Today I am writing the blog I didn't want to write. My beautiful, funny, clever friend Lisa died on Tuesday after a long and courageous battle against ovarian cancer. She was 52 and she leaves a husband and four gorgeous children.
Having a friend who is so ill when you are 1,000 miles away is very hard but we wrote letters and emails frequently (somehow she always managed to make me laugh no matter how bleak she felt) and talked on the phone and in that way, our friendship was just as strong as it was when I lived in England. I last saw Lisa at Christmas, when she cooked us scrambled eggs and smoked salmon for breakfast and uncorked a bottle of Champagne at 10am to celebrate us all being together at her house again. I planned to go and see her last Wednesday and when we last spoke, she was so looking forward to it, as was I. It seems unreal that I will never see her again.
The day of her funeral was terribly sad, as well as bizarrely uplifting. The rabbi told stories of her many car scrapes - her poor mini cooper was always in the wars - the way she used to chat on the mobile while driving and would turn to chat to whoever was in the back seat while speeding along, oblivious to anything else, and too many other zany moments to mention, and we couldn't help but laugh through our tears.
My favourite story was one Livvy told me this week, about when she and Beaux were in the car with Matt and Lisa one day. Matt said, shall we cause a scene, and Lisa said go on then. So he got out of the car and started throwing a wobbly in the middle of a busy roundabout, screaming and shouting at Lisa while she was hanging out of the car window and the girls were ordered to pretend to cry in the back. One or two motorists got out of their cars to come and see if they could help, only to be given their marching orders. Then Matt got back in the car and he, Lisa and the girls drove off screeching with laughter!
She is the kind of friend who would turn up for dinner with a bottle of wine she had already opened at home, or a lovely box of chocolates that she had already eaten a few of. She also had a vintage wardrobe that gave me green eye and which she generously let me rifle through for that special occasion when you didn't want to buy a dress if one of her D&G or Betsy Johnson creations fitted the bill instead. A total one off who will never be forgotten.
As we all stood at the burial thinking of her during prayers, the sun broke through the thick cloud and shone in a tiny blue oasis for a couple of minutes before disappearing....it really felt like she was there too, watching down on all of us.
Afterwards, we listened to Led Zeppelin and some of her other favourite bands, drank wine and swapped stories and laughter and tears.
Today I spent the whole afternoon in my PJs watching the boxed set of Glee ... somehow I just know she would approve.