I've been planning to start a blog here for a little while... I did not think my first blog entry would be this...
Poem: “Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep”, By Mary Elizabeth Frye
Picture provided by Sophie's husband James.
I’m writing this blog post in memory of one of the most amazing people I have ever met.
Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there; I do not sleep.
Sophie was known to most of us as Marauder Lady, and she really took that pen name seriously. You’ll be hard pressed to find a single story she wrote that does not have Sirius and Remus (and to a lesser extent Lily and James) in it. Her wonderful imagination provided us all with chapters and chapters of wonderful, fluffy and hilariously funny love stories from our favourite magical world. But it was when she turned her quill to sadder topics that she truly amazed us readers and friends. Just a few simple words are enough to make the strongest reader cry.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow,
In her life outside our little online bubble, Sophie was loved by her family and friends, her mum and her husband James above all others. After studying English literature at College, she became a librarian and really enjoyed her job for those years she was able to do it. Unfortunately, she was diagnosed with Cancer soon after finishing college, but, true to herself, she knew going in that she was going to come out on top. And she did.
And then she did it again.
Until, this last time, finally, her body became too heavy, an obstacle rather than an asset, and she was forced to stay in bed more days than not. Still, she enjoyed every day, even the ones with Chemo. Every time I asked her how the Chemo was going, she’d say “Oh, that. Pshh. I have my Kindle and my music. I don’t even notice the rest.”
I am the sun on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.
Every time she’d stay in hospital, sometimes for pain management, sometimes for running the tiniest bit of a temperature, she’d make it a point to tell everyone who bothered to listen how incredible and amazing and kind the nurses were. She had so much love and appreciation for everyone who walked beside her on her path, even for just a couple of steps.
If I had to describe Sophie in one word, I’d say it was the word “genuine”. She was always truthful, even when it was uncomfortable, always loyal and supportive, always available to lend an ear, cheerful and happy even on her worst days. Sophie was genuinely, honestly, 100% happy for everyone else’s accomplishments, ideas, suggestions, love, even if sometimes it took a great personal toll on her. She put her all into every single thing she did. What energy she had, she put into campaigning for her causes, Cancer Research, equal opportunities for people with disabilities, and Crohn's & Colitis support.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Sophie loved to dance. She was a vibrant soul, one who literally lit up the room whenever she entered. Her music was happy music, and it played in her head and shone out into the world like a bright light leading the way to a smile at every moment. She loved songs like Joyride (Roxette), Build Me Up Buttercup (The Foundations), the soundtrack of Movies and Musicals, especially Beauty and the Beast, and ALL Christmas Songs.
If she could have, Sophie would have decorated for Christmas just after Easter. She loved the holidays, spending time with her family and sending love and happy thoughts to everyone. She loved giving gifts, and she had a knack for always making them something you’d really want, and they always came as a surprise. I remember once, she went to Primark and bought and sent me some Harry Potter pyjamas, just because they weren’t in stock in my country. I’m actually wearing them while writing this
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Sophie never needed to say sorry. She simply never caused offence, always considering her words carefully before she spoke. (She was british, so of course she said “Sorry” ALL THE TIME, anyway.) She was a great role model to me in how she connected with people and could find common ground with everyone.
Her relationship with her husband was the stuff dreams are made of. She met James on the old forums, after a lot of messages they decided to meet up, they fell in love and got married. James has been her rock ever since.
Sophie’s funeral will be held on Nov. 7th, 2019, and, in her honour, everyone will be wearing at least one item of pink clothing. She picked a list of happy songs to play, and she requested a party, a celebration of her life rather than a glum and dark affair. James promised that he’d dance on the tables at Sophie’s funeral if he had to, just so she’d get the party she asked for.
Join us in wearing pink on November 7th, let’s make it a world wide party for our girl.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there; I did not die.
It’s with a heavy heart that we let you go, but you have earned the sweet release. You fought with everything you had for so long, and we rest easier knowing you’re not suffering anymore.
I’ll remember you every time I find a cold, forgotten cup of tea on my desk.
Goodbye, my friend, my love. You will be so, so missed.
Find Sophie’s stories here: