Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Steve Dakin's Valediction for Diana

Diana – meditation on courage and thank you

Wednesday 24 April

It is 20 days since Diana died – early on Wednesday 4 April; 15 days since her funeral. I didn’t see her lie at home; her carers kept vigil. Almost a month since I saw her – 28 March.

 Her funeral was a cold day – clear, crisp and at the internment southerly clouds scudded across the Diamond Harbour cemetery; the call of the gulls and the cry of the mourners. All fitting.

 Diana was probably the most courageous person I have known. Many people, myself included, have acted well in face of adversity; have taken risks that others might shy from. But many of these actions, many risks are assumed without foreknowledge - in the heat of the moment, as circumstances dictate. For Diana though, her actions and the risks she took were entered into with full knowledge of the consequences. She refused drugs to maintain her clarity of mind; she refused institutional care to maintain her freedom of spirit; she refused idle words of comfort to maintain her fierce sense of sharpness and morality. Courage, true courage means speaking and acting in the glare of foresight - knowing the consequences but speaking and acting nevertheless. Diana showed true courage.

 I have just re-read her last few blog entries and this message is for all Diana’s carers, friends and family who sustained her courage through the days, weeks and years of her dying. Courage is always contained in a context. Diana’s MS and her community of carers were the stage and cast for her courage. You supported her independence, helped maintain her clarity of mind and left the legacy of her stellar writing. 

From Diana I learned about courage and I couldn’t have done that without you.

Thank you.


  1. Hi there. I found your blog online and like it. I am a writer with MS. I am putting together a poetry anthology by authors who have MS. The proceeds of this book will benefit the MS community in Dallas, TX, where I live. All poems talk to the MS experience. If you are interested in submitting poems to be published, please contact me. dallaswestie@gmail.com
    I will share with you the cover as well.
    Thank you!
    Jennifer Evans

  2. i am so sorry about Diana died. i'm proud with her for fighting in her life with multiple sclerosis

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