Covid-19 is responsible for so much heartache for so many people and yet I felt, with huge gratitude, I had scraped through fairly unscathed - until I discovered a beautiful young woman I worked with before the first lockdown, aged only 31, had sadly passed away. We will never know for sure, but the implications suggest that if we weren't fighting a pandemic, it wouldn't have happened.
When someone you know dies before their time, it certainly plays on your mind for some time. You think about their family and how you would cope in the same situation. You think of yourself, being close to the same age, and consider your own mortality. You think of all the things that person will never experience and it makes you want to run out and make the most of every day because you don't know how many you will have left. It makes you worry about the mortality of all the people you love. So many people have been fit and well one minute, and sadly gone in the blink of an eye. Now is the time to tell those closest to you what they mean to you.
I definitely don't shy away from saying I love you, but even so, now I hug a little tighter and a little longer. I never take anyone for granted and though I haven't been able to visit as many people as I'd like, I like to think they all know I care about them deeply.
As a writer, all life experience is important, especially recognising how you feel and how others react in circumstances that are new to you. Whatever you feel, sadness, happiness, elation, pride, envy, anxiety, jealousy, desire - capture it and write it down. It will come in useful to look back at your journal or diary when writing about a character experiencing the same feelings.
You brightened any room that you were in with your beautiful smile and infectious laugh. You were always cheerful and had time for anybody that needed you. I wish I had known you better and for longer. It was a pleasure and an honour to work with you and I'm sure wherever you are, you have your bright lipstick on and pretty nails.
Sleep tight lovely lady.
Love from Nicola