Diana Williams

Today was a beautiful day. The air felt warm. The earth felt soft. The sunshine sparkled on the water. Monarch butterflies danced and flirted about. The sky was bright blue. The clouds were puffy and cute. Flowers seemed to have bloomed overnight and the abundance of new green life was everywhere. The light was magic and the sun went down in a gorgeous pink sky.

It was a day of celebrating Diana. It feels hard to celebrate when your heart hurts. The intimacy of being with her community all reminiscing about the ways she touched the lives of so many was a helpful step on the journey forward. Once again I find gratitude for a space to grieve and have the feelings that it feels hard to have.

I’m grateful to have shared so much and to feel the sting of our abbreviated time together.

One of my favorite memories of Diana is from a pool party I had several years ago. Diana had told me she planned to stop by, but couldn’t stay long and wasn’t going to swim. When she arrived, we chatted and hugged and then I went in the pool because it was a super hot day.

A few minutes later, to my surprise and complete awe, I looked over to see Diana walking down the steps into the pool like a French Riviera goddess. She was wearing sexy black underwear, a wide-brimmed black hat and sunglasses. That’s it. I remember my first thought was, “Diana is fucking hot!”

No big deal. Just dipping in the pool topless in her underwear on a hot day. She glided onto a pool raft and floated by like a supermodel. She owned that moment. I love that memory of her inner wild woman showing through.

A memory with Diana that continues to warm and heal my heart is how she responded to me years ago when I let some friends know that I was struggling with depression.

Diana called me right away and said, “Sweetie, please come over. I would love to make you pancakes and have tea with you on my deck.”

It was an offer with handles I was able to grab onto. I went right over. It wasn’t just about her words or her offer. I could feel in every cell of my body that she knew, deeply understood, how I felt. There was no pity, no advice, just love, just presence, and just desire to be together. That one gesture, sitting in Diana’s sunny kitchen having tea and watching her make us pancakes warmed my soul forever.

Her wild heart was so freaking big. Her love so warm. Her spirit so full of compassion. I thank God I was able to be her friend and walk with her for a while.

One more memory I will share was a day when Diana and I were going to go for a walk. I thought we would be going for a short walk because she had mentioned that she wasn’t feeling great. I didn’t bring water or wear hiking shoes.

We wound up walking all the way down to Muir Woods from her house, walking a few miles around Muir Woods, and then hiking back up. It was 7 or 8 miles, and a steep uphill climb on the way home.

What made this walk with Diana so memorable was our pace. We both seemed to enjoy walking slowly through the woods, stopping often, and pausing to quietly take in the magic of it all. At one point on our way up Mt Tam back to her house, she said, “Let’s have a seat here for a while. I need a rest.”

I can’t remember all that we talked about that day. I do remember her telling me about each of her daughters and how proud of both of them she was. What unique and special hearts they each had, what beautiful ways they each were emerging and expressing themselves in the world.

I remember feeling seen, heard, witnessed, and like we had all the time and space in the world to climb that mountain together.

That day Diana helped me value taking breaks while doing big, hard things. I was very grateful for each and every break we took. Hiking slowly is the way I like to hike.

Some people I hike with end up way ahead of me. Some people will stop and wait until they see me and then continue on. Diana and I waited for each other, we matched each other’s pace, and we enjoyed all the breaks either one of us wanted or needed.

There was a way where she could make being together feel effortless and deeply comforting. I feel the warmth of her love and the way she was always walking me home when we were together.

On the day Diana died, January 11th, 2024, I drove out to the Marin Headlands to walk the labyrinth in celebration of the new moon with a friend. I carried Diana in my heart. These words came to me as I sat overlooking the ocean on a gloriously sunny morning:

A letter from love. For Diana.

I hear the warmth of her voice. She says I love you, sweetie.

Now I can be the sun on your face.

I can be the tears rolling down your cheeks.

I can be the blue of the ocean, the white mist, and the new green clover popping out of the wet earth.

Find me in the smoke of your rising prayers.

Allow my love to be all around you and know that I am at peace.

I am the owl’s eyes, the bell ringing, the wind in your hair, and the waves crashing down below.

I am the sound of a bird’s wings flapping and the silence of soaring and flying free forever.

This is how I always wanted to be, to be love all the time. To hold everyone’s hand and shower my love on the earth and all who ever suffered.

We cannot ever truly know the internal experience of another being. We can only receive their love and trust them with their life.

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