Farewell Letter to Annie

12th July 2013

Thank you for the opportunity to do this dear Ron – I didn’t know if it was welcome or appropriate to do so and have waited to hear. You have given us all the green light, thank you.

“My dear Annie and Ron,

Here you are, Friend, launched on life’s Last Great Journey, with a bottle of champagne smashed across the bow. You are departing with your beloved husband holding your hand, and all your family and friends assembled - cheering, clapping, streamers and balloons flying, as we all ya-hoo (in that same unruly way you lived your life!), as we wave you goodbye.

How then does one write you a message of farewell, one that even begins to acknowledge the generosity and spirit of the way you lived your life?

I think that if there is a measure of success in the world (and of course there is) – then you have succeeded beyond imagining. Countless people have been on the receiving end of your insights, wisdom and compassion. I have witnessed your big, penetrating eyes register in an instant with wonder, tears or love, and I have delighted in your curiosity and capacity for celebration. Your wicked sense of humour had both the ability to cut to the quick, and also to heal the heart. I laughed a lot with you.

It was my privilege to experience what it is like to be a Landmark leader supported and championed by you. You have stopped me in my tracks many times with a well-aimed question, a rib crushing hug, or a raucous laugh, and I thank you for many things - especially for teaching me about being unstoppable.

You will leave a large hole in the world with your departure. God only knows how much ‘missing’ you will leave behind. But unlike many who embark upon their Last Great Journey, you must know, as we all do – indeed, you have living evidence of - how many lives you have touched, and how many leaders have stepped up – and will step up - because of who you were, what you did, and what you made possible. And who knows how many others those lives touched?

I hold you close every day, until that one last hug before you go. It gives me comfort to believe that our physical bodies leave, but our spirit remains, so you will always be close to us all in that way, possibly even closer. Thank you for giving so much, for being such an example of beauty and strength.

Ron, I cannot imagine how your heart is breaking and undoubtedly it will shatter. But I trust you to eventually piece it together and do some of those things on your bucket lists that you and Annie dreamed of, in her honour. And “Annie’s View” will be your forever treasure you created together.

Thank you for sharing your lives and this journey with us. I am humbled by your resilience, courage and dignity. And inspired each day by your living – and your dying - demonstration of love.

I celebrate you both, and I shall drink champagne with Sue Hobson on the day you die, Annie – Our Friend.

With all my love and gratitude,

Sandra xxxx

PS I know you have a multitude of support – and I am a phone call away Ron. 4448-7910 or 0437571-371.”