An ordinary life....

By Damnonii

For Ann-M

My friend Ann M died last night.  I am so, so sad about that.  I received the news from her daughter K this morning.  
It wasn’t unexpected. She’s been declining since March. She had a liver transplant three years ago (medication she was on for rheumatoid arthritis destroyed her liver) and recovered well but in March this year she started rejecting it. She’s been in and out of hospital with various infections since. 

She’d been in hospital since November, fighting another infection, and had a mini stroke on Christmas Eve. She refused to go to ICU and signed a DNR. She’d had enough.
We have a messenger group and daughter K let us know on Christmas Day that things were not looking good. She said if anyone wanted to send voice messages she’d play them to her mum. It’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do but I’m so glad I did it as K says her mum loved all the messages and they made her laugh.  Ann was not a soppy, sentimental person and I am sure the majority of messeges would have been irreverent and teasing with a loving undertone…just what she would have wanted.

Despite being friends for 14 years, we never actually met in person (we met on an online forum)  She and another friend Karen, were supposed to come up  and stay with me for a girl’s weekend in May 2020 but covid put an end to that.  I am so sorry it did.
Despite never having met, Ann meant a great deal to me, we shared many things that at times were just too difficult to share with family and needed someone one step removed from our personal situations.  I could always trust her advice.  And of course we shared many, many laughs.  
She was a huge fan of my painting and very, very supportive of all my  creative efforts.  She was always on at me to set up my own website and get selling.  From her hospital bed in the High Dependency Unit in November , she sent me a link to a website she’d set up for me that I could play about with to see what it might look like.  I was so touched.  Even in her darkest hours she was always thinking of others.  It was a privilege to create a Wee Chookie Birdie for her earlier this year and I take comfort from knowing how much it made her laugh.
I don’t quite know how to describe her.  There really aren’t the words to encompass how amazing she was.  She was definitely a one off.  Fiercely intelligent, determined, a champion of the underdog, especially  underprivileged and challenging teens.  

She was a brilliant and inspiring teacher, changing the lives of many of the children and young people she taught, for the better..  They adored her. She was utterly fearless and had no respect for jobsworths and could smell bullshit at a thousand paces and call it out with style. She also had the most wicked sense of humour and potty mouth.  Outspoken and at times completely inappropriate with hilarious consequences, and we loved her all the more for it.
The world will be a darker, sadder and colder place without this beautiful woman’s laughter and light, but I am so glad she is no longer suffering.  We may never have met in real life but our love and respect for each other is proof that online friendships are just as valid and important as real life friendships.
 RIP Ann M x
 P.S. Two strange but lovely things have happened in connection with Ann’s passing .  After I sent my recorded message to Ann on my phone, I inadvertently clicked the music icon on my phone.  I’d been listening to Christmas music via my phone in the study the day before, but the song that started playing was Mark Knopfler and Emmy Lou Harris’ beautiful song If this is Goodbye.  I have no explanation for how that came to play as it’s at least a year since I listened to the All the Roadrunning album and I am unlikely to have listend to it on my phone as I very rarely listen to music this way.

Then this morning after listening to K’s message telling me her mum has passed away, I went on to FB and the first thing to pop up was an FB memory from this date in 2011 , which was my status and it read, “Copy and paste if you have enjoyed the blessing of people online that you would never have met in any other way.  This is my end of year shout out to the many friends I have never been in the same room with but who have inspired, amused, comforted, encouraged and touched me in so many ways.  I love you people!  Here’s to another year together.”  

Bizarre but lovely.  And that second part could also extend to all my lovely blip pals here, some of whom I have had the pleasure of meeting and becoming real life friends with, but equally just as valid a friendship with those Blip Pals who remain living in my computer.  I am thankful for each and every one of you xx




Sign in or get an account to comment.