Dear Lavender

Dear Lavender,

I don’t remember our last conversation.

When I left the office I was in the throws of mania, I’d lost all sense of self and reality and life had turned into a blurry upside down mess. When I think of you, I think of a small woman yet an absolute force of nature. I remember you having a heart of gold, an intense mumma bear love for your children and an admirable willingness to stand up and fight for what you believed in, no matter what.

It’s been around eight years since we last spoke but you’ve been on my mind a lot lately. Getting that message from you the other day meant so much, I needed that and you knew it. Thank you.

You mentioned you had thought I was diplomatic and a peacemaker, I didn’t know you had recognised that quality in me, that job took so much from me and I feel I should have been more supportive of you and others and less in my head so that it was nice to hear that sentiment.

You also mentioned me being on the receiving end of your iconic sharp tongue a few times. I know that is true, but I want you to know I didn’t take it personally, all my insecurities weren’t surrounding your comments. I guess I could feel you had demons too and that was oddly comforting in a time when I was finally being forced to begin confronting my own.

We had so much in common, yet we never really had the opportunity at the time to find those things out about each other. We probably could have been good friends, maybe if I had just been more authentic and talked a little less and you had been more receptive and talked a little more.

Despite the fact we didn’t get to know each other on a deeper level, you were the most impactful person I met at that work place. If I’m brutally honest, your choices after I left impacted me so intensely that we would not have attempted to take our life in the manner we did had you not made them and yet ironically, had you not made them, I probably wouldn’t still be here to write this now.

It’s one of those bizarre butterfly effect scenarios where it seems only one of us was destined to survive that year, and in the end it was you who drew the short straw.

I didn’t realise just how alike we were until you died. A parallel version of myself was reflected by every speaker at your service. In some ways it’s as though your death both gave me permission to die and subsequently allowed me to live. It was left up to the hands of the universe and I walked away as the earth reclaimed you.

When I got cancer anyway, I couldn’t help but wonder if things didn’t happen the wrong way around. Our positions could have so easily been reversed, perhaps the universe made an error and now eight kids would lose their mothers instead of four.

Thank you for being you, sharp tongue and all. I guess I’ll see you again quite soon after all. Perhaps then we can catch up over a cuppa and finally see what friends we might have been.

Love always,

Kate

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