I can’t believe I’m writing this, but my sweet girl has gone, Erika.
She was the person I called when my first marriage imploded; and for the first time in her life had her phone on so she could hear it.
From her cancer diagnosis to her passing was just over two weeks. I am broken. I can’t imagine what her husband Ian is feeling. We’ve been swapping messages, yesterday I spoke to him and again this morning when he told me, apologising he had to break it to me over the phone. In his voice, it sounded like a weight had been lifted as she was no longer in pain, but as he said – it’ll soon be replaced by the other weight of loss.
When I whizzed back to the UK for my brother’s birthday, we went out for the day. Reconnected, laughed, laughed, laughed.
I first met her in the staff room at work, she was sat down looking shell-shocked; she’d just come back from Canada after burying her father. I didn’t know, but told her she looked like she needed a hug, so I gave her a hug. She later told me that I kept her going.
I hope she knew how much she and Ian kept me going. Opening up their home to me when I was homeless, letting me stay there rent free to get myself back on my feet again. Helping me pack, move, cheering me on when I got a new job.
She’s been one of my best friends for over twenty years, from her stripy socks to her rabbits, I’ve got so many memories, thank goodness, who am I going to message whenever I watch the Princess Bride? All I think about when I think about her is love, she gave so much love to everyone – from her Zumba classes, to her neighbours, to her crafty buddies. She radiated love and light everywhere she went, everyone loved her. Hubs and I have one wedding album, Erika put it together for us. We’ve never needed to make another one.
She and Wiz wanted one photo with me when I got married to Hubs, we pulled it off. Wiz peeping out over my shoulder, I was worried I’d fall off, but Erika was holding me firmly, “Don’t worry, I’ve got you.”