Sunday, March 28, 2010

From Jacinta (One Little Acorn)

My brother died of kidney cancer in December 2008 and Renee contacted
me a month or so before his death, having read my posts at the time
and we became instant friends. It was early days in her blogging life,
and yet the way she connected and stayed in touch, it was clear she
was someone special. Renee was such an amazing light and a lovely

At the time (and since), Renee and I exchanged emails and cards and
she was such an incredible support. She truly helped me survive the
grief and sadness of the loss of my beautiful brother. I still grieve,
and I still miss my him to this day (and forever) but she really did
make a difference to my life. She understood and she listened and she
responded with honesty and sensitivity. And her warmth embraced me as
if she were right beside me.

She shared her joys and her pain and distress and her love with such
an open heart. She opened her life to us, and it was impossible not to
be touched and learn from her.

How she ever found the energy to email, write, post and comment on
everyone's blogs??? Well, she was just totally amazing and certainly
full of surprises.

I loved her dearly and I will miss her. Her family and her friends
(blogging and others) are a tribute to the beautiful person she was.
Her family were obviously her biggest loves. Her proudest
achievements. Her life. And I feel and share their deep sadness at her

Regards to you,

Saturday, March 27, 2010

From Gloria

I met Renee a little after she first started her blog.
She right away became my friend. When I read her
story and realized what she was going through, I was
immediately drawn to her. She knew that I had
the greatest loss a mother could have and that
was the loss of my son. She was always there when
I needed a shoulder and always offered words of comfort.
She truly loved people and never found fault with anyone.
I will always think of Renee and of the words of comfort
and joy that she offered me. There was a time when she was
having a really bad day and I sent a friend over to pray
for her and how appreciative she was. Well my friend also
became her friend and that's the way it was. Everyone
loved Renee and always will. I copied some of the comments
that Renee left on my blog and just wanted to share them.
I miss you Renee, I will always be thinking of you.

A Few Thoughtful Words From My Friend
Renee said...
Gloria: I feel the pain. I am sorry for it.Things,
if their big enough, change who we are. We can still
try to be the best people we can be at any given moment.
I think you are a beautiful person.Love Renee
December 15, 2008 1:35 PM

Renee said...
I love your Gloria.I tried to get on your new
site but it won't let me.Love Renee oxooo
November 23, 2009 11:53 AM

Renee said...
Happy thanksgiving darling.xoxo
November 26, 2009 9:06 AM

Renee said...
Gloria the header is fantastic and you
seriously have to be the most hard working
woman I know.Love Renee xoxo
December 4, 2009 8:32 PM

Renee said...
I am coming to crash for New Years
is that okay.xoxoxo December 28, 2009 8:45 AM

Renee said...
Happy New Year dear friend.xxooxoxox
January 1, 2010 5:09 PM

Renee said...
I'm starving and that looks good.xoxoxo
January 3, 2010 6:18 AM

Renee said...
Oh Gloria, amazing. way to go dear friend.
Oh the number of nuns I have had in my life
with Catholic school. They were all good.xoxox
January 15, 2010 6:05 AM

Rest in peace my friend. Love, Gloria Viorge

Friday, March 26, 2010

From Annie Coe (Blissful Bohemian)

Dear Renee and Family,
There are no words that can convey how Renee touched my life.
I loved her from the very first time I landed on her blog and from the very first comment, I knew we were soul sisters. Here is a list of what Renee taught me:
1. How to love more.
2. To be happy no matter what (this is something I have been working
on and Renee helped).
3. To laugh more.
4. To appreciate my loved ones, each and every day.
5. To be grateful.
6. To live in the moment.
7. And last but not least, never put my shoes on a table :-).
I can’t imagine how much you all must miss her, but I believe she is flying high and happy.
And she is no longer in pain.
She watches over all of us and I will never see another Raven without thinking of Renee. She was an angel in the blog world and she touched so many of us with her kindness and love, she knew how to make each and every one of us feel special and loved.
I love and miss her and hope perhaps she will pay a visit to me from time to time.
I am so grateful to have known her, she will remain in my heart forever until we meet again.
Blessings and love,
Annie Coe

