10 May 1948 – 14 September 1998
14th December 1998
Dear Rob, Joshua and Zoë
I am writing to tell you how much you have all been in my thoughts since you rang me, Rob, to tell me of Hazel’s death. Sue Wolk and I have talked to each other since. We were both so shocked at the news we were unable to think let alone say anything helpful to you. Now that a little time has passed, it is more possible. I expect you have been in a similar state of shock, but as you lived with Hazel’s illness for so long and must have seen her feel worse, then better, then worse, you had perhaps a different perspective. It must be very tough for you all at this time of year even though I expect you are doing lots of things together and appearing to be cheerful.
Of course, my memories of Hazel are of a very optimistic upbeat person. I particularly remember having lunch at Sue’s place on her last visit when her sister was also present. We had a great time and laughed a lot. It was a real girlie do with typical girls’ talk. Hazel felt OK then, apart from a slight concern about her ribs, which were sore that day. She was extremely matter of fact about her illness and I felt had really come to terms with her life and was living it to the full. I really admired her attitude. And she still looked extremely attractive.
You may not be aware that I did not know her very well at University. She was closer to Sue than to me and I only got to know Sue well much later. But I grew very fond of Hazel when we did meet and will always remember her vivacity and how tall she was. I think I was envious that she was taller than me! I am glad that I did not see her in a very ill state, so that my memories of her are dominated by her aliveness and sense of fun. I hope that you as a family will also be able to recall those aspects of her personality even though you saw her when she was very ill. Above all, the most important thing is that she lives on through you all, through your memories of her and the fact that you, Joshua and Zoë, share her heritage. So, through you, she lives for ever.
Olya was a friend of Hazel’s.