I started writing this post almost 3 years ago, and for reasons now unknown to me, I never finished writing it.
On 20 February (2012) I received a text from one of my best friends telling me that Catrin had been killed in a car crash. I had to read it several times before I really took in what it said, and was able to reply. Later that night I was on her facebook page reading all the messages from her friends who were also in a state of shock.
(Yesterday) I went to her funeral, along with what appeared to be a few hundred other people. Every seat in the church was taken, people were standing at the back, and there were still quite a lot of us outside, listening to the service through additional speakers.
I didn’t know Catrin particularly well: in fact I’d only really started gatting to know her about 6 months before she died. But I really liked her and wish I’d known her better. She was really optimistic and happy without being in-your-face peppy. She volunteered in Mexico with an organisation called Therapies Unite, and they have posthumously named the first swimming club after her (Catrin’s Penguins). She loved to dance, and I was in awe of her natural talent. She was determined and brave, and just made everything she did seem like no big deal.
She was a good egg, and the world is poorer without her.
Dad knew Catrin before I did: he trained her in Pony Club for a few years and was always interested in what she was up to (like he was with all of them). I’m pretty sure seeing him cry in her funeral is the only time I’ve ever known him to cry.
She is Gone
You can shed tears that she is gone
or you can smile because she has lived.
You can close your eyes and pray that she’ll come back
or you can open your eyes and see all that she’s left.
Your heart can be empty because you can’t see her
or you can be full of the love you shared.
You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday
or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday.
You can remember her and only that she’s gone
or you can cherish her memory and let it live on.
You can cry and close your mind,
be empty and turn your back
or you can do what she’d want:
smile, open your eyes, love and go on.