Wednesday, 7 June 2017

A friend is dead

My friend Lou is gone.  For a whole group of people a lovely and loyal friend is gone.  For Adam, a supporter and lover and wife and fun-maker is gone.  The funeral was just this week.  So sad she's gone, but so glad I knew her.... let me tell you a little.

I first met her when she joined my workplace.  She was 28, with the remainder of "gothness" about her.  Her hair was dyed the colour of port; she did something a bit strange with the styling of it, she had several piercings in each ear, and a tattoo of three hares on her arm. So not like me with my linen clothes and matching earrings.  It took about two days before I decided I liked her a lot  I don't know how long it took her to like me, I never asked, but we became good friends.

I'd only known her a year or so when she had major surgery.  Really major, because from her father's side of the family she had inherited a bloody awful condition*.  Imagine that you are born with a terminal illness.  It happens.  It happens to lots of people, some much younger than Lou, but she was my friend.  She told me early on that her father had died at 35 from the same thing, and she thought she wouldn't make 40 - in fact she died at 48, not from this condition, but because of it.  She contracted e-coli  and in hospital they found sepsis and a liver no longer working, and this was her last fight.

The funeral, held high up in the hills of Dorset was a thing to remember and a glory.  She was a white witch and so of course, a pagan.  Two shamans and a singer held the service, family, friends and husband spoke of her and poems were read.  We learned that she was carried on the wind, to be part of the stars, the sea, the trees, the earth.  Her totem animal was the hare and she will run with her always now.  At the graveside the wind blew from all sides, buffeting and slapping against us all - her last goodbye, I think.

My memories are mostly laughter.  Holidays spent with a group of my friends, mostly older than she and Adam - dressing up for Murder Mystery dinners, making new friends from that group, all entirely unlike either of them. Her garden party every year to raise money for a charitable cause;  that week we had in Pembrokeshire;  but yes, mostly laughter. Every so often we'd have a telephone conversation about what a bastard her condition was, the complications that were or would arise, the depression because of it.  But in the end she managed to slip away from all of us, much sooner than we wanted, she to be carried on the wind, me with a sense of relief that the pain and the fight was over.  RIP my friend.

*F.A.P. -  FAMILIAL ADENOMATOUS POLYPOSIS