Thank you for being my friend

Thank you for being my friend, Kate.

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   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:

Go Fund Me

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.  

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  • Kate’s spirit so beautifully captured in your words, Tanya. I’m not sure when the news will really sink in. Kate will be on my mind today and always in my prayers. With love, Mel x

  • Oh Tanya. This is a perfect post, and thank you for posting it today. I’m a mess having read it but it’s just because I miss her. We all miss her. See you later x

  • Oh T, this is perfect. I can’t believe we are saying a formal goodbye to Kate today. I am grateful that we will support each other today. #BeMoreWitWitWoo is the perfect lifestyle isn’t it?

    • It really is the perfect way to live our lives going forward. Ditto to the support. Lovely that in these saddest of times we can catch up as it has been so long. I think Kate would love that so many people who haven’t chatted for so long are rekindling those friendships. Safe journey.

  • Wow I never knew Kate but she sounds like an amazing person- her legacy will go on & Love the hashtag #BeMoreWitWitWoo!!
    The family should sell tshirt mugs etc with it on could provide them with a. Income & honour Kate’s memory

    • Thanks for your comment Beverley. There are some clever people with those businesses who are doing just that, and Liz at Hope House Press has a gorgeous leather bracelet on sale with all profits going to Kate’s boys. I am sure there will be a huge fundraiser for Kate’s family at some point but we were mindful of letting the family grieve peacefully before we all launched in with ideas. But her legacy will certainly live on.

  • Oh Tanya
    So much love to you. And so sorry to hear about your friends in the Taunami too. I literally only watched The Impossible the other day. My father in law was caught up in it and was thankfully ok, although he’s since sadly passed of a heart attack in his 50’s. Life is bloody cruel and we don’t know why. Thinking of you and Kate’s family today and always.

    • So sorry to hear that your father in law passed away so young . That is no age at all is it? The tsunami was a terrible time for so many people.

      Thanks for your kind words Cassie

  • What a beautiful post about a lady who lit up the world around here. She will be missed by myself and so many others. Such a vibrant, kind and amazing lady. Sending lots of love to you T xxx

  • Beautiful post. She had such an impact on so many people. I still can’t quite believe it.

    • She did, and she will continue to do so. We can keep her alive in our hearts by remembering her sentiment. And of course her real legacy lives on in her gorgeous boys.

  • A lovely tribute from one fine heart to another. And yes the tears came on that paragraph about how Kate made people feel. She changed lives radically and continues to do so. Thinking of you and all who loved her today. The song “I am what I am” keeps coming in my head – my brother died last year and him having that at his humanist funeral helped me come to terms very quickly with his loss. I think the song fits Kate nicely too. Much love to you lovely lady at this really tough time for you and so many

    • Thanks so much Kate. Gosh I had forgotten about that song, but you are so right. It is perfect. So sorry to hear about your brother’s passing. Sending you a big hug

  • That is beautiful. I didn’t know Kate, but now I feel I do. Your post captures the spirit of someone who has touched so many lives. And your special relationship shines through.
    Thank you for sharing your love for someone special.

  • Sorry to read you lost your dear friend. Sounds like she was one hell of a woman! The good ones always go too soon xx