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To the Queen of Sass

No way. I just lit a candle – I still can’t light a candle without thinking of you and where you and your contagious flame might be shining – and settled into my bed with this magazine about death my parents brought me all the way from Belgium. Then your song comes on in my endless playlist of tunes I love. I don’t know if it’s YOUR song but it sure reminds me of you every time.

As soon as we would get in the car to another 12 hour nightshift in the kiwifruit packhouse, you would play it. Every time. It became an anthem not only for the pandemic and living in an NZ bubble, for those neverending nightshifts, for the car full of roommates escaping the full house, for you.

Two years poured into one song. The time I got to know you and your incredible sass. That humour, girl, that laugh I still hear in the space between being awake and dreaming. I just wanted to make you laugh as much as possible because I couldn’t get enough of that loud sound and the way your eyes smiled even more than your mouth. Incredible woman, you.

This song comes on and I’m like yaaassss queen this is YOU. Woman to woman I just want to see you glow. Darling I am so happy I got to see you glow. While being so in your element: presenting shows, that voice of yours carrying stories and making us feel all the feels. Baking bread and pancakes to share with us after a night of soulless work. On every dance floor of every festival, cheeky smiles all around. Always new projects, new teachings, full of enthusiasm.

The last message we ever sent each other was one of goodbye. Not because you were leaving this realm, but because I was leaving New Zealand. It was definitely not the goodbye I would have given you if I knew that was the last time I would actually see you in this form.

Darling, you exist in many forms. In songs that make us dance and sing and cry and travel back in time. In stories we continue to tell. In memories we cherish forever. Whatever forever may mean. In smiles, in laughter, in tears rolling down our cheeks. In red wine we cheers to celebrate you. In pictures as a way to try and grasp onto flown times, holding you close again. In your beautiful family. In the hearts of all of us.

I would say you keep shining your light but you would call me a spiritual dick so I’ll just say I love you, sass queen Suzi.

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