Some people in life are so memorable they only need one name and hearing it opens a floodgate of experiences and emotions of a life well lived.
I remember the first time I saw a photograph of her and how taken I was by her raw beauty. The photo was found among some possessions of a friend and it was ceremoniously placed on the windshield of a car, it was not a usual place to find a photo of such perfection, but of all the stories I have heard, she was unconventional herself so the location didn’t seem odd. It was perfect.
The photograph was a simple black and white professional still shot in a simple black frame. She was dressed in a dark shirt pure simplicity and elegance. Her dark hair falling slightly disheveled about her delicate porcelain face. Crop cut hair with bangs trailing somewhat unevenly high across her forehead. Her eyes intense and focused on what ever the photographer wanted her to see. My first thought was that she looked timeless and from another era. As I studied the picture, I had no idea who she was and then I realized.. it was her, the woman loved by so many. She lit up that photo and life itself.
I have seen numerous photos of her over the last few years, sometimes with bright red lips looking breathtakingly beautiful and other times leaning easily back on the legs of a friend in a group picture. I have heard her life story and her untimely departure and while I never met her, I feel that I know her too.
Because of the love the world has for her and how it remains present in hearts to this day, she is eternal. Her kindness, her dedication, her goodness, her strength and her spiritualism, all surround the story of her life. She was a beauty whose heart was too big and her body simply couldn’t hold that much heart.
A few months ago on a trip near her hometown, I was given directions which I followed, the car honestly seemed to be driving itself. I found myself in a beautiful large city cemetery and as we wound through the slender cemetery drive, it seemed to know the destination and the car silently rolled to a stop. We crossed the street and there were three nameplates in the green ground, hers was the third. A simple plate bearing her name. It was as if I was visiting royalty and I was honored to be there. To see her named etched in the stone, made her life, the lives she touched and her early departure very real.
Standing by her grave I witnessed the impact one human being can have on another. I listened as he let her know that the people she loved so much in her earthly life, are doing well and that she would be proud of their accomplishments. I watched as a man wept unashamed for a friend that will be forever missed.
I believe she heard.
Until Next Time,