28 December 2014

Flora: A Bereavment

Firstly I hope that you all had a wonderful Christmas and that you are enjoying the holidays. I've had a great time making the most of having my nearest and dearest nearby, trying to spend as much time as possible with them before things get hectic again in the new year. I also got hit with a really bad cold/flu/bug thing which uncharacteristically knocked me down for quite a few days, which is also why I've been silent on the old blogging front. But another reason is one that I'm mainly going to be talking about in this post today. 

Let's cut to the chase. 

On Monday 8th December, at 9:20am I lost someone very dear to me. Her name was Flora, and she was one of my oldest childhood friends.

It's taking me this long to figure out what I wanted to say after getting over the shock of her passing, but I feel like I'm ready to talk about it and let the words flow out. 

I knew Flora for most of my life; I can't remember exactly when or where I met her, but she lived just down the road from my house, where I have lived for 15 years. I remember her coming to my birthday parties and how we got on so well. I remember being told that she had CF (Cystic Fibrosis), which is a genetic disorder that mainly affects the lungs, making breathing difficult. I remember her being in and out of hospital and feeling relieved when she pulled through each time. 

I remember hearing the news she had passed away. I was doing my last blog post in fact, and had just published it. I had gone on Facebook to promote it and while scrolling down my feed saw the status that had been posted on her account. I must have sat there for at least 10 minutes re-reading it as I kept telling myself it wasn't real. When my parents came in they explained that they had seen a lot of cars outside Flora's house and had thought the worst, but decided not to say anything to me as they didn't want me worrying in case it was nothing. After they left me, things got a bit hazy as I tried to come to terms with what had happened.

Now before I continue, I need to make it clear that I wasn't her best friend. I would never claim a role like that if it wasn't true. However, she was a constant beam of light in my life. We would check in on each other now and again to make sure we were both well, and I watched her grow into an inspiring, beautiful young woman. I looked up to her, not just because she was older and wiser than me, but because despite her illness, she never let it get her down. She made sure she lived life to the full each day, and achieved as much as she could in a short amount of time. One of the last conversations we had consisted of her telling me how she wanted to try her hand at acting and join a drama group. I was so thrilled to hear that, and I hope she got a chance to try it out. 

I have suffered bereavements before, losing a couple of friends and my grandma in the past 10 years. But this time it was different. I think its because in the past she had always got better, and from a young age I came to think that would always happen. I definitely do not want any sympathy for myself- all sympathy goes to her family who lost someone very special this month. But I do want to thank my parents for helping me get over the shock, and showing me that she would want me to move onwards and upwards, to carry on her belief of making the most of every day and to do everything bigger and better than before. I want to thank my friends for putting up with me not being my usual cheery self 24/7 and for endless supplies of hugs. And I want to thank a very special someone who dropped everything after he finished work that night, came and picked me up and hugged me until I stopped crying. That person who has been my rock since her death, for making me smile when I feel low, and when I thought I saw her at a Bombay Bicycle Club concert two weeks ago, helped me hold back the tears . You know who you are.

Thank you Flora for letting me be a part of your life. Thank you for showing me how to live my life without stressing about the small things but by looking at the bigger picture. You are inspirational, kind, loving, and I shall miss your smile and constant happiness. Thank you for making me a better person.

Rest In Peace, Flora



  1. This is so heartbreaking Georgie. I'm so sorry. Cystic Fibrosis is horrible. One of my best friends has it and she seems to be very similar to Flora. She constantly was one of the fittest girls in school and by looking at her you wouldn't know there's anything wrong. But then I've seen all the hospital appointments, the daily physio, the constant breathing machines and the enzymes that have to be consumed before every single meal.

    It's such a horrible illness to live with and if any good can come from this awful situation, it's that she no longer has to deal with that.

    Regardless, it is heartbreaking and Flora sounds like an absolute inspiration and a lovely personality.

    My thoughts are with her family and friends and I wish I could give you a hug <3

    Katie <3

    1. Thank you so much Katie! This really means a lot, yes I'm taking the fact that she isn't suffering anymore as a step towards accepting she's gone. I know her family would appreciate your sweet words. A virtual hug will do until I next see you :) <3