Monday, May 3, 2010

Lynn Redgrave was a blessing in this world

I am so sad that Lynn Redgrave lost her battle with breast cancer. She died last night at her home in Kent, CT, at the age of 67.

I met Lynn in September when she gave a theatre reflection at Broadway Blessing. We had plenty of time to talk before hand, just the two of us, and I found her to be warm and gracious. She seemed to actually glow, as if she were lit from within. I have a photo of us together taken that night framed on my wall and that shimmering quality radiates out even there.

Please keep Lynn and her family in your prayers. This is the third death to hit the legendary British acting family in a little over a year. Last month Lynn’s brother, actor Corin Redgrave, died and in March 2009 her niece, actress Natasha Richardson, died as a result of a head injury sustained in a skiing accident.

In a recent interview for, Ms. Redgrave spoke about her illness. When asked how her battle with breast cancer had changed her life, she answered, "Life-threatening disease tends to make anyone stop in your tracks and look at life. Before I had cancer, I don't know that I ever slowed down inside my mind enough to look outside and really live in the moment. But once you have that threat of the moment actually not being there you're going to pay attention. And that has completely stuck with me. I savor every moment with family and loved ones. I find that I never want to leave unsolved or unhealed a relationship, a disagreement, something between me and another person. If they've upset me, or the other way around, we have to talk about it. If someone did something that upset me, I have to tell them why they've upset me. And if I've given short shrift to someone else, however inadvertently, I apologize and try to put it right immediately, lest there be no tomorrow.

"And I don't stress about the little things, the stupid things. I used to get distress attacks, almost panic attacks, packing to go on trips – what if the car doesn't come? Sitting at airports when the plane is delayed. Well, you know, I let it go. What will be will be. I usually try to have a copy of the latest New Yorker with me. That can see you through any plane delay.”

I last saw Lynn in November following a performance of her one-woman play Nightingale. I was fortunate that I was able to go backstage and give her a hug and tell her I was praying for her everyday. She greeted me warmly and was grateful for the prayers. At Broadway Blessing she had talked about how her faith had carried her through her first battle with breast cancer in 2003, and her recitation of Psalm 23 was glorious. We have lost a very special person.

God bless you, Lynn.


Larry said...

This is brief note to thank you for your thoughts and for Life Upon the Sacred Stage. I have admired Ms. Redgrave for many years. Over the past few months, however, your postings somehow connected me with Ms. Redgrave as an individual rather than as a celebrity. I suppose it's because my life, like countless of others, has been touched by serious illness. When I heard of Ms. Redgrave's passing, I immediately went to Life Upon the Sacred Stage.

Retta Blaney said...

Thank you so much for your message, Larry. She was a special person who really shone bright. That can't be faked, even by the best of actors. She really did seem to radiate. We were so fortunate to have had her with us last year at Broadway Blessing. She touched many hearts that night. She certainly touched mine!