How do you lose someone?

It is why we can’t take anything for granted, though we do that every minute.

When I heard that Diana, great friend and much admired and adored person, had passed away last night, it had already seemed a long time coming, though she had only been ill three months.

She was a pole star to her family and friends and colleagues; her influence, her soft power, was immense and deep. She was the probity of friendship. She was a legend in the book world, instrumental in creating two Australian beacons of independent publishing: McPhee Gribble, and Text. And so on

How do you recall someone, now that you must recall them? I felt only empty and dry when the news arrived; but looking through pictures of Diana, I was awash with feelings — pictures are not memories but memorials, or they are fuses. I see the picture and feel … the distance close, as if time had not passed, and things had not come to pass … then recoiling to reality: salt and bitter. As if one could have time again; when what we had is all we have. Why do we take anything for granted?

Loss has no name. Moment by moment I have an odd sense of dislocation — as if I had lost my bearings, as if I had lost my compass.

Dearest Diana…

(I wrote a more conventional eulogy in the next post.)

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