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Christine Lahti

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The Day We Lost Our Nora

Posted: 06/28/2012 9:34 pm

I can't fathom New York, let alone life, without her, she took me and hundreds of others under her wing and made us all feel as if she was our best friend. There wasn't a play too abstract or incomprehensible (the kind I guess I tend to do) that she didn't attend the opening, cheering me on even if she hated the play. Every time I came to NYC to do a play or shoot a film, she would always throw a poker party or dinner party for me, as I'm sure she did for hundreds of others. She was the most generous, gracious, hardworking friend, artist, and hostess and she did everything effortlessly but with great intensity. Even playing Mob Wars at a dinner party, she was a drill sergeant, circling the teams, barking out commands and orders. She lived more life, more intensely, in her short 71 years than someone twice her age (well, you know what I mean). Her accomplishments were extraordinary and when faced with disappointments or even failures in movies, she would just reinvent herself and write a bestselling book or a hit off-Broadway play. When playing poker she always insisted on games with at least two or three wild cards, which drove us more conventional players a little crazy, but wild cards always sweetened the evening for her.

Working with her was creative heaven. Doing Love, Loss and What I Wore, and getting to say her words was a dream and her reaction to opening night was "pure Nora." The cast was all backstage after a very alive, extremely successful opening night, anxiously awaiting Nora's response who finally came up, hugged us all and said, "What was that?! What was all that CRYING!!!" Precisely how I imagined her today. I had a vivid fantasy today, before she actually died, when the news of her death was prematurely all over the Internet, that she would wake up from her coma, seeing everyone bereft and busy making plans for her funeral, saying, "What is this? What is all this crying?!!" How I wish that fantasy had come true. Instead there are hundreds of us, all her best friends, all who felt she utterly had our backs, who are bereft and crying.

Tonight, there's a sad empty hole in all our lives, and there is nothing and no one that will ever be able to fill it: the Nora Hole. If I could have said goodbye, I would have gotten all mushy and wet, telling her how much she mattered to me, how inspiring she was to women, to artists, how much her support and love and friendship meant to me, how I cherished our friendship. And she probably would have hated it.

 
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