(*Photo credit to the girl who makes my every day brighter, my wonderful Ash*)
There was a doctor, at the hospice I worked at, who retired in the days after I left. She had thick, wiry hair that seemed to move after the rest of her, and she wore decorated skirts that looked like seventies curtains. I always felt that how she looked on the outside was exactly how she was on the inside. A little chaotic. Effervescent. Beautiful, and full of colour.
She'd worked at the hospice for years and years: an embodiment of knowledge and wisdom and hope and this wild, kooky sense of humour that always forced a crack of dazzling light through the black. She became everything to so many of her patients because of it. I watched her heart break a little as she stood, amidst a sea of adoring faces, to say goodbye.
'So many of you have come up to me to share kind words,' she began, 'to tell me that I am all of these wonderful things. But I want to remind you of a South African philosophy by which I live my life. Ubuntu. It means, essentially, that I am me because you are you. I am what I am because you are what you are.'