Oh Rach

The Skyping begins. Rachel interviewing Sarah for her Can Do Women blog, January 2011

Still Ronnie, standing in while Sarah is New Jersey.

Is it still too soon? I want to write Rachel something lovely. Something as good as anything I’ve ever written. (Something as beautiful as her friend Chemobabe’s eulogy, or as world-changingly essential as Gayle’s) She deserves at least that. But I can’t, yet. I need to take the fact and my feelings about her death to the park, to the cathedral, to the river – to my sacred places. I need to tell them about her. And my sense of loss. Until I’ve done that I won’t find the words, my words, for my friend Rachel.

So, for now, here is a very short poem. A couple of nights ago, Gayle and Sarah, from their opposite sides of the Atlantic, were busily putting together a short book for this weekend’s memorial and celebration ceremony for Rachel. Rachel’s own writings, of course, and photographs of her, plus hastily gathered contributions from some of her beloved blogging friends. I was on hand, proof reading and cooking, when Sarah turned around and said ‘Do you want to write anything?’ I stared at my screen for a few minutes, and then my hands wrote this, my song of grief for the passing of the force of nature that was Rachel Cheetham Moro:

Oh, Rach

You were a noise

The noise of joy,

The noise of snark,

The no half measures conversation

Of a life full lived.

Oh, Rach
You are a joy
You are a permanent remark,
The clearly quizzical challenge
To every half baked thought.

All the notes

Of all the orchestras,

Played at once and turned up full.

I could hear you and Sarah

From down the street

When you were Skyping.

And now, without you,

I don’t know what Skype is for.

Oh, Rach.

Tomorrow, Saturday 11th February, it will be Rachel’s Celebration and Memorial Service in New Jersey, beginning at 12:00 noon (5:00pm UK time). At the same time those of us who cannot be there will be celebrating her life and mourning her loss on Twitter using the hashtag #rachel. You are very welcome to join in. If you want to find and follow me ready for this, I’m ‘asenseofplace1’ on Twitter.
Let’s change the world, it’s the least she deserves.
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14 thoughts on “Oh Rach

  1. Monday, Feb. 6th was a sad day for all of us breast cancer warriors/survivors/bloggers. Although my only interaction with these brave women is through the blogosphere, their stories give me comfort and hope…..and sometimes sadnes.

  2. Ronnie, what a beautiful poem! I love the verse about the purpose of Skype now that Rach is gone. So special. And now I am tearing up and need to retreat to one of my sacred places, even though it is raining in normally sunny California. Oh Rach. I miss you so much. XOXO.

  3. I went to high school with Rachel, we were a group back then. we would drink cups of tea, cut each others hair, talk, talk, talk for hours, listen to music, Violent Femmes, Hunteres and Collectors, Suzi and the Banshees, China Crisis and many many more. We were young and we had our whole lives ahead of us. That Rachel suffered for so long and with such grace while remaining the eloquent, classy, straight up person that she always was …….there are no words for this.
    I just wanna say Rachel the memory of you and your spirit remains and though it has been many many years since i saw you last, i can see you very clearly and i am with you and thinking of you and remembering you with all of your wonderful friends and family. x

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