Monday, 3 July 2017

Thoughts on Saying Goodbye

Balloons in the sky with a church behind
I went to put up a Sunday Photo today and realised that I hadn't posted since last Sunday, which seems impossible, but this week has gone in kind of a blur. So, I thought instead, I would write a bit about why I have been so unnaturally quiet this week and what's been happening in between. The reason for my absence hasn't been a happy one, but sometimes you just have to write what's in your heart and hope no one minds. I often, like now, right these introductions before I write the actual post, so I don't know how they are going to turn out. However, I do know that I am going to try to end it on a bit more of an upbeat note, so try to hang in there, if you can.

So, this week, after almost a month, was the funeral for my lovely friend Lynn. Now, I know I've been banging on about her death for a while, but, because of the length of time before the funeral took place, it's been really hard to think about anything else. Also, she was my best friend. We talked all the time and she understood me better than anyone. We were really similar and she was one of those people who you didn't even need to say anything to, she would just get it. So there is a massive hole in my life every day and I am really struggling with that. Anyway, the funeral. I had been dreading it for a long time, but it had gradually got worse in the week leading up to it. I didn't know how I would get through it.

Purple and yellow balloons with church behind

We spent a long time choosing our outfits. The theme was bright colours, or anything we felt would be appropriate, so I chose a dress with a bright lemon print, from Lindy Bop. I was really nervous about this, because I am not at all confident about clothes and always seem to look like a sack of potatoes, especially in a dress. Lynn was really glamourous though, and loved new clothes and shoes, so it had to be right. Fortunately, when it arrived, it fitted perfectly, and looked exactly like it did in the picture, so at least I knew I would look ok. Phil wore a pink shirt with a lemon yellow tie and I felt at least we did our best to turn out as well as we could. I think she would have loved our outfits. The funeral itself was obviously very hard. It was all just so... final. It didn't help that the vicar made a few mistakes in his tribute to her and seeing the casket-basket (it was a wicker one, which I've never seen before, but it was quite pretty) made it all too real. Looking around at how many people she had touched in her life and in so many different ways was lovely, though. The dresscode meant that people were wearing whatever represented what she meant to them and there were a lot of different outfits, of varying styles, demonstrating her impact in the world during her unfairly short life. I felt the balloon release was a lovely idea. It was like they respresented our united love for her as they floated off in unison, before making the shape of a star in the sky. A fitting tribute for someone who shone wherever she went. 

Balloon release forming the shape of a heart in the sky

So, how do I feel now? A little short-changed, if I'm honest. It was a very long wait for the funeral and, during that time, I kept hearing that it gets easier afterwards and you can start to move on. Well, no it hasn't and I still don't see how I am going to move on. I can't imagine a time when I'm not going to be reminded of her constantly. But then, would I want to forget her? No, of course not, so, perhaps in time, I will be able to smile when I'm reminded of her, instead of feeling the aching sadness I do now. I think Phil got it right when he told me that you never really move on, you just learn to cope with the loss. It's been a very steep learning curve for me. Coping with loss is, well, it feels, almost impossible, but each day you find life carrying on regardless. And all these corny lines that you never thought meant anything, suddenly ring true. Like; 'she'll still be with you'. I know not everyone believes this, but I do feel her with me a lot of the time. Maybe it's just me, who knows, but it's a massive comfort to think she is still cheering me on and laughing with me when things go pear-shaped. And; 'she would want you to be happy', it's not just something people say, it's actually true. She was always happy for other people's success, even when she was at rock-bottom, so I know she would want me to succeed and be happy.



What happens next? I don't know what I expected to change after the funeral, but nothing has. If anything, it's worse, because I can't pretend it isn't happening anymore. I can't pretend she's just been really busy and hasn't had a chance to contact me in a while. That's it, it's definitely real. So, my only option is to live the life she would have wanted for me. Try to retain the confidence she gave me with her endless encouragement and succeed in the way she always believed I could. There were many things she wanted for herself that she never had a chance to achieve, she was incredibly talented and could have done anything if she'd only had the chance. I feel like I need to make the most of my opportunities, because she didn't get the chance, but then I feel selfish, because she can't be here to achieve what she wanted. Hopefully, it will all become clearer in time. But right now, I'm still trying to make sense of it all.

Finally, I would like to thank all the people who helped me get this far. Not in an Oscar speech way, but more because the one positive thing that's come out of this experience, is that it's shown what amazing friends I have and how human nature can be be wonderful. Friends sent me messages every day, to check I was ok. My friend Mel, from Fly, Drive, Explore, sent me a guest post on Iceland, my favourite holiday destination, so that I wouldn't have to think about writing anything for a while. The UK Parent Bloggers admin tweeted a lovely tweet supporting my #MakeLemonsforLynn profile picture campaign, and I was bowled over by the number if people who changed their profile pics to their own artistic lemon creations! I also got sent this rather lovely poster on Instagram from someone who had heard about Lynn's love of lemons! She said she saw it and knew it was meant for me. I'm sure there were more good deeds, so I may come back and edit as I think of them. My friend Diane is always an amazing support to me and was to Lynn as well. She sent me a code for the Walkers crisps Win your Shopping competition and I won £100! It paid for my dress and various other bits we needed, so it was very much appreciated. Lastly, my friend Jeannie, who regularly helps me make sense of my ramblings and helped me write this post. I will be trying to return to some sort of normality from here on in, safe in the knowledge that Lynn's spirit and influence will always come through in everything I do from now on and that's exactly how it should be.

A meme about making orange juice with lemons



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7 comments

  1. What an awfully sad week. Lynn was such a breath of fresh air, always laughing and smiling. I only met her once but she was hard to forget. She called me her little Welsh fairy as I brought her luck. Gone too soon lovely Lynn xxx

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  2. Sorry for your loss Lucy. Lynn sounds like she was a lovely lady and a very good friend and I'm sure you will carry her in your heart always. x

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  3. Aw Lucy, giant hugs xxx
    Lynn will always be with us. She shone so bright that we will never forget her. She made us all love life a little more like her. I'm just so glad we got to meet her and love her like we did xxx

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  4. So sorry about the loss of your friend, its never easy.

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  5. I am so sorry about the loss of your friend. She sounds like a wonderful person.
    Thinking of you. Sending love and hugs x

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  6. Lovely Lucy!, i believe that dad,mum,tina and lynn are just upstairs, waiting til its my time. Lots of love . xx

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  7. It's so hard to say goodbye to someone you desperately want to stay but judging by the turnout, she won't be forgotten.
    I hope it gets easier for you, and her family, and in time the tears will be replaced with smiles when you think about her xxx

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