Reflections of self preservation

I buried a colleague this week. Not me personally but went to her funeral. It was very sad, her family were very emotional, her mum was distraught and it was and always will be hard to watch peoples fragility.

It was a wonderful send off for her, she loved the sun and it was a perfect day weather wise.

I sat opposite it her for five years. She was very private and often difficult but in the exact same breath she would do anything for you and was hardworking to the point of exhaustion, like Boxer. We got on even though we sometimes struggled working together. I would take her out for drinks and always tried to include her in events.

We had private jokes, would talk for hours bout politics, her being centre right, me being left. She loved to shop and took great pride in her appearance and shoes. She was terrible about asking for help, never took proper breaks and revelled in being useful.

I left during covid and we would send the odd text. That was it. Like lots of colleagues you drift apart. Then I heard the news and I wanted to be there. To send her off. To let her know she was always appreciated even when she was misunderstood.

Her cancer had come so swiftly in the same time that Gavin got his cancer. He was lucky. She was not.

Her life’s traumas led her to present a different person to who she was. Creating friends and stories to keep her company and safe. The more I learned the more confused I got. I hope she was happy. I hope she wasn’t too lonely.

I am reflecting on our time together but also on what we really know about people. What walls we put up and how we protect ourselves. She was right to protect her heart and mind in any way she could.

We all are.

Rest in peace little one.

Tell the people you love, you love them and check your stool.

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