Happy Friday again. Hope you are doing well. This week I’d like to dedicate this blog to Charlotte Kitley, a writer for the Huffington Post UK and blogger of http://lifeasasemi-colon.blogspot.co.uk/.
If I am being perfectly honest, I hadn’t heard about Charlotte or read any of her work until after she passed away a few weeks ago. I actually happened to be scrolling through status updates on Facebook when I stumbled upon a Huffington Post recommendation to read the last article she wrote; well more accurately, her husband posted her last words after she passed away. You can find her last post in its entirety here http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/charlotte-kitley/bowel-cancer-charlotte-kitley_b_5836238.html
Something about the title, “And so there must come an end”, grabbed hold on my attention and refused to let go until I read it. Her words were so beautiful, so tragic. I was crushed and inspired by what she said all at the same time. The first thing that struck me was the fact she was 36, had a husband and 2 children and was diagnosed with stage 4 bowel cancer. 36, she was 36! Only a few years older than I am right now. She faced the horrible truth that most of us couldn’t bare to think about happening to us; she was told she was going to die. As a mother, I couldn’t imagine the devastation I would feel knowing I would never see my son grow up. “And so I leave a gaping, unjust, cruel and pointless hole… I have so much life I still want to live, but know I won’t have that.”, are her words from the last post she wrote before she passed. By this point in her post, I was already crying, yet sadness was not the message she wanted to portray. Hope and a love of life was her message. “So, in my absence, please, please, enjoy life. Take it by both hands, grab it, shake it and believe in every second of it… Life has a lot of grey and sadness – look for that rainbow and frame it. There is beauty in everything, sometimes you just have to look a little harder to see it.”
I didn’t know this woman before at all, but I found her words inspiring and so brave. Her final thought, besides obviously her love of her family was to remind all the rest of us that life is frail, precious and to never take it for-granted. I am tearing up just thinking about it right now. I am in awe that she didn’t say, ‘why me, why now’ and be angry and resentful- all the emotions I certainly would not fault her for. It is senseless for anyone young and with so much life still yet to live to be taken from this world all too soon. Instead of being bitter, she ended her blog post with humor, “And when you close your curtains tonight, look out for a star, it will be me, looking down, sipping a pina colada, enjoying a box of (very expensive) chocolates.”
I didn’t know her, but her story and her words touched me deeply and for that I felt I had to share her story to spread her message of living and loving life as hard as you can while you can. I hope you will go to her website http://lifeasasemi-colon.blogspot.co.uk/, read her words and maybe they will remind you as they did for me that life is short, most of the time against our will, too short. Never ever, take a single breath for-granted. I treasure every second of this difficult yet profound life. It truly is a gift.
Thank you Charlotte Kitley for sharing your story with me and for your encouraging words. I promise to hold my son a little tighter, a little longer and as often as I can. My thoughts will be with your family and I wish them strength in this very difficult time.
If you want to know more about Charlotte, her bio can be found here- http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/charlotte-kitley/
Thank you for reading and connecting with me again this week. I wish you a very happy weekend, spent with your loved ones, embracing life for all it’s worth.
Until next week.