The cancer community, vast and ever-present, is one initially thrown together by circumstance; forged in fear and shaped by grief. At first, we cling to one another in the desperate hope that being around those in whose footsteps we blindly stumble might somehow lessen the gravity of the burden we each carry so confusedly.
Lucy was a beacon.
No one is prepared for the journey, and all we can do is look to those travelling with us for some guidance, clinging to those rare and remarkable individuals who somehow illuminate the darkness with their own light.
But, like a lotus from the mud, something new and beautiful can grow; weaving its way unwaveringly and unapologetically skywards. With love, patience and perseverance, our collective trauma (whilst still awful) can give life to the truly extraordinary.
Lucy was a gardener.
She planted the seed on October 16th 2018, bringing together a handful of people, myself included, in a Whatsapp group. Carving out a space online, she created somewhere within which we could be entirely vulnerable and upfront about the challenges we were facing as young cancer patients.
She tended to our seedling with a determination and commitment rarely witnessed in this vast and confusing thing we call existence, and it not only survived; it flourished.
More and more names were added to our circle, each bringing with them new insights and new struggles. We shared our worries and our dreams. Photos and videos were sent. Blogs were swapped (and you can read Lucy’s here). Our daily conversations traversed the fathomless lows and mountainous highs of our individual lives; from the heartbreaking to the hilarious. Some even met in person, sharing these moments with the rest of us who looked longingly and lovingly on from behind our screens. Our lotus bloomed.
Lucy was a fighter.
I don’t mean just for animal rights nor conservation – about which she was fiercely passionate. I mean that, despite battling her own lymphoma cancer, which had first reared its ugly head in March 2018 and continued to bewilder and enrage us all with its reoccurrence, Lucy never faltered in her support for others.
Whether from a hospital bed, hooked up to any number of medications in that moment, or from her own home, curled up in her PJs and in beloved canine company, you always knew she would be there with words of encouragement, a sassy meme or simply to listen as you cried.
Lucy passed away last night.
Lucy, you touched all of our lives in more ways than I can count. You brought light to the darkest of times. You made us smile when we feared we would never smile again. You shared your deepest truths with us, and in turn gave us the courage to share our own. You showed us love, and it was returned ten fold by each of us who were so glad that we had met you. We love you.
Lucy was a badass babe.
Lucy was our friend.
Lucy will live on in us.