…”Our dead are never dead, until we have forgotten them…” George Eliot
I didn’t know whether I was going to write a blog post about this, but today I decided that I would because, well, sometimes it’s easier to talk about things on these blogs than it is in person.
Yesterday, I found out that a writer friend passed away at the weekend. Her name was Lindsey J Parsons, and she was vibrant, loving, funny and strong.
I didn’t know Lindsey that well, and I won’t pretend that I did. We met on a website called Authonomy in 2011 when I joined the band of misfits known as ‘The Alliance of Worldbuilders’ (fantasy lovers).
Linds was someone who had a penchant for dragons, mythological creatures, fantasy and grimoire, and a subtle wit that made you giggle and smile. She was excellent at critiquing and offered sound and solid writing advice. I remember her excitement at sharing with us the mock-up designs for her debut book cover, and the long thread chats about cake, Midnight, and the jokes involving the VC and Dark Lord. Sometimes she was quiet, but you knew she was there reading them and taking everything in. She was solid like that…dependable, you know?
When her book was released, I bought a copy immediately. Not just out of loyalty to the Alliance, but because it was good. She could write and write well. I remember that her author photo on Amazon made me smile, her beautiful eyes full of laughter and her mad hair poofed up for the camera – a sultry, sexy, black and white minx!
Her writing skill was ‘another string in her bow’, funny, because she was also an accomplished archer. I admired her for this. I love shooting and yet she had the strength to handle bows I can barely pull back. And win competitions. Jealous? You bet.
The last one is the most important. Lindsey was loved. The grief of losing her in the Alliance is so palpable that it hurts to read the comments. Her untimely passing has shocked us to the core. It reminds us that life is precious, life is fragile, and life should never be taken for granted. It is a gift that can be cruelly snatched away at any time, and when it is, it leaves a wound so raw that it feels like nothing can heal it.
Except…we do heal. We do move on. We remember the good times, we remember the love, and we remember the person. They wouldn’t want us to grieve, they would want us to honour them by living each day to the full. To stop the mundane and embrace our dreams. For the Alliance, we dream of fantasy, magic, dragons, worlds and characters. So I don’t plan to mourn. I plan to write, and ride a dragon.
But most importantly, I plan to remember that my writing, while important and wonderful, is nothing compared to my friends and family. They’re what matters.
Quintus Ennius, a Roman poet, was once thought to have said the following:
…”Let no one weep for me, or celebrate my funeral with mourning; for I still live, as I pass to and fro through the mouths of men….”
Let’s never forget those that pass, but let us not wilt in the shadows, and instead bloom in the light of their memory.