Thursday 24 May 2012
Farewell dear friend...
I hate that part of funerals. You know, when they carry the coffin or casket into church and place it at the front. Knowing that my dear friend was in that coffin made it doubly hard, as did standing at the front of the church mid-way through the service, with her right beside me, as I talked about the difference she had made to our lives.
Actually it was kind of weird. For most of the service I'd been hiding right at the back, head down, working my way through the tissues, trying to pretend I wasn't there. Then, when it was my turn to speak, it was as if something came over me. I felt an instant sense of composure and calm, of confidence and peace as I walked to the front and placed my notes on the lectern.
Now, I am completely useless at public speaking which is why I never, ever do it. But there I was, animated and composed, reading from my notes and ad-libbing, speaking slowly, clearly and with confidence.
It was truly surreal, it really was. It was as if she was right there beside me, encouraging me, like she did that time she and I went to see the pastor about Ben's socialising problems at church.
This was the first time I have ever stood up in front of a crowd of people and talked about my son's anorexia - and about how S had supported me so much over the past two and a half years.
Three other women I'd never met also talked about how S had influenced their lives, at other times, in other parts of the country and in different ways.
She truly was an amazing woman, even more amazing for defying the odds and living 5 or 6 years longer than medical science said she should have lived.
The support she gave me during the worst part of Ben's battle with anorexia was truly astonishing. Most importantly she took the time to really understand what I was on about. She was the only person I've ever met outside my family and the world of eating disorders that really 'got it'.
I am so privileged to have known her and to have been invited into her life.