This is the last message my friend shared with the world. On Sunday, the 24th of March, she posted this picture. Shared it with everyone she knew on facebook. Sometime between eleven that morning, and the following Tuesday afternoon, she died. Her mother found her, long since gone cold, and nothing could be done.
I hadn’t communicated with her since the previous Thursday. That was nothing odd. We would have radio silence between us for weeks, sometimes months, but we always shared things with each other. On Monday, I found this tumblr post about a large cat, and asked her if it was a cousin to her two. For all I know, she was already dead when I sent it.
There is a huge amount of Woulda-Coulda-Shoulda about this. I could have kept up a conversation. I should have asked how her day was.
I can’t have known if there was anything wrong with her. She approached health problems with the same indomitability as a Mallee bull. I thought she’d be indestructible.
I thought wrong.
She was on the cusp of breaking through to something better. She’d thrown off her abusive ex, she’d started a small business, she’d even got a diagnosis as a fellow autiste. There were impending good times coming. We even had plans to meet up in August because she was attending a wedding.
She was planning to attend a wedding.
That’s what gets my goat about all of this. Life was just starting to get fair for her. The winds of change were blowing her way, and then… her light was snuffed out.
I get hung up on the most ridiculous things. Like how I repeatedly failed to pass on a TARDIS pendant to her because of various stuff-ups. I mislaid it, I forgot about it, I forgot to pack it… It was ludicrous. And now I don’t know whether it’s ‘right’ to pass it on to a family who has little to no truck with it, the show she loved, or what it could have meant to her if only I hadn’t been a forgetful idiot.
What can I say about her? Those who loved her were true friends, because she was… sometimes difficult to love. Competitive, brusque, rough around the edges, tough as nails, and sometimes dismissive of others. She was also loyal, loving, ferociously protective, concerned for the more helpless creatures in this world, and dismissive of her own internal scars. She was well worth knowing. She was a character.
She called me “the cat whisperer” at times because my visits brought a change in her normally antisocial felines. I turned one into an outright showboat and had worked a similar magic on the other. Last I heard, “the panther” was growing less scared of company that wasn’t my friend.
She called me lots of other things, but this is supposed to be some form of eulogy. You’re supposed to speak well of the dead.
She was a magnificent character. When we did share airspace, we came up with some awesome things, like the Academy Saga. We fissioned ideas, many of which will never be finished. We plotted mischief and I learned so much from her.
Without her in my life… I’d have never learned to stand up against casual bullshit before it became a mountain that caused a breakdown. I’d have never started watching Death in Paradise. I’d have not grown a spine – such of it that I have… and I would not have worked so hard on my cursing habit.
From henceforth… without her… my life may be a lot less interesting.
Go with the Prophets, Friendo. You are sorely missed here in this life.
 My term for Autistic Person. I am also one, I can make up whatever terms I like.