Hello Friday people…
I hope you’ll forgive me this week as I use this Friday with Heidi to talk about one of our campers who very sadly died on Thursday morning.
I accept it’s not my usual approach to a newsletter, but bear with me, there’s a lesson that I’ve taken from this desperately sad time.
Kay Collier-Jeremy was 48 years old and has been a Winnersh Fit Camper since the very early days. She’s been with me for 9 years and, is probably, my longest serving female client.
She loved a burpee and a spiderman-crawl and was never afraid to take the tougher options when it came to improving herself.
Early last year she was diagnosed with a rare kidney cancer and despite having a kidney removed, and returning to some normality afterwards, she soon became ill again in the autumn and never really left hospital for any length of time from November onwards.
It was rapid and destructive and I hope she didn’t suffer too much.
I last saw her on 19 November.
I know that for sure as I’d been to visit my sister and her new baby at the maternity unit and then went downstairs to see Kay on her ward. She was walking about as normal, despite being on a drip, and was ensuring she was active about the ward as she was bored and wanted to go home. It was a very normal Kay. It was just that she was in a nightie, with a drip.
That was 11 weeks ago.
When I heard the news on Sunday that she’d been moved to the hospice I felt an overwhelming regret that I’d never told her how much she’d inspired me. What I’d learned from her with her approach to life and business and how proud I was for her with her successes.
I decided to text her phone anyway. I didn’t expect a reply but I really wanted to let her know.
I am not too proud to tell you that I could barely read my screen as I typed it. I was crying so much. I was crying that I’d missed an opportunity to tell someone in life what they meant to me, how they inspired me and how much I appreciated them. And I vowed that I wasn’t going to let it happen again.
So in her dying Kay has left me a very precious gift.
One of being open and vulnerable to speaking my feelings. To sharing how I truly feel about someone and letting them know, when they are vibrant and able to receive it, rather than sending a text or email at the end of life.
Does this mean I’ll be love-bombing you all?!
Maybe, maybe not. But I am not going to hold back.
I may tell you how much you inspire me, or how your effort makes me proud, or maybe even how much I love you. It’s not about reciprocity, it’s about me letting you know how important you are to me. You could do the same and pass it on to someone who does the same for you.
So I’ll leave you with a photo or two of our friend and colleague who we’ll all miss terribly. But we also know she would tell us to get on with it without any fuss.
I’ll arrange a celebration fund raiser for Kay later it the Spring. I do hope you’ll be able to join us.
Hug someone close today. Tell them why you love them so.