The Day Princess Diana Died
August 31, 2017
I have been thinking about the anniversary of Princess Diana’s death. It has been 20 years. I was in my apartment on Commonwealth Avenue packing to move to New York City the next day. I was already full of nervousness, excitement and sorrow. I was leaving after living 5 years in Boston. I had a great apartment, good friends and was having the time of my life. I had recently performed in the musical “Guys & Dolls” at Northeastern and had a wonderful time on stage. After the show’s run it was suggested by my professor and director to consider studying with Bill and Suzanne Esper in New York City. My good friend Anyssa who was also in “Guys and Dolls” was considering moving to the Big Apple and enrolling in their two year intensive acting program. I decided to go to NYC and meet with Suzanne Esper at their acting studio in gorgeous Gramercy Park. It was an incredible meeting. I thought Suzanne was fantastic and the program sounded fun and challenging. When Suzanne told me she would enjoy having me in her class I was thrilled. I went back to Boston feeling like I was floating on a cloud.
New York City at the time seemed so big to us that Anyssa and I decided to venture together. After a mad search for an apartment we found a great two bedroom / 2 baths in Park Slope, Brooklyn that welcomed dogs, important since Anyssa had an awesome dog named Angus that would be traveling with us. After signing our lease we were waiting for the train at West 4th in the village in Manhattan. We were excited about our new apartment but not sure which one of us would get the larger bedroom with connecting bath and small balcony. We decided to flip a coin. I watched the coin toss into the air and I prepared myself to lose. I thought she was a girl and should have the larger room. I thought the dog would like the extra space. I thought I’d be fine in a smaller room. I was absolutely shocked when I won the coin toss. When I got on the train I was looking out the window and couldn’t stop smiling. I was over the moon. Anyssa didn't seem as overjoyed as I was, but we both couldn't wait for this new adventure to begin.
It was well after midnight and I was packing to move the following day. All my beautiful things were wrapped carefully in bubble wrap. I was nervous and excited at the same time. I had all my things boxed up and ready to go. I was kneeling on my hard wood living room floor taping up one final box when the telephone rang. I had a landline at the time since this was before I had a cell phone. My best friend Shawn was on the other line and sounded distraught. He began to tell me that Princess Diana had been in a serious car accident. The paparazzi had been hounding her all summer and were relentless in getting her photograph. While Princess Diana was in France camera men were waiting for her outside the Ritz hotel where she had been staying. Shawn said that when Diana came out of the hotel she got into the back seat of a chauffeured Mercedes with her boyfriend Dodi Fayed. The car speed away and traveled through Paris trying to get away from the paparazzi on motorcycles. Diana’s car headed into Pont de l'Alma tunnel when the car crashed. Shawn continued to tell me all the details over the phone. I was very concerned. Then there was reports that Diana had suffered cardiac arrest and they were trying to revive her. Diana was one of the most famous people in the world, and somehow she felt like a friend of mine. Shawn was telling me that the news was all over the world. I got more and more upset.
I didn’t sleep well that last night in Boston. I was very worried about Princess Diana and realized in that moment how dear she was to me and how much I admired her. In the morning, Shawn called again to tell me the news that Princess Diana had died. I burst into tears. He told me that doctors had worked for hours trying to save her. There are moments in my life that I’ll never forget. I can remember exactly where I was and what I was doing on the day that Princess Diana died.