As I type these words, a group of friends are gathering in Albury, the town I spent 20 years, to mourn the death and celebrate the life of a gorgeous woman who died way too soon. Kim was one of those positive, radiant women who was like sunshine. Her enthusiasm and passion for life was infectious. And she made you feel as though you could do things. When I think of Kim, so many words spring to mind but three in particular are abundance, generosity and connection. My life is richer for having met her and there is a sadness for so many people now that she is gone.
My older daughter sent me the link to a wonderful article by Oliver Sacks. It is powerful reading in its entirety but several thoughts bear highlighting. Sacks comments that he is face to face with dying but not finished with life. In response to this he says: I feel intensely alive, and I want and hope in the time that remains to deepen my friendships, to say farewell to those I love, to write more, to travel if I have the strength, to achieve new levels of understanding and insight. I feel a sudden clear focus and perspective…
Sacks talks about a response of gratitude: I cannot pretend I am without fear. But my predominant feeling is one of gratitude. I have loved and been loved; I have been given much and I have given something in return; I have read and traveled and thought and written.
Every morning, as I put my feet to the floor, I say words of gratitude. Some mornings I sleepily utter a formal phrase, other mornings a jubilant list of things that bring joy. I didn’t need Kim’s death to remind me to be grateful that I lived to meet my grand daughter. And now, some mornings I will use this wonderful sentence from Sacks’ article: I have been a sentient being, a thinking animal, on this beautiful planet, and that in itself has been an enormous privilege and adventure.
My pictorial choice of a vibrant, joyous piece of jewellery is no coincidence. It celebrates the life of a vibrant, joyous woman and expresses my gratitude for another day.