The loneliness of loss

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.


6 Comments Add yours

  1. You are one of the strongest, bravest, brazen and resilient people Ive had the honour of calling a friend, Nothing can stop you, the universe can whirl off kilter and negative energy can do its damndest to drag you down, but I know you will carry on doing you with style and bohemian vigour and eventually the loss will be less painful and your beautiful smile will shine out. Love you!


    1. lippylala says:

      and your kind words made me cry on a day when I wasn’t feeling very brave or stylish. Sometimes when we’re down it’s the belief of our dear friends that helps lift us up. You did that today hon and I thank you from the bottom of my bohemian heart xxxxxxx


  2. Helen says:

    I often ignore Facebook because there’s too much trivia – not your post Liz. Deeply moved by your raw honesty. I so wish things were otherwise but I fully believe there’s nuggets of gold scattered on the road ahead of you. H


  3. lippylala says:

    thanks Helen. Gold would be nice as would lots of bottles of champers!


  4. Paul Roe says:

    Liz you write so movingly and as always are searching…being practical, solution focussed etc. bravo…you mention two voices and this indeed is a human default to see things in a binary—almost oppositional. It might be interesting to expand from this dyad to considering a trinity…what is the third way? We live in these dyads -good-bad, male-female, gay-straight, wrong-right etc unfortunately if often doesn’t work for us. I’m wondering if there is a third way for you and if so what might that be? Sorry if the unsolicited coaching grates…as I know that wonderful mind of yours that has these challenges also has the answers. Be happy-Be well. Hugs. Paul


  5. lippylala says:

    Paul, it’s so lovely to hear you and your wisdom. I totally agree about binary duality stuff and have written about it before. I have many voices that seem to represent all kinds of different parts of the Liz Me.

    Over the years I’ve created a dialogue between my heart, mind. body and unconscious. It’s an interesting melange of spoken, unspoken and felt chatter that delights me in its richness.

    The 2 voices I mentioned are only the loudest in the crowd at the moment.

    Underlying all the voices is a very quiet, strong and always curious voice that seems to be able to blend and synthesise all the conversations.

    She’s a bit like a Yoda and she melds the spoken and unspoken inside me and sends me Yoda/I Ching kinds of images, feelings and words.

    When Mary used to get really frustrated with her low energy [before she became ill she was like a platoon of energizer bunnies and I was her Lolling best friend!] I’d empathise and then say ” We gotta work with the energy we have right now not the energy we want”

    Yoda Ching is telling me to trust that every part of me knows what I need right now and that’s a blend of quiet healing mixed with a soupcon of active cycling on Mae West the bike and a dash of contact with good people.

    Injury and trauma can’t always been seen and I need to listen and trust myself to work out my own way of healing and regaining energy and my curious optimism and hope.

    Thank you Paul for helping me remember my Yoda Ching. xxxxxxxxx


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