Get Shouty

emotional embargo
May 14, 2009, 2:24 pm
Filed under: passion


Autumn never seems easy.

It has a very distinct flavours: it’s burning leaves; and blue sky sunny days and crisp evenings; the rediscovery of red wine and raincoats; going through the rituals of putting away the carnival of summer while preparing to be tucked up for the long sleepy time of the winter months.

It’s wistful. Melancholy. Sometimes overly bright and shrill, sometimes grey and blustery. A giggle, a memory, cloud going over the sun. And on this crisp evening bitter sweetness is the order of the day.

I had a very sick friend. Very. She was diagnosed on Australia Day with cancer of the everything.

And in 12 hours I go to her funeral service.

I’ve been acting as her digital comms officer, the instigator of a blog to record her journey. She delivered beautiful, venerable, knock-your-socks-off posts from a clever, creative, fragile, graceful woman at the height of her magic.

She fought and feinted and made funny- but about three weeks ago the ability to write had gone. I asked her vast circle to share and now my role is as a collector of quotes and anecdotes, and the blog  a repository of precious ‘i remembers’ and ‘my favourite moments’, mad stories, and beautiful photographs from a seemingly endless stream of admirers and converts from all corners of the world. It is important to all who knew her to document all of the different perspectives of her life for her two precious children and to create a place to visit and remember. We have collectively created a living memorial to witness and celebrate our gorgeous, generous friend.

I cannot say that it has been easy. I hold all the three o’clock in the morning stories typed through tears, the constant requests for updates and information…everyone’s grief and advice and need to know. Emails sent to me from all over needed to be poured into wordpress- and as much as I tried to treat it all as Lorem Ipsum the emotion seeped through my weakening defenses.

I haven’t been able write about it to now- and I haven’t been able to able to blog with any degree of seriousness for a while. I’ve been under emotional embargo, have been trying to hold back my own tide with a dam made out of wet card board and duct tape. Well that’s over, there’s no protecting myself from the next step. I’m preparing myself to be hugged by strangers whose secrets I know and hold those whose story I share.

Today I am sad. But I have been blessed a thousand times by the love of an amazing friend, by the strength of a circle of chosen family and the good fortune of recognising that this thing we do, this blogging thing, can be just what the doctor ordered, even when doctors can do nothing at all.


5 Comments so far
Leave a comment

As someone who knew her just a little, I knew her enough to really want to know how she was faring without ever intruding on her more intimate circle. I am so grateful to you for making this possible.

I guess I’ll be one of the anonymous faces in this morning’s enormous crowd as you will be to me, but thank you so much for what you did.

I’ve learnt a lot about Liz (I already knew she was extraordinary) and a lot more about friendship following that blog.

Comment by Sue Carey

I can’t sum it up as eloquently as Sue did, suffice to say I too would like to thank you for what you did Katie.

Comment by Angus

I don’t know your friend and I only vicariously know you but this is a touching story and has put into perspective the anxiousness I was feeling about starting my work day.

I hope today goes as well as it can do for all involved.

Comment by Lauren

She was one of my best friends, what you did was amazing and I want to thank you from the bottom of my broken heart. Thank you Katie xxx

Comment by Fiona Finn

So many people leave the planet without hearing their friends articulate their love and support at all, let alone clearly.

In some ways, Liz’s wake was before her funeral. She got to hear many of friends, family and supporters thoughts and notes. I remember her sitting in hospital smiling, as Katie read through email after email after email.

I trully believe it made a massive difference to Liz’s wellbeing in the last few months. Katie, I hope you realise what an incredible gift you gave not only to Liz, but to all of us.


Comment by justine metcalfe

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: