With love, Ankya

My dear friend, Ankya Klay, died suddenly on Monday. There is a tenderness knowing that yet another one of my friends has left this world; and a warmth knowing she and I had many conversations about this very moment.

When I heard the news, I saw her beautiful smile and felt a deep love rise in my chest. I heard the whisper of our many conversations where she felt the joy of befriending death and in doing so, befriending life.  I sense the loss and also the peace of her death.

Ankya will be greatly missed by so many people. May her grieving family and community be held with ease, support, grace and love during this time of loss.

Ankya’s Wisdom

Ankya joined the year long online program I host, Celebrating This Precious Life: Honest Conversations about Death and Dying (CTPL). She loved it so much she joined again for a second year. These last few years, we were also part of a very small online group of women, the Wildly Free Elders. I had only met Ankya in person once yet felt very connected to her way of being in the world. We shared phone calls and emails that were filled with joy, gratitude and insights especially with regard to death. Ankya wrote,

‘The Life Review (from CTPL) continues to deepen to new layers of awareness and memories and understanding and, oh so much self-forgiveness. It seems that, in truth, this is all we are here for on this beautiful Earth – to unravel all the threads of our heart…. to embrace all that is non-love and transform it in the cauldron of our grief.’

In another email she wrote, ‘Today’s gathering was so powerful, so beautiful, so insightful and so liberating.  Thank You. I can imagine some might think, ‘What? Spending your birthday talking about death and writing your Eulogy, how weird is that!!’ but I would say, ‘It was absolutely perfect timing’. Hey!

Celebrating my Precious Life in all its aspects.  So grateful. So much came up for me during our time together and I wanted to share a few more insights. I loved the questions you posed us. I found my responses so insightful:

1) Is there a Purpose to Dying and Death?

If I did not know I was going to die, I would not have this amazing gift of the work we are doing here together, of letting go and surrendering all that is not love.  I see this time as an opportunity to sum up the meaning of my Life – all that I have lived and experienced and to distil the essence of it into a beautiful creation.

2) What is it to have a good death?

To feel ready and accepting, trusting, safe, surrounded with Love.   A letting go of this precious body, but not of all the love that has been created which lives on forever.

For it must surely be the most natural and normal and easy thing to do, to die, no? And we are learning that this is so, and that brings about a huge amount of trust in Life and the creator.  (The contrary beliefs were the aberration…)

“Not My Will, but Thy Will….”


Last night I wrote my Love Letter to … (a friend). It was the most beautiful, heart-opening and emotional moment and the tears were flowing….

These letters come from our Souls, where there was never any problem or issue…. just Love and gratitude for all that was.

I think that letter and the exercise was the preparation for writing my ‘Eulogy’. My eulogy to myself. It flowed like liquid Love…with ease and grace, and humour, and compassion and deep wisdom and gratitude–how beautiful. I’ll share the final paragraph with you.

“…and in the end she (Ankya) knew she was but an essential link in the ancestral lineage of Life evolving through her. She came here to learn, to laugh, to love, to let go and to leave once more…..”

It felt just So perfect. As I shared in my (CTPL) break-out group…..the greatest Gift we can give to the world is our own self-love, self-acceptance and self-forgiveness… especially when those familiar ‘who do you think you are’ voices appear.

(Ankya had given permission to share her insights with others. She also shared this poem.)

 It’s possible I am pushing through solid rock

in flintlike layers, as the ore lies, alone;

I am such a long way in I see no way through,

and no space: everything is close to my face,

and everything close to my face is stone.

I don’t have much knowledge yet in grief

so this massive darkness makes me small.

You be the master: make yourself fierce, break in:

then your great transforming will happen to me,

and my great grief cry will happen to you.

Rainier Maria Rilke, From “Pushing Through”, translated by Robert Bly


I treasure the many conversations with Ankya, I can see her joyful smile, her tears, and her love. I love Ankya.

Love and blessings.

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Gael McKenzie
1 year ago

So beautiful, thank you 🙏 xx

Ganga Ashworth
1 year ago

Thank you Wendy for this beautiful article. I am so grateful to be able to read Ankya’s words and to have joined with her in song and creativity and to have known her smile, vitality and love.

1 year ago

Thank you for sharing these insights and deepest feelings from Ankya. The essence of Beauty and love.

Gaye Abbott
1 year ago

Tears still flowing for the depth of beauty, transparency and loving heart and soul of our beloved Ankya. Thank you for this Wendy. Embracing you. xx

Joelle Bridger
Joelle Bridger
1 year ago

Thank you for sharing Ankya’s beautiful comments, Wendy. They are thoughtful and heart felt, showing such compassion.

1 year ago

Very touching and I am so appreciative you shared how you experienced the LOVE named Ankya.

1 year ago

Thank you. I am the celebrant for my very dear friends Ankya’s funeral. I will say very few of my words and many of hers.

1 year ago

Thank you for sharing these precious words, it is sad and sudden news. As you write, I remember some of these moments with her in CPTL, particularly her birthday. I remember Ankya as a person at peace with the questions of death, with a passion for living so very well in relation to the reality of death. She had this aire of genuine joy and vulnerability, often tearing up and bringing tears to my eyes too.
I will hold you and her family in my thoughts as you grieve, and wishes for Ankya’s safe journey to where she is headed next. Love, Danielle

Satisha Young
Satisha Young
1 year ago

Thank you for sharing this part of Ankya’s life I wasn’t aware of. I feel so blessed to have been her ‘Art Buddy’. I was drawn to her like a moth to a flame, straight to her expansive heart, her encouragement and the freedom to just BE me. What a gift her passing has been for me on such a deep level. My heart is overflowing 💗

Ankya Klay