I’ve never had anyone I loved die before.
3 months ago my best friend Mary died after all the crap that goes with leukemia treatments killed her.
In January 2105 I returned to live in Oz after 22 years in Ireland.
I left my beloved dog Coco behind with her new Mum and fabulous pack of animals in a rural nirvana.
I cried every day for 6 months.
6 weeks after moving back to Oz I was staying with Mary and John when she was diagnosed with leukemia.
And we all started a new journey for the next 15 months.
Mary was a woman who had always taken care of her health and the invasion of all the chemo and tablets and poking and prodding was distressing.
Her husband John and I were her core supporters although she had many people who loved and visited her in hospital and at home.
I spent a lot of time in the hospital with Mary and it was a privilege to be able to be together talking, laughing and just being best friends.
I will treasure those times.
Now Mary is gone and it’s as if I’ve just landed in Oz.
I haven’t had a lot of time and space to look for work or make friends although I have been resilient and creative in finding lots of house and pet sitting gigs that save me from too much financial stress.
Mary’s death has left a huge hole in my life and it will never be the same again.
I mourn the experiences we will never have as well as the loss of one of the few human beings who knew and loved me for nearly 30 years.
It’s lonely without her.
I feel like the last 18 months have been a plethora of big life hits and I know I’ve been hurt and damaged by them in ways that aren’t visible.
Being kind to myself, eating relatively healthy, cycling on Mary’s bike and sleeping a lot is helping a little.
Moving to a new country, leaving your beloved dog behind, having a huge contract pulled away and then having your best friend die in a space of 20 months is a tad discombobulating.
If Mary was alive her support and encouragement would be helping me find interesting work and people. We’d also be having fun exploring ideas, charity shops and interesting eating places.
Without her I feel adrift.
I’m trying to motivate myself and have some lovely lists of things to do, people to contact, posts to write – and a lot of the time I just can’t be fucked as my energy is soooo low.
Yup – I know it’s a cocktail mix of grief, depression and sheer emotional exhaustion and there’s 2 voices clashing in my head
Voice 1: Lizzy, you’ve experienced some hard shit lately and need to give yourself time and space for quiet healing so you can rebuild your energy and motivation. Just take care of yourself and go slow.
Voice 2: Liz, stop being so damn lazy. Shit happens to everyone and they keep going. Get out there and find your purpose and some great work.
One thing I am grateful and pleased about is creating the idea of LIPS living and giving myself a year to forage and explore what this new life could be.
I remember telling Mary about it in hospital and she loved the idea and this site.
I just wish she was here.
Mary hon, I’m doing the best I can, and at the moment that’s not too fab, and I promise to keep going and hope to sometime re energise and re connect with some kind of purpose in my life.