How to say goodbye?
I lost a friend on MH17. Her name was Fatima Dyczynski. And she was awesome.
The sadness weighing down my heart is compounded by a sense of guilt at not having seen her in a couple of years - life happens, as it does, and you always think there'll be time. Until there's not.
She used to call me "sister". She was fun, vivacious, beautiful, so very clever, and had more determination and motivation in her pinkie finger than most have in our our whole bodies, and she had already achieved so much in her 25 years than some do in a lifetime.
I taught her Dad, which is how we met. And if you've never taught adults before it may sound strange, but students can and sometimes do become friends. It's part of the beauty of being a trainer in far-flung lands - you meet people who touch your life in so many different ways. Teaching enriches you personally as well as professionally.
But I didn't teach Fatima, rather her dynamic father Jerzy who - along with Fatima's mum Angela - loved Australia so much they planned to move there and work. Jerzy and Angela are such energetic people, always so positive - both of one another and all those around them, encouraging excellence, believing in the best. I could see where their daughter's strength of character came from.
How do we say goodbye to friends lost in such tragic circumstances? I don't know about you, but I'm going to hold her memory close in my heart, remember her sunshine, and live every single day with peace in my heart.