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Date Posted: 05:17:00 08/07/14 Thu
Subject: FB post from Catherine Hickland
I thought maybe some of you might like to read what Raven's good friend, Catherine Hickland, posted on Raven's FB page on July 28th:
It is never easy to write a tribute for a friend, but I knew this day would come. Like everyone else I came to know Raven through reading her incredibly fascinating blogs about ALL of the happenings on the ABC soaps. This was before we all found each other on a new website called FaceBook.
I could not get over the accuracy in which she knew what was going to happen in front of the cameras and especially behind the scenes. Everyone always knew if you read it in her column, that you could bet it was going to happen. However, it was her style of writing that got me. Being a writer myself, I am taken with styles and the wit and wisdom of writers (or lack thereof) and this girl had skills.
I wrote her back then and told her how impressed I was with her gift for writing, and how much I enjoyed the spoilers she wrote. I may have been a star on the shows, but I was a fan first; and once a fan, always a fan. She wrote me back and a friendship was born. She had been through a miserable breakup and had read my book, THE 30 DAY HEARTBREAK CURE, and so we had a special kinship before we ever spoke.
Back then she was a cancer survivor, but I did not know that. We wrote each other a lot and I never, ever asked her about anything soap related, and neither did she. We talked about life, and love, and the pursuit of happy-ness.
Then one day I got a letter that her cancer had come back with a vengeance, and it was far worse than she imagined. It was an aggressive form of cancer that very few people survive and she was scared. She was with John by then, and she did not want to die. He was her rock. By then we had started talking on the phone (I loathe talking on the phone but really enjoyed our talks) she had the voice of an angel. She said she was thinking about joining FB and continuing her column. I thought it would be great because by then she had many fans of her own. Then the destruction of ABC daytime began and it was THE topic of the year. Everyone wanted the back- stage stories. She and I had a ball with that one, as I was so uncharacteristically outspoken about my feelings regarding the way it was handled at the time, and the pure deceit of it all. Fans united, and families were born from the grieving process of viewers losing their friends and families they had come to know through the television in their living rooms. Her online fame grew bigger and bigger, and people couldn’t get enough.
After awhile, she became so ill and was in so much pain, writing was becoming more difficult for her. She wondered if she should tell people about having cancer. Like many people she did not want to own it, to claim it, or to have people feel sorry for her, but people really seemed to care and missed her writing and so she felt that maybe if she shared her struggle with it, that she might be able to lift others up who were going through the same thing, or other issues. She wanted to educate and enlighten people as well as entertain them. It was at that time she discovered that not everyone wants your highest good, or has your back. A few people started to accuse her on social media of being a liar, not having cancer, and just wanting sympathy. She would call me and cry herself into a puddle over these accusations and then I turned her on to the seven magic words that have pulled me out of so many funks when people let me down. “And so what??” and “thanks for the information!” Because now you get to shrug it off and know who a person really is.
We shared many tears and laughter filled moments, always going back and forth about how unimportant it really is when somebody who means nothing to your life talks smack about you. I am a hard shelled armadillo (but soft and mushy on the inside) I’ve been in show business since I can remember. She was still soft shelled,
And it hurt her. At one point, one of her FB “friends” worked his way into her trust, and gave her bogus information to write about a GH actor that turned out to be totally false. He did it to discredit and hurt her, and he did. The backlash was hard and she was so devastated. I could not “and so what” her on that one. Too many people had been involved and she was rightly hurt. It was truly like kicking a dog when he was down. I felt so bad for her. He was also the same person who began to say she was a phony. She was beside herself as she was at that time so close to dying and didn’t want people to think that it had been true, because who would know? No one knew her identity. She sent me her medical records and asked if anything happened to her that I would make sure people knew the truth. I promised her that I would.
I happened to be on the East Coast for a one-night show. It was a few hours from where she lived. She didn’t leave the house much, and yet we really wanted to see each other, so she asked if I would come with her to meet John and sit with her through her chemo. I only had that day, and the hospital where she went was closer than the house. She also wanted me to meet her doctor, who she adored. Of course I would. What an honor to be with a person through something so difficult. What an eye opener to what people with cancer go through.
She was so beautiful. In every way. So soft. So funny. SO special. She loved the fans. She loved writing for you. She made friends through her work that carried her through the toughest times. Through these times she found her Spirituality and became a magnificent ambassador for Christ. She did not want to die, but she was not afraid to die. She knew where she was going.
John was her shining light. She always told me so, and I saw that for myself. He is a gentle man, soft spoken and patient and a grown up. I enjoyed meeting him and seeing that she was so well looked after and loved upon. When he called me to tell me that she had passed (he didn’t want me finding out on FB) he sounded so fragile. He is not involved in Social media and yet is handling posting her final letter to you all. I am sure he is grateful for the outpouring of love, because it would have meant SO much to her. You all really meant the world to our girl.
She was a light, and fun, and special and all the things you would have expected. But in the end, she was what she was brought here to be. An inspiration.
I will keep you posted if there is going to be any kind of tribute. I haven’t wanted to bother John as he has a lot going on with this, but I will see what is to follow.
My beautiful N, I am sad for us, but happy for you to graduate to Heaven. You were one of a kind and I am proud to have called you friend.
John if you ever need me, I am a phone call away.
I Love you,
Your Kitty Cat
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