By Sunita Harley

My tribute to Natasha

Welcome to some of my writing for Natasha. Navigating my grief for my late best friend Natasha no longer being here is not easy so I’ve put my heartache into words. One thing I’ve promised myself is that I’ll keep talking about Natasha. 

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How did we meet?

Our friendship spanned 26+ years. We met at uni when I decided to do a course at SOAS on South Asian culture whilst I was at another uni across the road. If I hadn’t signed up to that course I may have never met Natasha. We then realised we had 3 things in common.

 

1. We were both Mauritian

 

2. We both grew up in the same area and only a town apart and

 

3. We loved our hip hop.

 

I’ll always feel honoured to have been her sidekick at Scratch nights and her cheerleader through the everyday ups and the downs over the years. She was my cheerleader, when I started DJIng or when I went through tough times. 

To Know Natasha

To know Natasha is to make something home made for your loved ones, dance your heart out to your favourite hip hop tune, to love your everyday, to find laughs in the smallest of things, to make the most of your talents and to believe in all of the brilliance you’re capable of. 

 

When you miss Natasha 

 

When you think of Natasha, remember she loved her life in so many different ways and showed so many of us love. When you next have a bad day or tough moment, think of Natasha’s positivity, giggle or supportive words to get you through. 

 

One of my favourite things I’d hear Natasha saying 

 

“Give over” is one of my favourite Natasha phrases. When I used to tell her about something I’d experienced that wasn’t that great, or I’d start doubting myself, these are her words which always gave me a better perspective. 

 

The chance to play one tune

 

I’d planned a whole playlist to share with Natasha when visiting her in hospital. When it came to that moment sitting next to her, there was one song I wanted to play for us. Back in the day by Erykah Badu. Natasha closed her eyes for a few moments and nodded her head to the beat. Me, Natasha and Marsha all thought of the last time we all went dancing together. 

 

Looking up to you 

 

Since 8th September 2021, the moment that shook our world, I think of you in everything I do Natasha. I’ll always remember that moment. You taught me so much through being you. You taught me to try new things out. You taught me about friendship. You taught me to enjoy everything I have. Even though you were only one year older than me, you didn’t know that I always looked up to you.

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Thank You

Thank you Natasha

 

Thank you Natasha for being a wonderful friend to me and to many others in your life, whether it’s been 1 year of friendship OR over 26 years. 

 

School days, university days, work days, family days, Mauritius days, Ghana days, Brazil days, India days, Letchworth and North London days - thank you Natasha. 

 

Thank you Natasha for making us smile with your beautiful wit and clever jokes. 

 

Thank you Natasha for being an amazing cook and baker. Thank you for not making one but two massive birthday cakes for my 40th birthday party. 

 

Thank you Natasha for being able to chat with us for hours about anything and everything. 

 

Thank you Natasha for standing up for me and for many others when we needed precious support. 

 

Thank you Natasha for your encouragement over the years for reminding us what we’re good at and what else we can achieve. 

 

Thank you Natasha for always including so many of us and taking me to Scratch on Thursdays once a month. Thank you Natasha being the best friend to be dancing next to. 

 

Thanks to Natasha and also Richy for introducing us to the Instant Pot. Thanks for giving your old Instant Pot to Fran and Matt. 

 

Thank you Natasha for your determination in absolutely everything you do. 

 

Thank you Natasha for staying in touch when you lived around the world. Those countries were lucky to have you living there. . 

 

Thank you Natasha for being there for so many of us through our own life’s ups and downs. 

 

Thank you Natasha for dancing at my Zoom birthday party this year (and for being the only friend who stayed up late with me!) 

 

Thank you Natasha for your honesty and positivity. 

 

Thank you Natasha for your creativity and sending us home made gifts in the post. 

 

Thank you Natasha for being you. Determination, creativity, friendship, dancing, support, laughs, encouragement and positivity. 

 

Thank you Natasha for your shining light, you shine in our hearts and inspire us all as we get on with our every day. 

We all incredibly love you so much and always will. Thank you Natasha. Merci Natasha. Merci Jolie.