Two weeks ago today, Louise (Lou) Page, my amazing wife passed away. Since then tributes have poured in from many sources. From friends, to those who have shared our journey through the blog or through what’s been published about Lou in the press. To everyone, a very sincere and heart-felt thank you from myself and our family. All the tributes have been overwhelming, but also resounding in their acclaim of a woman whose life affected many in an immensely positive way.
In celebration of Lou’s life I thought I’d share some of the ones that people may not have seen. I also intend to post a few other things in due course. Some of these will be extracts from a diary in which Lou started to record her earlier journey with cancer and the chemo treatments to treat it. She thought parts may help others. Sadly there are only a handful.
For now here is the first tribute piece. This was written by the photographer Rankin, who photographed Lou for his ‘Alive in the face of death’ project. He became a friend of ours in the process.
“Lou was a shining light in our ‘Alive’ story and gave so much of herself to the exhibition and documentary. I can’t even begin to express my love and admiration for her. It is rare that one subject has so much influence on you, but for me Lou really did make a massive difference. Her infectious love for life reminded us all to live our own lives to the fullest. To cherish our own mortality and not be selfish or preoccupied with it. She was plain and direct about her feelings and taught me to focus on the good things and not dwell on the negatives of the day-to-day, or my own self obsessions. Talking to her made it so much easier to come to terms with the passing of my own parents. Her “after crying” image is one of my favourite photos ever. I’m so proud to have helped her to create it. To those that met her she was an inspiration, not afraid to show her feelings, she always made everyone around her feel comfortable, in themselves and with her illness. This is an incredible gift, to be so understanding, to have such empathy especially when you’re so very ill yourself. She was brave, honest, passionate, funny and eloquent. An all round lovely human being, which the world should have known for longer. It is with deep sadness that we all say goodbye to her. The word “loss” is just not enough. My condolences go to her family, who I know she loved dearly. To Al, Lou’s best friend and the love of her life, I know she’ll be there forever. All my love to you both. It was an honour to meet her and I’ll remember her forever. Lots of love rankin x”
All Photographs appearing in this post are the exclusive property of Rankin.