On Celebrating Chandra’s Too-Short Life (Jo Spear)

This weekend a number of us gathered in London to celebrate Chandra. There was a poignant boat ride to scatter her ashes, which others can talk about, and a gathering of celebration on Sunday. As we are all list-consumers nowadays, here is mine from that event:

  1. Carolyn (aka Cha Mommy) was amazing

Now we know where Chandra got her strength from. Carolyn was brave, cheerful, charming and funny. What a role model! And she wears a sparkle well!

  1. Chandra’s friends/family all loved her with a passion

Chandra had a big impact on us all – from expanding our food palates to guiding our approaches to Research Ethics to showing us how to be a good mentor. She taught by example across the span of her activities. Funnily enough though, no one said they had been influenced by her distinct fashion choices…

  1. Chandra seems to have been mellowing

Despite her loudly and oft stated dislike of children, she was bringing presents for the kids of her dear friends and even agreeing to be in the same room as their progeny. This was a shocker!

  1. I have never been to a life celebration featuring a Drag Queen act before

This was probably true for most everyone in the room (please tell us more if that was not the case…) Watching Johnny Woo – knowing that Chandra appreciated her so much – was a real treat! And she worked the room so well, supported Carolyn, made us all laugh, and got everyone dancing. A Class Act.

  1. The celebration drew lovely friends from far and wide – Singapore, America, Continental Europe and elsewhere

What an international gathering we were! Others who could not make it sent messages or were acknowledged. We all made new friends that night; and connected some gossip!!

  1. The friends who organized the evening were amazing

They knew what Chandra deserved and we all needed and gave us the space to laugh, cry, remember, understand. They deserve our profound thanks.

  1. As we are in an age of (millennial) self-realization…

I admit I can never be as fine a person as Chandra (or wear heels as high as Johnny Woo). We are all both broken and comforted by the celebration of Chandra’s too-short life.

Jo Spear

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