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

From Tessa Edwards

It was in so many ways that Renee’s life enriched ours. I thank her for her love and friendship, for her intelligence and poise, for her vibrant irreverence and wit – and especially for her courage which was an inspiration to us all. Renee was, and will always remain a legend. She had - and still has, of that I am certain - a truly beautiful soul.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

From Julie-ann Bowden

Renee, my dearest and most constant friend,
In the beginning of our friendship, she wrote me beautiful messages of how she loved my art. I would visit in return to read the posts she so caringly and wittingly wrote. Renee shared every part of herself and life.
Love for her beautiful family.
Struggles with breast cancer. Sharing funny picture's, such as women in ironic fun situations. Renee would write the whole stories behind these pictures. I didn't quite get them to begin with and Renee would write to me, how much she laughed that I took the stories in.
This would set me off laughing also.
My mum and I would have dreams we didn't understand and Renee would give us the interpretations with extra love wishes to my mum.
Renee became our friend.
No matter what she was going through, she reached out and gave of her true love and time.
She made us feel special, like we we're angels. Writing to say these very words.
I knew Renee is our beautiful angel!
It was an honor to know her.
Thank you Renee, you are so dear to me and I will never forget you.
Hoping one day we could fly around the skies and in the sunshine as sweet little angels.
Loads of hugs and love to Renee and her beautiful family.

Monday, March 22, 2010

From Lori (lori times five)

Renee took away my self consciousness (most of it!) and helped me to say I LOVE you. She helped me to learn to listen and pay attention to not what the words were saying, but the heart. i knew she always heard me. i miss her.

From Jos (Jay Cee)

How do you summarize a person?? Well of course it can't be done. But since you were so generous to offer the chance to contribute a few paragraphs I have tried to condense a snapshot of Renees impact upon me. So inadequate, but then ... what could possibly suffice?? I have tried, but it's crap ... it's nowhere near. But even so.
Thank you so much for doing this. Sorry .... we in England are not so great about expressing ourselves ... stiff upper lip and all that. I love Renee. It sounds so simple and yet for someone English it means so much.
So I hope you understand when I cut & paste it here...
It was in late Spring 2009 that I first “met” Renee online. It soon became a regular feature of my day to exchange messages with her. Funny really … it feels like I’ve known her for such a short time and yet also like she’s been a part of my life for ages and ages. Some people are like that I guess … so comfortable … but not many, at least not many I’ve come across. Of course Renee had a peculiar knack of making pretty much anyone she came across feel like a special friend. It always struck me how very intuitive she was, always finding that “just right” thing to say … in turns supportive, positive, cajoling, comforting, humorous, bawdy, gentle, uplifting … all these things but also very real at the same time. How lucky I am that our paths crossed at all.
It was only as I read back through her blog archive that I became aware of the enormity of the battles she’d already fought with the demon cancer. We hardly ever talked about it although once in a while she’d be having a particularly shitty day with the pain and tell me how things were going on that front. What she talked of more was the deeper pain she felt at having to leave her family behind when the time came. It seemed as if this hurt her more than the cancer itself. Even so she often affirmed her belief in life in the hereafter. She’d seen Sheldon there with her dad … on a beach, looking out to sea. She’d seen them and believed she’d be joining them quite soon. She said so, and the simplicity of that belief in the face of such hard times was something I still find awe inspiring. Such faith deserves reward and so I pray that Renee is revelling in being with her many family and friends in eternity. oI hpe to see her there myself one day.
I have a fridge magnet that Renee sent me last year. It’s at eye level right near the handle so I can see it every time I’m there in my kitchen. It reminds me that there are in life some rare people who just waltz straight into your heart and take up residence there for all time … people who believe in you despite little evidence that they should do so .... and just come right out and say so. Somehow that kind of faith is contagious and so it is that they help to restore a measure of faith in ourselves, and in others too. And I suppose that is part of the lasting gift she has left me. Whenever I write a message nowadays and I want to joke around I write har har har … it’s such a small thing and yet it makes me smile and think of Renee ... so that’s it. I love you Renee, always. See you on that day.
Jos (Jay Cee)

From Vicki Holdwick

I first "met" Renee when I happened upon her blog post entitled "Regarding Wahid" in late November. I was so touched by her writing style and her honesty and had no idea the bats were already driving her mad.

