My friend Renee died today.
In 2008 when I was grieving the loss of my brother, I was contacted by Renee via my blog and she became a friend from the very beginning. She had stage 4 inflammatory breast cancer and her blog Circling My Head told her story. With almost daily posts, she spoke of her family, her loves, her despair, her joys and her laughter. She shared openly about her condition and her life as she dealt with it's daily challenges.
She offered me hope, understanding and insight, and she offered me her love with an open heart. Although we have never met 'in the flesh' she has been an incredible friend and I will miss her as part of my life. I share the heartbreak of her family and friends. Family and friends who adore her and fellow bloggers who she has also touched.
She reached out to so many people via her posts and replied to every comment that was left on her blog. And there were many many comments. In her battle she has changed many people's lives by welcoming them into hers. We shared long emails and exchanged cards in the post (as I know she did with many others). I don't know where she found the energy, but she was always full of surprises.
During the time I have known her, Renee has had more than her share of grief. She has lost friends from her support group, her father, her nephew died of cancer, and just over a month ago, her dear mother also died from cancer. One of her sisters is also facing a similar battle. Sadly Renee has now lost her battle too. Though she will not be forgotten.
I am so so sad she is gone, though I am relieved the pain she suffered in her final weeks is now over.
Thank you Renee for everything.
Thank you for your light and joy.
All my love to you.
The following words are from Renee's blog, that she posted in January of 2009.
"I must comfort myself with what I have always comforted myself with ‘words.’ Thank you Francis Bacon for these:
you want to do now.
We are not living in eternity.
We have only this moment, sparkling
like a star in our hand –
and melting like a
I remind myself that partly cloudy is partly sunny and that here on this earth right now I have been given the opportunity to live with angels. This life here and now is good and the people I am able to share my life with are good. I have to believe that this time here will not be all there is because my soul will never be full of them. My soul will yearn for them always."
Jan 26th, 2009.
*The picture above is by the beautiful friend of Renee and artist Julie-Ann Bowden of Heavenleigh Art.