Two weeks ago, my best friend and I, after an evening of chat, a bit of gossip, a lot of laughs and few moans, had put our world’s to right for the evening.
Hugging our goodbyes on the doorstep, a date to repeat the same a month ahead, once I returned from my latest travels, we parted
Now we have parted forever.
My dear, kind and generous friend suffered a massive heart attack last week at the young age of 59.
Our marriages as English girls to Cypriots gave us children who have their origins in both worlds. Her bereft sons had to organise the funeral and Cypriot traditions are that an interment takes place within 24-48 hours. In their grief, they wished to follow the tradition, so the decision was made for me, no chance to race back from the UK to show my last respects.
I must say my goodbye in my own way now. I’m traveling, catching up with old friends from the other side of Europe, a time to re-connect and enjoy the company of those who formed such a part of my earlier life but deep down I’m feeling the loss. I disconnected for a week, choosing to be with my own thoughts. Writing this is a catharsis for my emotions.
She wouldn’t have wanted a fuss. “Stop fussing, I’m fine” I can hear her say as I think of her, my eyes brim and I try hard to stop myself tipping into tears. I know she would be irritated at my grief for her, forever practical she would take every event in her stride.
The memories. Our children born months apart, our struggles in a foreign country to nurture and grow our offspring on our own. Plane rides away from our UK families we supported each other and shared so many happy times, laughter and tears whilst we blundered around trying to be mothers on the job.
We succeeded for our offspring, but not for our marriages. Another shared pain, as they fell apart but we had each other’s shoulders which we gripped quite hard for a few years.
My rock when I went through several years of operations, an ex-nurse, she was the one to hold my hand, be there every day and tell me everything was going to be alright and to buck up.
The years of stress, hard work and a couple of recent accidents must have caught up with her spectacularly to dispatch her so brutally young. I understand it was an attack that would have been a swift ending and I know that’s the way she would have wanted to go, but not quite yet, we still had plans to have old age fun.
I will miss her deeply, my chirpy, cheerful friend and my rock.
Rest in peace Julie Ann…