Today is the 2nd year anniversary since Cancer took you from us. Two years and the wounds of losing you has not remotely healed. In truth, I don’t think it ever will.
Although I talk to you in my mind every day, I have never written you a letter. Shocking really when you think of it as most of my life is spent with me typing away on my laptop. I’ve actually found this process rather cathartic, I should write letters to you more often. You were always such a good listener, it was one of the many things I admired about you darling.
You would have been 21 now, happy birthday by the way. I started to think about what you would have done for your birthday, the plans you’d have made, the presents you’d have asked for, the hauls you would have done, what you would have worn. You’d have looked amazing, you always did. No doubt you would have proudly presented a new designer handbag on your YouTube channel.
Funny, I once fancied myself the ultimate Handbag Queen, but then I met you and I had to gracefully abstain from my throne and hand the crown over to you. But you were far more deserving of that title than I could have ever been. I’m still nowhere near to owning that Chloe bag I kept telling you about. One day Charlotte, one day.
I finished my Masters Degree, finally! I cannot tell you how much blood, sweat and tears went into writing my dissertation. But, it was sheer, unparalleled relief when it all came to and end. But now I just feel…oddly empty.
People keep asking me what I want to do with my life now that I have a Masters Degree. But, I’ve reached a crossroads in my life; I don’t know which path to turn on. A part of me keeps telling myself to make the most of my life, to not let a day go to waste. Loosing you made me realise how precious life is and how I need to use it well. But Charlotte, which path should I now walk on? I know you’d tell me simply to do the things I loved and to just be happy. You’d tell me to stick at my passions and not let anything or anyone deter me.
I’ve still got my sights set on becoming an author and nothing will ever change that. In fact I’ve been casually working on a story for a while now (well one of them). My main character is inspired by you, she’s kind, she’s brave, she wants to make a difference and she really has got her act together. Also like you did she’s fighting her own demons, only hers aren’t Glioblastoma like yours were.
You’ll be pleased to know I’m finally getting to grips with the art of sticking up for myself and not to be “taken for a ride.” Although I’m not up to you standards yet, you were always so much more adept at this than I am. Yet you always managed to stick up for yourself with the right amount of grace you needed to muster. I’m still learning but I will get there one day…I hope!
I’m trying to make a life for myself. But it is hard, loosing you picked me up and shook me to my very core. It left me shell-shocked, I never expected to be saying goodbye to you so soon. In my heart I always wanted to imagine us as two old grannies, drinking tea and putting the world to rights.
Charlotte I wish I could have seen you pass your driving test. I know how much you were looking forward to learning to drive and getting your dream car. I wish I could have congratulated you when your channel reached 2 million views. I wish we could have matured into adulthood together, I wish you were here to listen to my horrific tales of dates gone wrong. I wish cancer hadn’t taken you,
Each day I find little reminders of you. I think of you when I pass a stall of flowers, I think of you when I take a sip of tea from my Emma Bridgewater Mug and I think of you when I see a picture of Brighton Pier.
I haven’t been back to Brighton since that day I visited you there. I will return there one day soon and when I go I’ll eat hot donuts on the beach and play penny falls like we did that day. But it won’t be the same without you.
One of your wishes came true, remember you said you wanted to start a cancer charity? Well guess what? Your amazing family and friends have only gone and done it! You’d be so proud of them; they’re doing splendidly with the charity, your charity, Charlotte’s Bag. Brilliant name, right? Someday soon I promise I’ll do something to raise money for the charity, a sponsored zip wire perhaps. Can you imagine what I’ll look like? I’ll be a frightful sight speeding through the air with a helmet stuck on my head and limbs waving in all directions. But if it raises money to help battle Glioblastoma then I’ll do it!
I wish I could have done more for you Charlotte, I wish I could have taken away your pain, I wish I could have fought the demons that you faced each waking moment. I’m sorry I couldn’t do that for you. A friend is supposed stick up for you, but your demons didn’t take on a physical shape for me to hit.
You deserved so much more than what life gave you. Despite this you gave so much more, your heart, your soul and your words. You gave a little piece of yourself to the world every time you made a video. I’m so proud of you and what you did; don’t ever think that your words didn’t have an impact. Because believe me, they did. Your footprint is forever etched in the sands of my mind and the minds of many others.
Charlotte I promise you, you’ll never be forgotten. You’re going to live on in the hearts of everyone you touched, your family, your friends and the subscribers who hold so much love and admiration for the wonderful girl you were. We will never let your story be forgotten.
Your passing made me start to think about what lies after death. I like to think that when my time is up I’ll go to a heaven of my own making, one created from my imagination. Mine would be a bookshop, full of leather bound tomes, with a little coffee shop for good measure. But, I imagine your idea of heaven is a department store, all marbled floors and gleaming counters. You’re probably there right now hanging out with Audrey Hepburn, sipping on a glass of wine. You were the sophisticated one in our little duo after all.
Despite all its faults and its many changes in the way it works these days I will forever be grateful for YouTube. I met you through it and the friendship we forged is one that I’ll never forget. Part of me is inwardly cringing right now for sounding so awfully cliché, but I mean it. Our friendship has truly changed me as a person in so many ways and I’m very honoured to have been able to call you my friend. I hope you know that.
I had a dream about you a while ago, we were in a handbag boutique. You were acting as the enabler, coaxing me into splashing out on a delightful Prada bag…where I had the money to buy this bag in my dream I will never know. It was a wonderful dream; we talked for ages about so many things. It was one of those dreams that I never wanted to awaken from. I haven’t dreamed about you since then and I will my mind every night to return to you. I hope it does soon, there in the realms of my dreams we can meet again.
Yet I know I must not dwell on dreams, I know I must live for now and make each day count, for you as well as me. I will, I promise you that. But, just know that wherever life takes me, I will always keep a part of you with me.
Your ever loving friend.