Goodbye

It’s been a really strange few days, I’m not sure that strange is the right word but I am struggling to find an alternative.

Out of desperation for some adult company I emailed a local group called Salvage and Stitch a couple of weeks ago. Since I’ve moved to the countryside I’ve found it quite difficult to find groups that both me and my baby daughter can attend together. Well ones that don’t involve play dough, sing-a-long time and cookies and milk.

I’m into pattern cutting and garment construction and I’ve neglected my sewing machine for far too long so I thought I could kick my boredom into touch by brushing up on some new skills and meeting the other 7-8 members of the group for a natter. One of the two women who run the group, Katie, kindly replied to my email, my baby and me were welcome to join and she would add me to the mailing list for details of the next session which was due to begin mid September. Within a couple of days I received two emails and learned enough about the group to get excited.

Friday evening I received an email from a member of the group to say that Katie was in intensive care at the hospital.

On Sunday she died.

I read the email and felt a sudden sense of loss, I couldn’t help but shed a tear for a lady that I don’t even know. I have three emails of words from her, I’ve never spoken to her, she could be 21 or 71 for all I know. Yet I woke up this morning feeling sad and down.

Can you grieve for someone you don’t know?

Last night I asked my sister the same question, she said yes. When someone famous dies sometimes there are public displays of mourning, I’m picturing the scenes when Princess Diana died, people lining the streets with flowers as her motorcade passed by. When Michael Jackson died there were specialist phone lines set up for fans to speak to counsellors about their feelings. My sister mentioned that a massive online community grew from mourning the loss of Heath Ledger, so young and so absurdly talented. The thing is, I don’t know anything about Katie, was she super talented, young or old, does she have a family of her own?

I felt that it was fitting for me to write a tribute to Katie and to thank her for being so kind to me when I really needed company and a distraction from what I consider to be a boring life. Thank you for reminding me how precious it is.

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