It’s been a week since the world lost someone vibrant, bright, bold and brilliant. A week since a sudden, shocking illness saw us lose Kate Sutton – known to so many as Wit Wit Woo from her very popular blog.
Kate was my friend. Not just ‘an internet friend’ – something I don’t really think I believe is different to ‘proper’ friends anyway – but someone I regularly turned to on hard days, who I supported when she had her own. We shared some experiences – not nice ones – and both survived them and came out of them bigger and better and braver. But we were both able to talk to each other about the ways we didn’t feel brave at all.
Losing Kate – someone who was known for always bouncing back, for being impossible to knock down for long – so suddenly has been a terrible shock. It has been so powerful to see the enormous, overwhelming outpouring of love in response to the news – the hundreds and hundreds of people donating to help her two sons – the boys she was endlessly, unabashedly, unrelentingly proud of, every moment of every day – to give her the best send off they can, but also to just survive for a while as their world shifts.
To see thousands of #bemorewitwitwoo posts on Twitter, to see so many gorgeous smiling women braving their bikinis for swim suit selfies in Kate’s honour – because, oh, did she love to be proud and encourage that pride, no matter who you are, what your size, to celebrate beauty in all forms – she was so encouraging, so supportive, and had already had an impact on my self-view, on stopping me from hiding myself away just because I’d gained weight.
Kate has set off a positivity cannon. Losing her could suck a vast, sparking, rainbow (and, let’s be honest, leopard print) hole into the world – she was too full of life to simply be gone. But people aren’t letting her loss break them down – instead, we are celebrating her. We are honouring her.
I am so proud that I knew her, that I got to call her my friend, that I got to tell her that I love her, before she was so suddenly lost. I am so grateful that I had the chance to laugh and cry and laugh some more with her, and to share some experiences that bonded us.
I am all the more proud that I have seen so much love pouring from so many people, that so many have come together to support her beautiful boys, that they get to see the enormous, world shifting impact their wonderful mother had, simply by being herself.
Kate – I love you. The world without you is never going to be the same – but you haven’t truly gone, because you live in the hearts, the smiles, the positivity and the outpouring support that so many people are offering to each other in your honour.
Thank you for being my friend.