Isak Dineson wrote
“All sorrows can be borne if you put them in a story or tell a story about them.”
So here is my attempt;
I found Suanne exactly 23 years ago. We met where I was working. I was 6 months pregnant for my daughter and truth be told, we were not immediately enamoured with one another.
Three years later I moved to a different role at work and we got to work together on a project and thus began an incredible friendship . We also quickly learned that our different approach to things was to create an unstoppable working partnership.
Over the years she became not only my mentor but one of the genuinely best friends a person could ever hope to have in their life. I learned a lot from Suanne who I started to call “tsunami” -“A force of nature. ” A force by the way which she took to her work, to her family, her friends and anyone/anything she came up against.
I adored her and she quickly became the Ethel to my Lucy*, the Bonny to my Clyde, the lime to my Corona and the salt rim to my Marguerita.
Not always one to take the easy route, the politically correct route or even the expected route this Sunami had a way of making believers out of non believers and turning opponents in to fans for life. She had a thirst for living and was whole heartedly dedicated to being a good person.
She collected people like others collect seashells, coins or shot glasses. She was friends with the CEO of a large international company as well as a few homeless gentleman whom she always checked in with on her way to her office. She loved people, believed in people, wished to understand people and learned from people.
She was as funny as heck too! Over the years we travelled to many destinations together. We shared very long – haul flights to Dubai, shared taxis in Cairo, danced till the wee hours in Bermuda and talked in to the night in each other’s tiny guest bedrooms.
In 2011, the unimanagable happened ; she was diagnosed with a five centimetre brain tumour and a prognosis of 18 to 24 months to live.
During the following six years my Sunami NEVER let her recurring tumours and many setbacks stop her for one fraction of a second, or prevented her from being a fearce encourager and supporter of friends and family, or stopped her from working harder than some do in a lifetime to beat her illness. Her quick sense of humour never dimmed nor her astounding positivity.
Because 1,634 kilometres separated us we were only physically in the same room together about 4 times over the course of her “dis-ease ” however as her world got smaller we remained in contact on a daily basis thanks to modern technology
Sadly, her bright light extinguished last month. Though I was not physically by her side I felt her last breath as distinctly as if I had been in the room.
As I started to write down these thoughts to ease my pain as well as cherish her being I thought my title might be ” Losing Suanne” but of course she is not now nor will she ever be lost to those who knew her and loved her so I started reflecting on how blessed we all were who had ” found ” her at all. Pity those who did not get to have a moment with her.
“-I hope you’re traveling well now,
and there’s stars over your head.
And I hope the river carries you,
everywhere you said.
–You could pull me through.
You could always pull me through.
Even when I’m lying here drowning in my blues.
You could take the sting out of the rain,
and bring the sun back up again,
and you could always pull me through.” – Jim Cuddy
*I am referring here to the popular 1950s American Television show “I Love Lucy”