Love you always my Diem in the PM, rest in peace.