Charlotte Dawson who was found dead today at her apartment in Woolloomooloo was a glorious, unreasonable, intelligent, impatient, compassionate, reasonable, garrulous and really really really incredibly good-looking 47-year-old hot mess. Like most humans, she was complex. Actually, fuck that. She was MUCH more complex than most humans.
Please. Try to remember this as you eulogise her into a Talking Point or an Issue. Please. Try to remember that denying Charlotte her complexity is tantamount to grave robbery.
Of course, this has already happened. Charlotte has been pressed into the service of those who have Interests, those who are just old-fashioned ghouls and those who wish to prove how compassionate they are by making the Lifeline number their status.
Seriously. Give it a fucking rest. I know you believe that Trolls did this or that Depression did this or, by tomorrow, you will probably be saying that The Patriarchy did it. Oh, Mama. I can hardly WAIT for the inane feminist commentary which suggests that my mate was a victim of The Fashion Industry.
When all we know is that she eventually fell victim to life after living most of it very well.
Charlotte saw the world in vivid colours. She did not see it in monochrome but with devastating clarity unmatched by even the most efficient graphics processing unit. If you think for a moment you can legitimately reduce her death to black and white, you can be fairly sure you were the kind of twit she would have despised.
Take a fucking minute. If you feel compelled to think of Charlotte, do my dead mate the courtesy of thinking about her for longer than the instant that it takes you to activate an app. I understand that you believe you are doing a service to the living when you talk about the harm wrought by Mental Illness or Trolls or Fashion. But you are doing a disservice to the dead.
You are, in fact, taking pennies from beautiful eyes that once saw the world in a way that exceeds your simple understanding.
The last conversation I had with Dawson took place two weeks ago and was concerned chiefly with (a) media work and (b) depression. The shape of this conversation is not really any of your business and not my business to relay just in case I fall into your tomb-raiding habits. I am not going to tell you what Charlotte said in order to prove a point that I hold dear.
But I will tell you that she was bright and curious and a great autodidact who, somehow, managed, despite working in an industry where intelligence is a liability, to see that the world was complex.
And her death was complex. And it doesn’t belong to you. So get your hands off her.
I have been thinking about how Charlotte would like her death to be discussed today. Of course, she would enjoy that it is a Trending Topic. Of course, she would be happy that she sparked conversation about mental illness and kindness and whatever. I have just finished speaking with our mutual close friend N who laughed when I said “Charlotte wouldn’t have wanted to be a poster girl”.
“Yes she would! She would have loved it!”
And it’s true that this fabulous, sexy gasbag would have enjoyed your cheap attention for an hour or two. Then, that processing unit would have kicked into maximum efficiency. And she would see your ignorant, self-serving need to turn her beautiful life into a dreary narrative.
Do not drain the colour from this glorious life. Do not try to make sense of horror. Not only will you fail to derive sense from death–and people ALWAYS fail when they use rational means to describe the pain of death like this—you are robbing a very good woman of her right to be remembered in all her extraordinary hues.