Category Archives: condolences

The door is standing open

Rarely do I find time to write three blog postings in a single day, but on this Monday, I make the time. For me, this post, which will publish tomorrow afternoon, is about processing, cleansing, and still more processing, I suppose.

A little more than an hour or so ago, I stumbled upon news that another one of our extended Duranie family members has passed. Her name is Lisa Amaral, and I am certain that many of you reading probably knew her. She was a regular on DDM back when it was a busy “crossroads of the world” for Duran Duran fans, and from what I can tell, she was loved by many. To be that kind of person…I don’t know what that is like.

Despite my sadness, I didn’t really know Lisa. We were not friends, and I don’t want to pretend otherwise as I write this. That isn’t the point. I had a great many friends that were close to her, loved her, and are incredibly heartbroken today. Their grief is palatable on every level, and I wish I could hug each one of them.

Back in my teens and twenties, it was fairly easy to delude myself into believing tomorrow would always be there. I only had a few friends that died between the time of middle school and college, and just one that I knew well. It was simple to tell myself that someone dying when they were my age was practically unheard of, unless they were very, very ill. I was healthy, young, and had a lifetime ahead of me.

In my thirties, I lost a few other friends. One that was very close to me in my local MOMS Club, and that was a tragic loss. I started realizing, but trying my best to ignore, that a “lifetime” didn’t mean any particular length. You get what you get.  I watched my own father die from a disgustingly evil disease, but even then, I pushed that thought out of my mind because I was a mom and had things to do. Tours to go see. Bands to meet. Friends to make.

Now I am cruising through my forties. The time seems to have sped up with each passing decade.  I have lost a few very close friends, and seen many family members and other friends battle illnesses that are meant to kill. I am still a major procrastinator.  The saying, “Why do today what you can put off until tomorrow?” is one of my favorite. I’m awful.

You’d think I’d learn my lesson, but somehow, I still haven’t. I see friends at events like the weekend in Las Vegas and many times I’m the one standing there…or walking by… hemming and hawing about whether or not I should even go up and say hi. I immediately assume that I’d be interrupting them, or that they don’t really want to be attacked in the middle of a hallway as they’re standing by, waiting for an elevator or chatting with friends. I saw a lot of people I knew that weekend, but very few did I run up to and say hello, or hug, even if I wanted. I was content to either just wave from afar, or say nothing. Yes, I’m shy, but I’m also not very good at approaching people out of the blue.

We don’t know if we have tomorrow. That is a concept I can’t seem to teach myself. I wasn’t friends with Lisa, but I knew her. I knew who she was, and I saw her that weekend in Vegas.  It is unfathomable to me that life can just end without warning in three weeks time, yet it happens all of the time. It’s hard to process that idea.

I don’t like the idea that over the next I-don’t-know-how-long, I will have other friends and family die. I worry that I won’t do the things I should do in the meantime, because it’s easy to slip back into that place where I delude myself into believing I have forever to tell people how I feel. It’s maddening.

For those of you reading who knew and loved Lisa, you have my heartfelt condolences. I am so sorry. A great deal of my friends are posting about their loss, and it is a testament to Lisa that she has so many friends that adore her and are heartbroken.

When these things happen, I always think about how I’m glad I went to the shows I did, or that I’ve had a chance to talk to some of the people I’ve met along the way. I’m grateful for the friends that are willing to put up with me, and for those that push me way the heck out of my comfort zones, too. This time though, I’m starting to think that I need to take more chances with my emotions. I need to make sure the people I care about know how I feel. Tomorrow isn’t promised to anyone.

Rest in Peace, Lisa.

-R

We are Family

It is relatively late evening in California as I sit down to type a blog for tomorrow morning.  Normally I blog the same day as something posts, but news late this afternoon my time caused me to take a moment, clear my head and write something semi-thoughtful.

As many of you may have read by now, it appears we have once again lost a fellow Duranie.  Sheila Germain, known to many of you as NYCredhead, looks to have lost an incredible fight, although as some have mentioned – if anyone could have beaten the odds, it likely would have been her. Amanda and I send our condolences to her family, friends and anyone who had the opportunity to know and love her – online and otherwise.

I don’t like having to send condolences for anyone, and these days, it seems as though it happens far too often. Surely I am not alone in that reflection. I have a difficult time reconciling the idea that I am at an age where friends should be lost, and yet of course I recognize that when your time has come, it has come. None of us get much of a say when this happens, or even how it happens. For control-freaks such as myself: this is not good news.

The one musing that tends to circle above my thoughts on a fairly frequent basis these days is that time is not to be wasted. I try to remember to tell the people who mean the most to me – my husband and children among them – that I love them dearly. Whereas at one time in my life, not too terribly long ago, I might have let a discussion become heated and get the best of me to the point where I would walk away without so much as an “I am sorry”; I’ve learned that those three words have power well-beyond my temper. My opinions or point-of-view(s) matter so much less than my friendships and relationships in the long run…and yes, that even goes for this blog. It’s only a rock band, and it’s only music.

If there was ever a time for me to be thankful, it is when I think back to the moments I have had with many of you, whether it’s trading a good-natured barb here on the blog, a very serious discussion about the merits of burgundy hair-dye on Facebook, or those rare but entirely-too-special-for words moments that I am graced to be in your presence, live and in-person. If I have done anything over the past several years, it is that I have LIVED.

I know the band, every single one of them, are lucky. To have had the careers they have had thus far, and done some of the things they have been able to do…yes, I believe it’s as much luck as anything else. At the end of the road though? I think the fans are truly the lucky ones.  Why? We have one another. We connect with one another in a way the band simply cannot.  When the band is said and done and maybe even forgotten us, our connections, our relationships and friendships…will continue on.

I know there are thousands of different types of fandoms out there. Many of which have ways of communicating just like ours, yet I really believe we’re different. As loyal, enthusiastic and even crazy about the band as we are, when it all boils down after the fur flies, we care about one another. I can’t think of a lot of fandoms that come together as ours does when someone is hurting, and I’m proud that we can be there for one another in times of grief or peril just as when we celebrate. Sure we’ll pull each others hair out if someone dares to cut in front of us at a show or dares to block our way to the band…but dang it we are family.  A sick, twisted and delightfully demented family.

Take time to tell the people you care about just how you feel about them.  As for me, I continue to be grateful that my path through life has allowed me to meet many of you along the way. Yes, my fandom has sometimes felt isolating, but I never would have guessed that beginning in my mid-thirties I would meet so many people and start having such a great time.  When other people, other moms my age started really slowing down, I feel I’m just getting started. There are so many of you out there, scattered across the world that I can count amongst my friends, and I say to you – how lucky are WE? We have a band that unites us, that has become the soundtrack to our lives in many respects, and a world of friendships we’ve made as a result. I am forever glad that Amanda and I decided to start this blog and tell the world how we really feel…and even more so that so many really don’t mind reading!

-R