My friend Vinnie passed away tonight. To say that I am distressed falls utterly short of describing how I feel right now. Even at my most cold and analytical I can see no silver lining or positive side to her loss. It is a tragedy that could be likened unto anything that inspired Shakespeare or Tennyson. My world is less one valiant person to share time and creative energy with.
Veronica "Vinnie" Goodman lived her life unfettered by regret or sorrow and would not deny anyone close to her the same, even as we are bereft of her presence. Nevertheless, I mourn bitterly her loss and in particular the empty place within my creative endeavors no one else can possibly fill. Her empathy and intrinsic goodness have and will continue to form the basis for many of the characters in my works of fiction. My memories of her will have to suffice.
You can't write of the human nature the things you have not been witness to. To that end, I can write so much better of things that amount to courage, perseverance and spiritual latitude. Vinnie approached life with a mind that was as open as her heart. She denied herself nothing that amounted to an experience worth having.
I have particular feelings about the use of the word "warrior". I believe in earnest that the folks who bear that moniker are defined as much by how they live life as how they face death. I sat with her often in Hospital rooms and marveled at her fearlessness. Through it all, she had but a single fear, that her young son would not remember the person she was, or what she stood for.
That will not happen. Her only fear in life will never be a reality following her death. Never.
Update: "I don't want anyone to say I lost my battle. If I lose my life to cancer it will not be because I lost my battle it will be because cancer is a sneaky bastard and it cheated." - Veronica Goodman
I wouldn't claim otherwise. Cancer is a sneaky bastard and it does cheat us out of people we'd prefer to have in our lives.