I left a comment and then she began to visit my blog and leave very nice comments. We both are from large families and my Mom who is 85 came to stay with me and she gave me lots of advice about enjoying the visit and living in the moment instead of worrying about what might be.

We exchanged only about a dozen notes, but I felt closely connected to her. The last one I received was the one in which she told me I could be gypsy number 9.

I probably didn't know Renee as well as many of the people contributing to this book, but I really felt connected because of the kind of person she was. I miss her terribly.

Xoxo vicki

Farewell Sweetheart, From Clarity

It's 10pm in London, returned from a marathon writing session. The whole day, the sense of something tangible, something missing followed me. Just wanted to be indoors. I ate little, what little I touched lacked taste. I prayed, found some peace in that. I wrote some more. Then, looked at missed blogs.
It's 10pm in London and dear Renee, a person of incredible warmth and goodness of the blog "Circling My Head" is.. not here. Her cancer, telling title is her blog's name, had deteriorated quickly. Her warmth and strength are needed elsewhere, she is dead.
Renee, today I wrote, after a long time of my brush with the dreaded tumour; the lease and breath of new life that came when they removed it. Today I found, you, missing. I know Renee was here for a short while. I can't tell you how much she means to me. I want to post her picture and I can't.
I don't always let people deeply into my heart; give - yes, receive? carefully. Except when I come across genuine and kind people, it is very easy to love them. I don't know the romance of that emotion, but with family and friends, it is there and means much. Renee was an instant, loving and sincere friend - certainly not something I expected when I started to write this blog. I did not expect her familiar love, her endearingly sweet emails, her glowing trust, encouragement, understanding of vulnerability and unexplained delight in knowing my real name. I did not expect a complex, amazing, ballsy, (sometimes potty-mouthed) funny and shatteringly good person. Renee did everything her own way and answered to nobody. She grew up Catholic, married her Muslim husband in their "unique" 1975 wedding and together they built an amazing bond and family. She suffered with cancer, sometimes in silence, sometimes with a primal cry for help and we came running, because that's what people who love her do.
I am crying Renee, but it is because I knew you, not because I lost you.
I am grateful to her darling daughter for sharing all the news with us at this sad time. My heart is with Angelique, her father and family. I am grateful for Renee's open heart, searing mind and soul. God I hope I see you in heaven, RK; you deserve peace after all this pain. You deserve every drop of goodness you brought to this world. I am not mythologising Renee, she chose goodness; the simple undiluted kind every day.
I love you.
Peace be with Renee,
Your friend,

From Robin

2009 was, without a doubt, the worst year of my life. I lost my job and more importantly, the man I loved for 16 years. I was lost, hurting and in state of shock and unending pain for most of the year. I felt alone and lost. My heart was broken.
Annie, my oldest friend, began to tell me about an amazing blogging friend of hers - Renee.
I am not a blogger, but I was curious, so I sought out her blog and began to read. I was immediately caught up in the spell of Renee's magic.....her wit, her strength and her ability to love. I had to leave comments. Renee answered. Although I didn't talk much about my own heartache, she saw through my words, felt my despair and reached out to me. Despite her own pain and fear of losing her Mother and her sister - she gave her strength, encouragement and love to me. She helped me to "stand tall" and to live again. She taught me so much in the space of a few months. She showed me how to say "I Love You" again.
I will never, never forget her.
I would like to give you some beautiful words from one of my favourite poets - Rainer Maria Wilke. They are words that Renee understood and that we all need to learn. I hope they provide some comfort to you.
"We need, in love, to practice only this: letting each other go. For holding on comes easily; we do not need to learn it."
God Bless You All.
♥ Robin Lamb ♥