21
   

Rest in Peace, Diva

 
 
Wilso
 
  1  
Reply Thu 14 May, 2009 07:31 pm
I remember her on Abuzz, and from Christmas emails, and an art site that she started. She was also involved at the start of ravens realm. As well as being in business, I seem to remember something about acting and singing? I'd lost track of her over time too. Jesus - 38. Left is field is right.
0 Replies
 
the prince
 
  1  
Reply Fri 15 May, 2009 12:54 am
This is so wrong. I knew her well during the abuzz days and her art site days (that is where I started writing poetry)

I am in shock - this is so so so wrong
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  3  
Reply Sun 17 May, 2009 09:48 pm
Diva's funeral yesterday ended my crappiest week in eight years on a surprisingly uplifting note. Eight years ago, to digress for a moment, my favorite grandmother died. Diva's support, in e-mails and phone calls, was among her first major acts of kindness to me, cementing our friendship just weeks after it had begun. I would write to her at the weirdest times for a New Yorker -- remember I was still living in Germany then -- and those e-mails went on for page after page after page. But no matter how crazy the hour and how long the e-mails, she would never take more than two hours to respond. She would have read every word in those long e-mails, considered it, and worked out a thoughtful and supportive reply. I couldn't have asked for a better friend back in these days.

Anyway, back to the funeral. It was surprisingly pleasant. Diva had it all organized by herself. Needless to say, her arrangements emanated dignity and style. In particular, she had worked several good ideas into it, which I'd like to write down for when I organize my own funeral. (I need to get to this soon. You never now when it'll hit you.)

Diva's first good idea: instant cremation. She didn't want to make her final impression on her friends by lying around in a casket, dragging everyone down by reminding them just how dead she was. Instead, she wanted us to remember her as she was in life. Accordingly, her urn stood in the middle of some pictures of her. Spread around the funeral home was a collection of things to help us remember. They included a collage of things she loved that she'd made a few years earlier, a picture book ranging from her childhood to the present, and several issues of Vogue -- the French edition of course, not the American. You might almost say that Diva turned the funeral home into an art gallery, with her as the theme of the exhibit.

Diva's second good idea: no priest during the first hour of her funeral service. Since her family and friends were spread out all over the United States and Great Britain, and since most of them had never met, her first priority was for them to get to know each other. This idea worked well because they were all delightful people. After decades of abusers and hangers-on, Diva had managed to surround herself with genuine friends. And when we first met yesterday, we found that we really harmonized as a group, beyond the obvious connection that we were all friends or family of Diva.

After an hour or so, a Catholic priest finally did come in, read a few pertinent Bible passages, and did his job very well, considering he had never met the deceased. Although Diva had been raised Catholic and had remained intensely spiritual, she was not religious anymore. I think it was mostly for her family that she put the priest in there.

After the funeral service, we had lunch in an Irish pub, where we enjoyed talking with each other so much we extended it way into coffee time. (I have a sense we annoyed the waitresses by sitting around too long. Well, tough.) In the end, we all exchanged e-mails and phone numbers, resolved to stay in touch with each other, and went our separate ways.

Diva would have approved.
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sun 17 May, 2009 10:54 pm
Thanks, Thomas.

RIP, Diva!
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Mon 18 May, 2009 02:49 am
@Thomas,
Glad it was a good 'un.

Oddly, good funerals are kind of cool.

In a wet and sad way.
the prince
 
  1  
Reply Mon 18 May, 2009 02:57 am
@dlowan,
Thanks for the update THomas
0 Replies
 
Roberta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 18 May, 2009 03:13 am
Thomas, I'm glad the funeral left you feeling less bad. And with new friends. Diva sounds like a truly wonderful woman. I'm glad for you that she was a part of your life.
0 Replies
 
jespah
 
  1  
Reply Mon 18 May, 2009 04:30 am
A good and fitting send off.
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 18 May, 2009 07:51 am
@Thomas,
Thanks so much for the account, Thomas. It sounds like it was a good funeral.
0 Replies
 
Swimpy
 
  1  
Reply Mon 18 May, 2009 10:38 am
@Thomas,
Quote:
I have a sense we annoyed the waitresses by sitting around too long. Well, tough.

Diva would have approved.


Indeed, I approve, too.

Hugs to you, Thomas. You are a good friend.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 18 May, 2009 10:45 am
@Thomas,
I'm glad to read your account, Thomas, it really paints a picture, a good picture that will be a good memory.
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Wed 20 May, 2009 01:22 pm
@ossobuco,
Thank you so much, everyone, for your enduring support during this crappy week. I don't really have anything new to say, except to make two corrections.

First, friends of Diva's told me that she did, after all, have occasional blood clot problems after a severe car accident nine years ago. (As an aside, this car accident had her immobilized for months, which is the reason she got on the internet and found Abuzz. Without it, chances are that none of us would have met her.) I'm not sure what the causal relation between the car accident and the blood clots would be, but that doesn't change the fact that it existed.

Second, although Diva had set some general guidelines for her funeral, it was her husband who organized it so well, together with TsarStepan. It strikes me that I didn't give her husband any credit for anything. But he's the one who kept things organized, and is continuing to organize them, in an impossible situation. I didn't want to let this lack of credit stand before I let this topic rest.
0 Replies
 
mac11
 
  1  
Reply Wed 20 May, 2009 08:04 pm
(((Thomas)))
0 Replies
 
 

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