Back in the dark days of anorexia, I was, frankly, a bit of a mess. I wavered between thinking L would starve to death and wanting to run away away from it all. I wrote because I wanted to find others in the same dark place, or even better, those who had come through into the light.
Along came Miranda, and with her came Charlotte Bevan. Emails followed, giving sensible advice along with virtual hugs. I was such a mess, I wasn’t even sure I wanted solutions. “I CAN’T make her eat. It’s all terrible.” And yet, Charlotte didn’t tell me to get a bloody grip. She just stayed calm.
And I became stronger. The wonderful world of the internet mean that Charlotte felt close by. I even was able to help on occasions with her tireless campaigns, giving advice on NHS procedures and how our political system works. We laughed about the political chasm between us and I compared her to Boudicca with the voice of Margo Leadbetter.
It is a total fucking crime that Charlotte was taken from this community that loved her so much. But so much more heart breaking for her family, and on the day that would have been her 49th birthday, I want again to say thank you for sharing her with us. I really hope we didn’t take her away from you to much. She changed us all, you see, and even months after her passing, we still feel the snug warmth of the big girls pants and the no nonsense compassion she threw out in spades. She painted such a living picture of her home, cluttered, warm and full of love. I really hope that you’re finding a way through these months of loss. So I’m raising a glass of chilled fizz to Charlotte to say Happy Birthday. I can’t quite justify a packet of Silk Cut alongside it, but I hope I’ll find the joy in living that emanated from this fabulous woman. Thank you Charlotte, for lighting the way for so many of us. We owe you so much.