I’ve been anticipating today for a long time. All I really wanted was to be by myself, to indulge my sorrow. A hard plan to carry out on a Sunday when you have a family that includes the demands of 3 children. So, let’s just say the being by myself thing was NOT going to happen, even today.
16 August 2014 is etched into my heart, for it was the day we lost my dear friend Danya to breast cancer. Of the last 12 months, it surprised me that I have shed more tears over the past 8 weeks than I did in the first 8 weeks after she passed away. I’m not sure the grief was as intense as last year, but the sorrow and realisation a year has passed without her was felt deeply. As her sister wrote, “grief is like an earthquake”, and “anything can cause a tremor“. For me, those tremors happen often on planes, because it was the message she sent me on 25 July 2014, as I landed in Sydney, that made me realise the precarious nature of her health. So I’ve used my frequent travel to nurture my sorrow – I always take the beautiful leather handbag her sisters so generously shared with me that belonged to her, I play the music she danced her bridal waltz to repeatedly – Need Her Love by ELO – allowing the tears to stream down my face. I re-read the text message exchanges, each one reminding me of her spirit of generosity, her courage and determination until the end, and mostly, her love. But its taken me until today to re-read the eulogy I delivered.
Of course, it was no coincidence that today, in the midst of the coldest winter we’ve had in 20 years, it was 18 degrees – Danya LOVED the sun. The sun is her way of reminding me that she is forever with me, warming the sorrow in my heart, reminding me to look for the light. For me, Danya is a constant reminder to us all to treasure each moment and the wonder of this precious life. And, as I sat with one of the greatest gifts she passed on to me – one of her beautiful friends – we rejoiced in the presence of that tiny dancer.