Tuesday, October 4, 2011

beautiful passing

It is with a heavy heart that I announce another cancer friend's death.

This one is hard, because I've never met another cancerite who reminded me so much of myself; I loved her from the moment I met her last February through a mutual friend (you MUST meet Diane!). We bonded instantly, and when she had a recurrence (in the form of a rash-- weird, right?) we talked on the phone for hours about how difficult it is to be young and ill and to have your future snatched so suddenly out from under you.

Let me tell you of the awesomeness that was Diane: She was a historical fashion dynamo which none could rival. She knew her hemlines, decades and artists, a jabot from a cravat, and I looked forward to gushing with her about fashion's obscure geniuses. She published a magazine called Zelda (presumably inspired by Fitzgerald) about 1920's deca culture, of which several copies are still strewn about our house. Even though she was only 5 years older than me, I looked up to her as this monumentally beautiful, stylish, funny, intelligent, accomplished woman. She had a black bob, just as I did. It was like looking in the mirror. And, even when she had cancer, remission, and recurrence... she never stopped working towards her passions.

I cry as I write this because I am so utterly sad I wasn't able to know her better.

Diane died suddenly last week after complications with pneumonia, which was due to chemo and her lowered immunity. She battled aggressive breast cancer and recurrence.

The day I found out was the day before my fashion show, so, in my head, it was dedicated to her. Afterwards I spent time with her good friend J, and D, at our home. We talked & drank cider well into the night. Diane had told J that I was of great comfort to her, an inspiration, and that touched me deeply, because I'm not sure she would've ever said that to my face. These things are hard to talk about.

So, Diane Naegel, I am honoured to have known you.