Thank you for being a friend
Traveled down a road and back again
Your heart is true, you’re a pal and a confidant
Thank you Kate for being my friend. For being a little ray of sunshine in my inbox or direct messages. For travelling down many roads and back again. Your heart was indeed true, you will always be a pal and you certainly were a confidant.
The theme song to the Golden Girls has been swirling around my head since I shared a gif of the girls in a group hug on twitter recently, in a conversation about Kate. I like to think that maybe in our dotage some of us might become a new group of Golden Girls. Kate, you would obviously be Blanche Devereaux.
I can’t believe how much I have missed you popping up on my timeline in the past few weeks since you died. Since you bloody died. I still can’t believe it. I had been driving all day so hadn’t been on social media and seen the news breaking. It was a DM from Alice who was worried about my fragile mental health at that stage hoping I was okay after “hearing the news about Kate” that made me then go to Facebook and find out what the hell was happening.
I must have gasped out loud as my lovely mum in law sitting next to me on the sofa said “what’s happened?” and I blurted out that my friend had died. I called Mr B and said “Kate’s died” to which he replied:
“Kate’s done what?”
Exactly. Done what? That can’t be right. You can’t have died. You had just shared pics on Instagram of your first hydrotherapy session. Of your elbow being better. A blog post about Match.com. People like you don’t die on a Monday afternoon, Kate.
I immediately went into a state that I had only experienced once before. Of complete disbelief. That this couldn’t possibly be happening and it would all be over in a day or two. The time before was after the tsunami in 2004 when it looked like we had lost two friends, Sam and Debbie. We all thought then that it couldn’t be true. Glued to the TV for news of their being safe I pretty much didn’t move for a week. That they were fine and that it was just taking a while for a message to reach the outside the world.
The message never came. It was confirmed a couple of months later (it had taken that long to formally identify them) that they had died. That there was no longer any point in holding out of hope of Sam walking into the office and shouting “all right, despos?” as we hoped he would.
I keep feeling the same about you, Kate. That you have just gone off on some massive adventure. Some incredible three week date with with no wifi.
But it’s not going to happen is it? You died of a stroke and you aren’t coming back.
The pic above was taken in March last year when we were on a Harry Potter tour of London as guests of Travelodge. We did the bus tour, stopping off at various landmarks that had featured in the films, and then were being put up in a hotel over night. You were with a chap you had been seeing for a few months and we suggested all going out for dinner. Your reply was that “I have got a hotel room, I am not going to bloody waste it” and you did that really naughty laugh.
I bloody loved your embracing life, Kate. You grabbed it with both hands. Which is why #BeMoreWitWitWoo was born (thought up by a clever blogger called Katie). I gentle reminder to us all to do the same.
On a press trip to a holiday cottage in Devon we discovered there was a hot tub. You were one of the first in but I didn’t have a swimming costume:
Just get in wearing your pants and bra, T
So I did, we all did. I think at one point there were 11 of us in there, with our glasses being topped up by HPMQ. This just summed you up, there was a hot tub, dont let the lack of a swimming costume stop you getting in, or worry what people might say or think. Just bloody do it.
It was the great Maya Angelou who said
I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
You made us feel amazing, Kate. You made us feel we could share the selfie. The pic of us in a bikini. The bare midriff. That people wouldn’t recoil in horror. That we were all gorgeous. We will never forget how you made us feel about ourselves, Kate. Not ever.
May you now be resting in peace, or making the most of a comfy bed for ever more.
Thank you for being my friend.
Kate’s son, Ben, set up a crowdfunding page for Kate’s funeral, which was smashed within hours. The page is still live though as her family will need cash to get them through the next few months. If you can donate, even a small amount, it will make a big difference:
Today is the day of Kate’s funeral. If you can’t make it, or didn’t know Kate, maybe you could join in and raise a glass, a mug of tea, a cup of something from Costa (where Kate would often hang out and make use of the wifi) at 3pm and share it online using #BeMoreWitWitWoo so that everybody can come together.