Thursday, November 01, 2012

For Meredith

This year I have got to know a number of the girls from work, some have become my best friends. One of these girls that I had the absolute pleasure of sitting next to was Meredith. We talked and emailed all day (yes I know we sat next to each other but some things shouldn't be said out loud!), had our breaks together, got in trouble together, took on unreasonable old men together! Ok there was only the one old man but he was VERY unreasonable. I made no secret of the fact I was stoked to have a friend called Meredith Gra (hem-Bagrie). Those who are also fans of Greys Anatomy will understand this!

Meredith was beautiful, both inside and out. It's a cliche but it's so true. She was funny, honest and beautiful. She was talented, imaginative, intelligent. We had funny conversations, serious conversations, sad conversations, instagram conversations! We helped each other when we had bad times, celebrated together when good things happened. Meredith was someone everyone should have in their life. 

In January when Tahu and I found out we were pregnant we were so excited. After Tahu, Meredith was the next person I told. I wanted to tell my family and best mate but somehow I wanted to tell Meredith too. Over the next few months as my belly grew so did our friendship. When I came to work after finding out what kind of baby we were having Meredith was there, hovering at the doors, singing "what's your flava, tell me what's your flava". 

At the end of August Meredith and two of our friends organised my baby shower. It was so much fun! The girls did so well. Amazing games, food, PRESENTS! It was so special to me to have these women celebrating my little boy! 

This is a collage of photos Meredith took of the day:

I was allowed to go to one of the planning nights for the baby shower and it was then that the 3 girls got to feel Knox moving in my belly. They were so stoked and I was too. 

My belly and the girls hands:

Meredith was always Merebear (said Mare Bear) to me and she always called me JoJo. She had such an excited way of saying my name! I can still hear it. I convinced her to buy a kindle, she convinced me to try Shellac nails. 

On Monday the 24th of September when I found out that we were to be induced that afternoon I texted some family and close friends to let them know I was going back into hospital and that Knox would be arriving that week. When I text an iphone the message shows blue unless it can't be delivered, in which case it goes green. My text to Meredith went green and I thought that was weird but put it down to a flat battery. I drove past her work and considered stopping to tell her but was a bit anxious so thought I'd just talk to her later. 

It was that night, sitting in hospital with contractions starting, that we found out Meredith had left us the day before. It felt like my heart broke and like nothing was worth it any more. Needless to say labour stopped immediately. I can't put into words the pain I felt. I loved her so much, I couldn't get my head around it, it even crossed my mind that it was a joke. How could it be possible that I would never see her again? How is it possible she felt that way and I didn't know? So many emotions, questions, thoughts. All I could think to say was "no" and "Meredith" and "I loved her" over and over again. 

I cried all night. They gave me a sleeping pill but it didn't do much. By the morning I knew I couldn't get through the day, I couldn't deliver Knox feeling like this. I thought about where she would be, what she'd be doing. That day I kept the picture in my head of Meredith sitting with her dad, having a few cocktails, watching me in labour and cheering me on. I don't know where that image came from but it got me through. It still makes me cry thinking of it though. 

Knox had a difficult delivery, they took him to the other side of the room to work on him and then give him oxygen. For half an hour I couldn't see him or touch him and all I could think about was Meredith. I had been trying to think of a way to honor her and I realised the best thing I could do was tell her first that Knox had arrived, just like she was the first to know that I was pregnant. Tahu came to sit with me and I managed to get myself together enough to ask him if I could text Meredith before we told anyone else. 

I didn't go to her funeral. Knox was 3 days old, we hadn't even been home a day and that morning we found out another friend had been killed in an accident. We spent the afternoon at home talking and crying and just being with Knox. One day soon I'm going to drive down to where she is, with her dad, and I'll introduce her to Knox and talk to her and say goodbye then. I wasn't ready to say goodbye then, I'm not ready now, but one day soon I hope I'll feel able to. 

It's been almost 6 weeks since she left. Sometimes I can think about her now without crying. It comforts me that she knew I loved her. This week I've realised how truly lucky I am to have known her. I got to spend every day of the week with her for months. I got to know her and I'm so honored that we were friends. She was amazing and she was my friend. 

I miss you so much Merebear. I really wish you were still here. I hope you're still checking instagram and seeing the pics of Knox, and checking your emails cos I'm still emailing you. I love you and I look forward to hanging out again one day xx


Gill Graham said...

How special to find this message at a time when I am struggling to start another new week without Meredith. Thank you Jo. I would so like to meet you, Knox and his Dad to give you a sort of Mere bear hug. Though she might tell me off for being friends with her friends.
Gill xxxxxxxxxx

Jo said...

Hi Gill, I'm so glad you found this comforting. She might not be here but she has left you so many people who loved her and so will always be here for you.

We would love to meet you! Knox cuddles are wonderful when I'm struggling with missing Merebear and I would be so honoured for Merebears mum to meet and cuddle him!

Love from us xx

Anonymous said...

Dearest Joey
You are so brave & this was such a very hard blow for you to handle! How does one bear the unbearable!!
I honour you for this special blog

Vicki Eaton said...

This is so beautiful. It made me cry all over again! Not a day goes by and I don't think about our Mereditho! I miss her too and so grateful for all the time we did share together I just wish we had more time.
Thank you for writing this Jo. Keeps her memory alive.
Love you xx

Polly said...

Just found this JoJo..... Sobbing..... Xxx

Jo said...

Thank you Polly, I still do that sometimes too xx