I am very sad.

Very sad.

For some reason I feel like a bit of a fraud…I felt this same way when dear Chris Skinner died.

I am sad for someone that I didn’t know well…for people that I didn’t know well.

Chris and I had spent some time together and had JUST planned a coffee date…that crucial next step when two adult people are trying to become friends…when he was murdered. His murderers are still at large a year and a half later.

I was so low after I heard the news but I felt like a voyeur…and felt like I should not be allowed to feel so sad.

It is a strange feeling.

Today is the memorial for Gina Wilkinson…who I met three times.

The last time was at a party and she was wearing that fabulous orange, fluffy coat that is in all the pictures of her online…she was so very sassy.

I was very starstruck by her…I saw her first in a very steamy episodic called “Bliss”…she was very sexy in it…and so strong.

When I saw “Born Yesterday” at Shaw…I was bowled over…what a fabulous production…and I remember thinking, “The director of this show is a master”….Gina Wilkinson…in what was her first foray onto the big stages as a director (You can correct me if I am wrong about this statement, I can take it)….WHAT A FREAKING JOB SHE DID!

It was all I could do at the party to not make a total ass of myself when I finally got the courage to go up and speak to her and compliment her on her work. She seemed surprised and she flushed with…well, whatever she was feeling…and she seemed grateful. Then we spoke for a while. I enjoyed our converstation very much…I don’t know what it was about but all I could think was…I loved her in the naughty TV show…and as a director….she seemed like a woman who was not afraid to try something new…in fact wanted it….but I really don’t know that for sure.

I didn’t know her very well.

Neil Munro, who Gina took over “Born Yesterday” from, died almost two years ago. He was in his early 60’s.

Peter Donaldson, a fantastic actor, died this month. He was in his late 50’s.

Goldie Semple, who I watched fall in love with my husband in “Night Music” a number of times…and NEVER minded…died last year…let us not tell her age…a lady, after all….but too young.

Paul Quarrington, Al Kozlik…..all gone…

I knew some better than others and some not at all.

Some I knew simply from seeing their names in articles, programs or hearing them spoken by friends. Some I spent a small amount of time with….but all changed the face of Canadian theatre and the arts…I know it is a very dramatic statement to make…but if we can’t make a dramatic statement in this business…I don’t know where we can.

And now they are all gone too young…far too young.

Does it make us all go to a place of wondering how much time we have left?

It makes me think about it.

There is so much I want to do.

It makes me look at the relationships in my life…which ones do I want to pay more attention to….which ones have faded…did I tell George I love him enough today?…should I repair some of the jihads in my life?

This isn’t about me….but it makes me think about my life.

There was a beautiful article in the Toronto Star today, written by Sarah Hampson…not about Gina’s career but her relationship with her new husband, Tom Rooney…and I read it and it dropped into my heart like a heavy weight…filling it with joy and sadness…here is my favourite part of the piece.

“Life didn’t always bring happiness to Gina, but she had the innate ability to make her own happiness,” Mr. Rooney continues. He pauses in reflection. “She was not a type,” he says. “She was Gina Wilkinson.”

Should we all be so lucky to have someone speak about us this way.

We gotta live.

Live hard.

I wish the families of all these dear people love and peace.

I wish all of these fantastic people…I wish them love and peace.

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