In Loving Memory… 

​Tracy Campbell Pierce 1978 – 2016

#RATRAYWARRIOR 

It’s hard to know what to say here. I wouldn’t pretend to know Tracy well, but she became an important part of my online RA family. What comes to mind when I think of her first and foremost is her innate kindness. This lovely lady had the heart of a lioness and the courage of a warrior. 
Despite and because of the impact of RA on her own life, she was a passionate advocate for us and I admired her drive and dedication in the face of this illness.

 The wonderful ‘RA Tray’ Facebook group, her beautiful jewellery, her art work and her poetry were all ways in which she not only portrayed her own strength, but encouraged others to be strong too. 

She created a beacon of light and a place of safety for so many in a dark place, and that’s why we all will miss her so much. She posted this photo a few weeks ago, I hope she’s aware that she achieved all of this and so much more. Because of her we will never give up. 

When I think of her I will always think of purple and blue butterflies,  Fly high and free Tracy 🕊️💙

Finding Balance 

​Yesterday I cried and wept, illness taking friends is so bleak 

Today I (chair) danced and sang with friends who filled the room with life
Yesterday was for death and dying
Today was for love and joy

Balance is so important. Anyone with a chronic illness sees too much darkness. We lose time, we lose careers, and sadly sometimes we lose friends.

There are those who might say that if we’re singing and laughing then we can’t be that ill, or we exaggerate the pain. There are those who would say if we can do this today we should be able to do it again tomorrow.

They will never understand the joy of grabbing a few hours in the sun when the rest of our time is darkness. And I hope they never do. It’s absolutely necessary for our mental health as well as physical that now and again we simply say FURA!!

Spending time with people we love whose company delights us, and recharging our joy in living is probably the most important thing we can do for ourselves. No, it’s not easy. Yes, we’ll pay for it afterwards, often very painfully. But when you spend many days alone and hurting so bad you don’t actually want to even speak to anyone, dipping our toes for a time into positive, loving energy is truly restoring.

It’s very easy, especially on days like yesterday to focus on the dark, when someone passes so young and has the same condition you do you are frighteningly aware of your own mortality. It was coincidence that lead to this ‘sad day, happy day’ weekend, today being birthday drinks with lovely people, but it made me feel blessed.

So I believe that loss, as awful as it is, also acts as a reminder that we are still alive. And that’s so incredibly important. See that movie, kiss that boy, hug your children, visit your family, phone your friends, tell them you love them. Not in morbid fear, but in sheer joy that we live another day. Think of those we’ve lost, and rejoice that they were in our lives, celebrate how very fortunate we were to know them.

I’ve always loved this poem, it reminds me of those that have gone on, and how very wonderful it was that I had them in my life, however briefly.  Namaste 💙


She is gone


You can shed tears that she is gone
or you can smile because she has lived.

You can close your eyes and pray that she’ll come back
or you can open your eyes and see all she’s left.

Your heart can be empty because you can’t see her
or you can be full of the love you shared.

You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday
or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday.

You can remember her and only that she’s gone
or you can cherish her memory and let it live on.

You can cry and close your mind,
be empty and turn your back
or you can do what she’d want:
smile, open your eyes, love and go on.


David Harkins, © 1981