I was intending to write a theatre review (which I hope I still will do), but it has indeed been a bit of a week with two deaths: one a relative by marriage, and one a good friend. To be honest, the news of the former which I received a couple of days ago, has not really sunk in and I am not sure I want to write about it in such a public place, anyway.
However my friend DQ, has been buried as she was Jewish and funerals take place very quickly after the death. We worked together in a previous job of mine, but I only really got to know her when she offered to ferry me backwards and forwards, home to work and back, when I broke my ankle some years back. It was an absolutely typical kindness of her, to take care of someone she did not know very well. We chatted in the car twice a day, and that’s how we came to stay in touch after I left that job. She loved dogs and was always saying I should come out for a walk with her. In the time I knew her, she had two dogs separately, both named after great female singers. My last time with her was a lovely walk with her and her gorgeous dog through Ally Pally park.
She had been ill for some time and only told very close friends and family. She had told me she was ill but no more. I think she did not want to be pitied or defined by her illness, and although hearing of her death was a great shock, I was able to say goodbye at her funeral last week. The eulogy by her closest friend, revealed an amazing woman who lived life to full. DQ didn’t just talk the talk – she got out there and she did what she believed in. She was politically active, and did much for her synagogue. To describe DQ as a socialist, feminist, campaigner, writer, humanist and many more descriptions, does not give the right picture of her, although she was all those things. She never gave lip-service. She revealed her beliefs by her actions. And her driving force was love of people, and a desire to give as many people as she could, the chance to live a decent life. She inspired many, and was referred to more than once in the funeral service as a pioneer.
I’m going to miss you DQ. I still can’t quite believe I’ll never hear your wonderful voice again. But I am not sad for you. You lived your life to its fullest, and I am honoured to have been a friend of yours. I know you are resting in peace.