101 things about me

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Remembering Renee

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:

doing what
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.


Lisa said...

My sincerest condolences Jacinta for the passing of your friend Renee. The friendship she gave you sounds like a once in a lifetime bond, where she could truly help you and comfort you and you her. I'm sure if her family read your post, they will know just how loved she was.

Susan L (lily40au) said...

your first sentence ... how difficult it must be for everybody. she sounds like the most wonderful person to know ... someone selfless and unselfish in the face of her own suffering and hardship. everybody's life sounds enriched for knowing her.

Lilli boo said...

My condolences as well Jacinta. I read so many of Renee's responses to your posts especially around the time you were preparing and grieving for your brother. Her words always struck a cord in their wisdom, elegance and mindfulness. Your post written in tribute to Renee is equally eloquent. Thinking of you at this time. Lil x

Luhlahh said...

Sending Love. X

LesleyG said...

Such beautiful, truthful words. I'm so sorry for the loss of your friend. Sending thoughts and prayers.

Nanny Pumpernickel said...

My condolences to you Jacinta.She sounds like a remarkable person.wishing you lots of strength from a far.xoxo

Malcolm Garth said...

Sorry to hear this Cinta. You are a great friend and I'm sure that Renee got as much from you as you from her. Your words for her are beautiful.

Anonymous said...

Such a beautiful post for Renee, I really felt her still here while I was reading.
Thank you so much for your comforting words.



Lori ann said...

I'm so sorry Cinta for the loss of your brother and now Renee. This was such a beautiful tribute, it is truly a wonderous thing the bonds that are formed here in the blogging world.
She really was an angel on earth.

Sydney said...

Oh my goodness, now I am tearful again. Thank you for writing this beautiful post on Renee. It helps to comiserate and share with others. I am truly awed that she somehow did all she did and found time to develop the kind of relationship you two had etc... If I were going through half of what she did, I would barely be able to brush my teeth, or at least keep up with my immediate circle, let alone write the masterpieces her posts were and make and foster deep, new friendships! Amazing!

I found her obit today and thought you might like to see it. I did leave a tribute as well. You need a credit card ($5). I don't know the family, it's just something I wanted to do. And there is a last note from Renee at the end that she'd written to them.

You too must be a pretty special person! I'm sure your cards and notes must have brought a lot to Renee's life. I hope it gives you some joy to think of that too.

Sydney said...

Here it is:

flossy-p said...

I agree with every word here. Renee was truly one of a kind. I'm so devastated to lose her. We all are, and there are hundreds of us.

I remember when she appeared for you during the time you lost your Brother. She was like an angel swooping in to hold you, all the while she was facing the same fate herself. To me it was inconceivably brave and generous. I've truly never known anyone like her, I will miss her so much.

I know she was particularly special to you. I wish I could come and have a cup of tea with you for solidarity and support.

This is hard. Really hard. Hugs to you. .xx.

Cathy {Tinniegirl} said...

Beautiful post Jacinta. Sending you thoughts and hugs.

Nikki said...

Yes - a beautiful tribute to your friend. I'm so sorry to hear of her passing.

Hope you're doing ok?

Anju said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your friend. I really pray for peace and comfort at this time for you and her family. Thanks for sharing.

Chrisy said...

What a beautiful tribute...thank you...I have a little momento to darling Renee over at my place if you'd like to visit...

Umatji said...

a beautiful and sad post. Hope memories keep you. Thankyou for sharing I made my day richer and moved me away from trivialities.
go well.

Bella Sinclair said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your brother. I loved reading your tribute to Renee. It is so sincere and loving. She was one of a kind, and truly a remarkable friend. We were blessed to have known her, no matter how short the time.


little red hen said...

I am so sorry to hear that Jacinta. Sending you love and heartfelt sympathy.

Kate James said...

What a beautiful tribute to Renee Jacinta. She was one of a kind wasn't she? It's hard to believe she's not around any more. I can't imagine the loss her family feel...she was a wonderful role model to me about making family the most important part of your life.

Thanks for your comments today. I haven't been around for a while either but it's lovely to catch up again. I hope you will get a huge amount from Sophie's drawing class - she's lovely. x