Our friend Darryle Pollack

This week we learned that the wonderful Darryle Pollack died from pancreatic cancer. Darryle was a journalist, author, news anchor, activist, and artist. She graduated in the first Yale class to admit women. She was a proud mother. She was a great friend to Christine, Jen, and I in the early days of The Mission List and a friend to many in the blogging community, including many of you who worked with her over the years.

We will miss her, and in tribute we have made a donation in her name to The Carol Hatton Memorial Fund for Women in Need, which is her family’s request.

I was thinking about all Darryle taught me, because we had the chance to hang out a bit when I moved to Los Angeles for a couple years. One day, my husband Nicco and I had had a fight. Rather, I picked a fight with him, on the way home from an evening event. Some evil mood hit me; I hated Los Angeles, I was homesick for Boston. I felt angry, lonely, dissatisfied. I felt like he never listened to me, and he was always preoccupied with work. I took it all out on him. During that period, I spent a lot of time feeling unhappy and angry about everything, and I didn’t know why.

The next morning, contrite, I told Darryle all about the fight and my foul display. I told her how angry I felt at myself. She said to me, don’t beat yourself up, but remember to be grateful. You have beautiful, healthy children, a great husband, your health, your work. You live in a beautiful place. Don’t waste your life feeling angry and sad.

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I asked Darryle how she remembers to stay grateful- does she pray? Meditate? No, she said, I used to be like you, and then I got cancer. She reminded me of our mutual friend Susan, who passed away when her boys were about the same age as mine. I think often of Susan.

Darryle suggested I get a bracelet, to look at when I forgot to be grateful. And it hit me that a simple symbol of mindfulness, a bracelet that reminds me to be grateful, could be an incredible and simple tool. That was Darryle’s gift: kind with a firm heart.

From Christine: A beautiful, bright spirit walks with the angels. The American Cancer Society was my first client when I started working with Morra Aarons-Mele and we put together the most beautiful, intimate event in NYC, during which Darryle Pollack taught people about the power of channeling grief, confusion, memory, and joy into art. Darryle assembled the painted tiles from that event into a beautiful mosaic piece that I saw hung on the walls of ACS HQ in Atlanta. What a joy and gift it was to meet Darryle that day and become part of her radiant orbit. Darryle, thank you for the incredible light and love you brought to this world. You are sorely missed by so many.

A mosaic Darryle helped us make, for the American Cancer Society. In honor of Susan.

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Kris-Ann RaceComment