Lhasa de Sela

(I actually posted this yesterday, having heard the news through Lhasa’s family and friends. But the internet being what it is, all of a sudden people following rumours on Lhasa’s story had found my blog and were writing to me. Seeing as the news was not yet official, I whipped the article off the net, not wanting to jump ahead of her family. Now her website has officially announced that she is gone, here are my thoughts on a beautiful friend.)

Life is just too short. Way too short. My friend Lhasa just passed away peacefully, on the first of January, and she was only 37, the same age as me. I found out this afternoon and I cried for a long time sitting at my kitchen table. She was a beautiful soul, an amazing singer and songwriter, and a true friend. She was diagnosed as having breast cancer a few months after having been told that the lump in her breast was benign. Well, they were wrong, and they were too late. It spread to her lungs, her kidneys, her brain. She fought it with all her might – chemotherapy mixed with various kinds of alternative medicine, including an intense diet of carrot juice which her mother would spend whole days preparing, and she even managed to make a lot of the tumours vanish. Mid-way through last year things were looking very positive and we all believed she would make it through but by then it had spread to her brain and she started to hallucinate and weave in and out of lucidity. But even up to the last few weeks she managed to keep her sense of humour, something she was notorious for, despite her addiction to extremely bad jokes which she would pipe out at any and every given occasion and then laugh her head off at them while we all laughed at her laughing. Just three nights ago, on New Year’s Eve, we were at our friend Sylvain’s house and I had already decided that I would think of Lhasa as the new year ticked in as I knew she was nearing the end. Five minutes before midnight, Sylvain put Lhasa’s first album on, without knowing Lhasa was a friend of mine or that she had advanced cancer. I got goosebumps all over and wondered if she was slipping away. The next day, she did slip away.

Seeing as pretty much the only people reading this are members of my family (I do believe that my readers have doubled in number since yesterday, as my sister has begun to read my blog too), and thus have surely never heard of Lhasa de Sela, you can (both) go and listen to her music on Deezer or whatever site you so choose. It’s moving, soulful and beautiful. Her first album La Llorona is all in Spanish and more upbeat than the following two, which are just as beautiful (if not more so). The Living Road is a mixture of Spanish, French and English and her last album, released just last year and called simply Lhasa is all in English, and I’ve been listening to it all evening. All my love goes out to Lhasa tonight. I shall miss her deeply. She will live on in my heart and her voice sings on in my home. Unfortunately Tommy and his daddy are bouncing off the walls of our  bedroom with the Sex Pistols on at full blast singing “My Way” as I write. Tommy is doing stage dives onto the bed and his Daddy is playing a small plastic Little Tikes guitar and attempting to do the splits in the air. It’s not quite the atmosphere I would have chosen as I write this, but it does make me think that life really is made for living to the full and making the most of each moment and of our loved ones.

All my love goes out to Lhasa. I shall miss her deeply. Beautiful, soulful, magical friend. She will live on in my heart and her voice sings on in my home. x x x x x x x


3 thoughts on “Lhasa de Sela

  1. I’m crying everyday, crying right now. My heart is broken, again? This time broken open, shedding a scaly skin. Praying for goodness, for love, for poetry. Naming Lhasa as an anchor, now with me again through her disappearance form this earth. So much beauty in such a short time. Only person that has ever been both sister, friend and lover. She was a soulmate.

  2. To Claire, Gulko, Jules and all the beautiful artists who have loved, inspired and been inspired by Lhasa, I send you my condolences and I light a candle in memory of this wonderful woman whose music I’ve danced to and adored, and whose soulful way of being in the world will continue to touch us all…thanks for this beautiful eulogy Claire…

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