Charlotte is for many of us like Cher and Liberace: her first name is enough. Everyone knows Charlotte. Everyone has a story: a time they rose from shrinking fear to do something brave, a moment they realized they could do something they thought unthinkable, a quote so clever they taped it to their wall. We all think she's ours, but I can't imagine anyone so very much her own.
Charlotte does everything her way, including telling the world really difficult news. There is no artifice to this woman as she participates in the world so fully and directly. At the same time, she is the least attention-seeking person I know.
I have never really believed in "denial." I am sure this is because I've not really tried it. I can report now being in genuine thrall to its charms. Denial feels like a perfectly respectable and practical refuge.