Testimony Laura Capanema
“At no time I thought she was gone. I learned to deal with the pain seeing the passing as something natural, a piece of existence itself – death means a new way to exist. I don`t know how often I think of her. I don`t know, every day? If I hear a song that we would like to hear together, I will think of us, of course, but in a different way: instead of I wish you were here to hear it, I think ‘if you were here, you would love to hear it ‘. It appears to me in many different ways, the things I see, the things I do. When people ask me if I have children, I always reply: ‘Yes, a daughter. She is no longer here with us. ‘
Our story began when she was born, two years after my marriage – I married early, at 22, but it soon ended. It took four years to the day she moved in with me. And since then, we lived together; since her eight years until the time of her passing.
Amanda has always been my priority. We had a very strong relationship, maybe even unusual between a father and daughter, especially at that time. Even with the busy life of the agency, full of cocktails and trips, I always preferred to stay with her. Our memories are alive: I remember clearly dates, as of September 7, 1998, when she learned to ride a bike at Ibirapuera Park ; or on 20 December 2008, our last walk – we watched Vicky Cristina Barcelona at the Reserva Cultural (Movie Theater) and then went out walking along Paulista Avenue. I was afraid of forgetting the little things, but I remember everything, all the time: even that I never went to sleep without first giving her a goodnight hug.
At 18, she had just entered the college (the same one I had attended) and was, in a way, on the right track, with guaranteed internships. And happy. Until the day she returned from school, she was sunbathing (the doorman told me), she talked to Bel, the girl who worked at our house, and went to bed. I was at work when her mother called me in the afternoon, worried, saying she did not answer the phone. Usual at this age, of course she’s okay. ‘ I came home at the usual time and found the door of the room closed with the TV light going through the bottom slot. She was there sleeping, beautiful. I gave her a kiss and felt her cold face. I called a doctor neighbor, then the SAMU. We tried to bring her back, but she had already left. She turned off.
The official cause of death, according to the report, was an acute pulmonary edema. I had never experienced anything similar in the family, but there was nothing to do – I had to accept it. Luckily, our entire story comforted me.
The good energy of close friends comforted me. As she had an unusual death, the funeral was held two days later and then I have found myself surrounded by dear people. This support anesthetized me. So much that, from her funeral on I became more frequent in funerals and viewings, because I understood how important it is to be present – Last month, the father of a friend died in Pirassununga on Sunday, soon after I returned to Sao Paulo (Pirassununga is my home town). I stopped everything and went back to the road.
But there comes a time when, after much support, people around us will touch our lives. And we keep trying to find a way to go on. In my case, I started working for her memory, day after day. I edited several videos and put it all on YouTube.
I also gathered the playlist of her life – we loved music, it was a fundamental part of our relationship. And I have written for some time now on social medias in her two birthdays (the arrival and departure) things like ’25 random facts about Amanda Camossa ‘(two: she never mixed rice and beans and preferred her ham and cheese sandwich cold and not hot ). I do not agree when they say she lived little. She lived much for 18 years, influenced deeply who lived around her. She has an incredible intensity. She still has it – even in the present.
The other day I bumped into a friend who I had not seen for years, ‘Gee, and how is Amanda? She must be great, right? ‘. I gave him a big hug, ‘I’m glad you remember it! But she is no longer here. ‘ He said, ‘What do you mean, man? What happened?’. The guy was devastated. But, hey, no need, ‘I told you that I was immensely glad just because you ask about her?’.
I’m skeptical and don’t believe that life is only what we have here. My background is Catholic and my belief linked to Kardecism. But faith is something that transposes doctrines. I prefer not to talk about religion because this idea leads us to follow just one thing. Faith is a feeling, a certainty that there is something beyond. In my case, that my daughter is with me. My serenity is 100% authentic.
I’ve had several meetings with Amanda. There are dreams which are dreams and there are dreams that are not dreams. Sometimes I feel it in the wind. Of course I miss her – and that’s not necessarily bad. Missing, is a kind of presence: we just feel what has been good. Sometimes, well sometimes I feel a strong and painful grip. But it goes away. I know our bond goes far beyond here.
Amanda made me stop and think of myself. I had a job she loved, but there was an issue: what I liked to do was insignificant to the agency. I was happy when I could help content producers to make their projects feasible – I worked with media, I knew the market. And I thought, ‘if nothing different happens to me, I still have about 40 years left. I will want to live longer or shorter? ‘. Until my mind began to get organized to live … a lot. And I decided to be light. I quit driving and started to walk extensively around the city, from Ipiranga to Carandiru. I regained a simplicity that has always been inside me – even when I worked in advertising, I never liked the flattery – but that simplicity had gone away exactly because I never took time to listen to myself.
I took a sabbatical, I learned to dive, music mixing, editing books and spent some time in Boston brushing up my English. All these courses have taught me much more than their own methodologies – diving, for example, is a course of making mistakes; you practice to adapt to situations that can go wrong (but in the end they work out). In mixing songs I understand that different things may match when put together to create something else. And nowadays I do just that: I mix knowledge acquired throughout life randomly and fearlessly. I just opened my own company and rent a chair in a space of co-working beside great people who teach me every day. I have a more flexible life, as I always wanted.
The idea of living long – and well – came from Amanda. It was when I understood the intensity of her life that I decided to take mine toward the things that really move me. It’s as if she told me every day:. ‘Get a life, man’