There are some things in life we so desperately don’t want to be true, and yet they are. On Wednesday night I learnt that a good friend of mine, Liv, had lost her fight with her inner demons, and had taken her own life. I will be writing about my feelings and grief separately, probably on my other blog about grief. I want to dedicate this post to Liv and the wonderful woman she was and will always be remembered as.
My heart is completely broken. I can’t process the fact you’re gone and I’ll never see you again. I’ll never hear from you again. You were one of the best friends I’ve ever had. We only ever had the chance to meet once in this lifetime, in 2012, at the last Westlife concert we both went to. But I knew you for over twelve years… I forget exactly how long, but I knew you as long, if not longer than I knew my best friend. We were on a forum together – I adopted you as my ‘Little Sister’. Kiran was my ‘Purple Pot Plant’ and Lanny was my ‘Sparkly Donkey’. Oh such silly times! We bonded over our shared love of Westlife. We started a thread about them, and always defended them against those who said it wasn’t ‘cool’ to like Westlife.
You were always so supportive of me. I forget whether I was ever as helpful to you as you were to me. I don’t know if it’s normal to remember the love you received from someone, and to think you never did enough for them in return… We’d always chat about things, if not giving support then talking about Westlife – it was our shared hobby!
One day we decided to add each other on Facebook, and suddenly we could put a face to a name. You became a real person to me, and I to you. I remember you saying ‘You are very beautiful x’…. I just wish you could have seen your own beauty and what an incredible person you were inside and out. You called me ‘Lovely Lily’… to me you were and always will be ‘Lovely Liv’. I’m so sad I have to live the rest of my life without you here.
You always gave such brilliant advice if I needed someone objective to talk to, and you never once made me feel like a burden. You had such a giving, kind and generous spirit, that you’ll be remembered for… I just wish life had been kinder to you. You deserved the very best in life. It always rains hardest on those who deserve the sun.
You are the only person who was ever consistently there for me through everything. The only person who never once gave up on me. You always saw the good in me, even when I couldn’t see it in myself. You understood my illness and never thought badly of me for it. Thank you.
On the first anniversary of my first loss, you were the only person who said anything to me, to let me know I wasn’t alone. I spoke for too long about ‘nobody being there for me’, and because I closed my account at the time, I forgot that you were… I didn’t put enough emphasis on the fact that you were the only one there for me. I’ll never forget the part you played in my life and how you never let me down.
You were the one person who never made me feel invisible. You frequently said you read all my blogs and watched the videos I made. You kept encouraging me to write about my feelings – that my blog was my space to be myself and write my truth, and that others can choose to read it or not. Whenever I felt discouraged you would always know what to say to get me to open up again. I will keep writing, for you… I just wish you were still here to read my posts and talk to me.
I feel so alone now. After losing my best friend from my life, you were the one I was closest to. The one who talked to me and commented on things I posted. I feel empty without you. It feels pointless being online, as nobody talks to me… nobody will care as much as you did. I feel so lonely and broken, and I don’t have you to turn to anymore.
You were the one who helped me through my grief. You used your experience to tell me what to watch for, how to treat myself and to reach for help if I needed it. You were full of so much compassion and empathy, something I wish you could’ve shown to yourself more. I wish you were here now. I need your guidance and words to help me deal with the loss of you. I have nobody else to guide me through this. It’s new territory for me too. I’ve never lost anyone to suicide. It’s throwing out new emotions for me. It’s scary. I don’t know how to get through it, not without you.
I saw you in 2012 at Westlife, and I was set to see you on the 14th June to see them again, together this time… we would’ve been in the front row for the first time ever… we were so excited to be going together. You said you couldn’t think of anyone you’d rather be going with. I felt the same. Now I don’t know if I can go… not without you. You should be there. I have nobody else to go with now. It was hard enough to have to go and see them, as I used to go with my best friend… this would’ve been the first time not going with her. But I was okay, because I was going with you, another super-fan! Now I have to go alone or not at all. My life is very small… it’s been getting smaller for the last couple of years. I’m heartbroken you won’t be there with me if I go.
I can’t believe how excited we were…. we were planning to meet before the concert to have something to eat or look around. The original plan was to find somewhere halfway between where we both live and catch up a few weeks before, but that changed to being on the day. I wish we’d met up now. I never got to see you a second time. And you’ll never see Westlife again. I know some would say I have to see them for you. That you would want me to go and to enjoy it… I just don’t feel that way yet. My world is in chaos without you now. I feel lost, confused and too broken and numb to look forward to something like that now. Just seeing about their tour makes me start crying again.
I’m so sorry that you were in that much pain to do something like that. I wish I had known. I should have known. But I was too wrapped up in my own despair – that I wasn’t really talking about either. My mental health had really slipped in the previous couple of weeks. I’m sure there must have been signs you were not okay. I feel so guilty for missing them.
I was in shock when I found out… I thought you were so happy. You were the happiest I’d seen you in a long time. You had your new job that you were so proud to have. You’d moved house. You had your partner and your doggy who you loved to pieces. It wasn’t fair that this had happened at the best time of your life. I couldn’t understand it. But that’s the thing with mental illness… we often can’t see what’s going on underneath it all. I have no doubt that you were happy. That was real. You’d found love, a purpose, a place in the world. Maybe your demons told you that you didn’t deserve any of it. Who knows? That’s the worst part about it. I’ll never know the reasons. Suicide leaves people with so many unanswered questions. It’s a different sort of grief. Nothing can prepare you for that.
Lovely Liv… you had such an impact on this world in your short life. I hope you know that. You can see it through the outpouring of grief and love online… on Facebook, on Twitter – you trended on Twitter on Wednesday… that’s how loved and valued you were. You touched so many lives and your passing has brought together so many people, with a shared appreciation of everything you are and everything you’ve done. All our hearts are broken as one. Your memory will live on forever. You were a great advocate for mental health and did so much work with the police, talking about your experiences of being detained, and your suicide attempts in the past. You only have to see the tributes from the police force and all those in the mental health community, to see how valuable you were to them, and they will make sure they use what you taught them, to make improvements in the future for others… that will be your legacy.
I wish this hadn’t happened. I wish you were still here. I’d do anything to have you back. A part of me is missing. You can’t ever be replaced in my heart. There will never be anyone like you. You had a fantastic sense of humour, you were a clever, beautiful, special and inspirational woman. I was lucky to have met you, and so proud to call you my friend. You gave me hope and kept me going. You were my rock. And I don’t know if I ever told you the words ‘I love you’… but I did, I do and I always will xx
You couldn’t find peace and love yourself in life. I hope in Heaven, with your mum by your side you find that peace, and know only love. I’ll miss you forever, and though it hurts too much right now, I’ll try and live for you, knowing you’ll be by my side and always in my heart. Rest in peace Lovely Liv. Sleep tight my wonderful friend, until we meet again.