Dealing with the Grief of Losing a Friend

March 8, 2020

This is the story of one remarkable lady, a warrior poet, dealing with the untimely death of another.

Both women were achievers: osteopaths, champions in their chosen sports and friends for 25 years. They were both deeply affected by shocking rape and murder of comedian, Eurydice Dixon, in 2018 and each decided to help increase public awareness of the dangers women faced. Euryidce was attacked and murdered by a nineteen year old man as she walked home alone after a performance. 

Andrea, an accomplished martial artist, began conducting free self defense lessons for girls in Melbourne schools. To make the lessons more effective, Andrea involved the men from her Melbourne martial arts school, who volunteered to work with the girls, so they could get used to trying techniques on people of the size and strength as potential attackers. The lessons were extremely well received, with most students believing they had gained the confidence to repel an attacker after the lessons.

Andrea demonstrates a painfully effective technique to a group of girls at a Melbourne school.

Carla, who was also a singer/songwriter, wrote and performed a song to draw the attention to the plight of women.

One death once per week often at the hands of a male partner. There’s gotta be a better way to live our lives than this. Let’s find it.” said Carla after releasing the song.

Sadly, two short years later, Carla was diagnosed with terminal cancer at the age of 45. A larger than life character, Carla achieved more in those 45 years than most people do in a lifetime. As well as being a singer/songwriter, she was a semi professional beach volleyball athlete, a health and wellness coach, an osteopath, author, and an exercise rehabilitation lecturer. Carla was a member of the LGBTIQ community and she made it her mission to encourage more peace, kindness, love and acceptance in the world.

Andrea, who stayed with Carla through her final days, was overcome with grief when she passed away. It was the second death she’d had to deal with in the space of a few short months. She turned to writing and penned a poem dedicated to Carla. dealt with her grief in an unusual way. She wrote a poem to honor her friend and to help her personally deal with the grief. 

With Andrea’s permission, we’ve reproduced that poem as a tribute to Carla Kleverlaan, an incredible lady who was taken far too soon.

A Tribute to Carla

I see you as regal,
Your spirit – it soars
Tall and majestic,
Yet only moments before,
I sat on your bedside,
I was holding your hand,
I held back my weeping,
Those tears I was keeping.

You were so fine and fragile,
“Don’t hug me too tight”
Were just some of the words,
You spoke to me that night.

The sand was so golden
And so was your hair,
You were smashing that ball,
Without a need to care.

Your voice was powerful & sassy,
Your message rang true,
You confronted the demons,
In this world there are a few.



You reflected and shared,
After you experienced your first taste,
Of betrayal by your body,
Not a moment to waste.

The book was published,
It is still on my shelf,
More knowledge passed down,
The wisdom of self.

Always giving in kindness, 
A fresh perspective to all,
The peaceful warrior was Carla,
A gift to us all.

I never saw you so happy,
In 25 years,
As when you met Teresita,
The soul partner of your dreams.

She brought out the playfulness,
Even more than before,
The loving & caring,
She was yours to adore.

Individually & collectively,
Together you grew,
Building your foundation,
A life anew.

Together you created,
A future of dreams,
Lifting each other to your highest expression,
Life was bursting, or so it seemed.


Elegant & graceful,
You were determined to fight,
The knot bound your love into eternity,
It didn’t need to be tight.You fulfilled more in 45 years,

Than some could ever know,
And yet I keep asking myself:
Carla, Where did you go?

Then I hear quietly,
Your voice in my ear:
“I’m here”
And I’m reminded of your lyrics,
I hear them only too clear.
“It’s all about the love”
Is what you taught us,
So why do I fear?

I heard once a cliché,
But now I believe it to be true,
This world is too harsh,
For one such as you.

Or to put it another way:
You were too good for this world,
Your spirit bold & majestic,
Your powerful wings unfurled.

With the angels you fly,
We love you forever,
This is not a goodbye,
It’s until we meet again,
Be in peace our dear friend.

Visit Carla’s music page on Facebook to listen to some of her songs:


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