Yes, this is a post about death, but it’s more importantly a post about living. Not the, throw all caution to the wind and live fast & hard (well you can if you want), it’s a post about living as you, the best that you can, for as long as you can. I’ve always known, seen and understood death. I think I was 15 the first time someone I knew committed suicide. From then on it became a fast world of funerals for those early battlers of HIV, more suicides and then the family deaths started. So here at 44, I have lost a brother, my father, my mother, my grandmother, friends, distant family and colleagues. My other grandparents and 2 siblings were gone before I was even born. Death surrounds us. It’s part of life. We can’t outrun it. We can’t ignore it. Yet each time someone I know dies, it hits me a little differently. This year has been no exception. I want to talk about 2 exceptional women that have been taken way to soon. 2 women who were mothers, friends, partners, siblings, daughters, ballsy feisty talented and so much more. Individuals who touched the lives of so many people in their short time in this existence. I’m not going to get all existential and question what happens when we move on, as we all have such different beliefs. For what it’s worth though, I do believe life can’t possibly end when this body does. I’m going to talk about the impact their passing has had on me. Let’s start with a F Load. Yep, I’ve cried, I’ve been angry and I’ve cowered in disbelief. How can Annie who fought so hard for so long have lost her fight, and how on earth can Amy be a ball of energy one minute and gone the next? Then that internal argument starts, is it better to know it’s coming, or to just go? I don’t know. Nobody does, and we can’t ask those that it’s happened to. Was I a best friend to either of them? No, however in their lives and in their passing they have both impacted me greatly. Both of these women lived their lives with integrity and love. Both seemed to be on paths that were 100% theirs to be on. Both had a grace and an elegance that comes with being you. Yet they were very different women. Yet they were taken too soon. They have left young children and partners behind. My heart breaks when I think about their loss, as I have no understanding of what that is like. Eulogising them is not my place. Being grateful for the time their lives intertwined with mine is. My friend @RupertNoffs shared this recently. Beautiful. “I am a child of the stars. My body, like the clothes I wear will one day belong to the dust of the centuries. My spirit is immortal and belongs to the universe. Our sons and daughters are the princes and princesses of an eternal kingdom. They inherit the riches and resources of this planet for a span, until they continue their journey through time and space.” ~ Rev Ted Noffs Life is short, wear your party pants. I love that line. It’s the title of a book by Loretta LaRoache. I think it’s what my next show at Claire’s will be based on. Life is short so why the F do we waste so much of that precious time on such insignificant things? When you come to this realisation, there’s no point feeling guilty or angry about time you’ve wasted. That’s as pointless as it is to not forgive someone – it’s only causing you trauma. The only thing worth doing when you have that moment when the true sanctity of life hits you like a lightning bolt, is to change. Shit. Change. For some, that’s probably scarier than death (or public speaking). I fear change. I’ll admit it. I like comfort zones. I like the known. Yet all I can think about at the moment is change. It’s a knot tightening around my chest. Invading my every thought. The change doesn’t have to be big, but it has to be meaningful. I’ve done so much journaling in the last few week. So much contemplation. Weighed up so many pros and cons. What have I come up with? Well, it’s to keep going. To make my goals my priorities. To commit to saying NO. To evaluate each situation with a life & death questioning. I don’t mean that in a ridiculously crazy melodramatic way (although I’ll admit to creating drama in the past, to get through my life). I mean it in a significance way. Is what I am thinking, doing, being etc something that I would be happy with if it was my last day. If I even hesitate on this, I really need to wonder why the F, I”m doing it. We could all be taken at any moment. So make every single one of those moments count. Getting embroiled in a drama on Facebook, or binging MAFS is probably not top priority, sitting having dinner with loved ones or writing that book you always dreamed of – probably is! At both of the celebrations of life for Annie and Amy, I have made a commitment to them to not waste another precious breath. I will honour them and the others that have passed way to soon, but living my life. Not in fear or hesitation but with courage and on purpose – always, not just in those moments of total confidence and security. Don’t wait. Put on those metaphorical ‘party pants’ and live each day 100% you.