Sunday, 31 March 2013

Thank you

Lisa's family and I have received so many messages, cards, letters, notes and tweets of condolence during the past two weeks. They have induced many tears, much laughter and sustained us in such a way that we can't adequately convey our gratitude and thanks. You are all wonderful, wonderful people. You'll all be pleased to hear the 'festivities' lived up to Lisa's request for an 'inappropriately long and happy party.'

To all the extended family, friends and acquaintances that attended Lisa's memorial service we thank you for your wonderful words and generosity of spirit. If we didn't speak to you all on Wednesday then we promise to do so in the very near future.

To our darling Lisa; forever in our thoughts and always, always in our hearts, we thank you for the life, love and times we shared. 

Finally, in the words of Lisa's favourite poem by Henry Scott Holland:

'Nothing is past or lost.
One brief moment and all will be as it was before,
Only better and happier.
Together forever.
All is well.'


Wednesday, 13 March 2013

There is a light and it never goes out

I've been batting some words around in my head for the last two days searching for poetic prose to do justice to my world, my rock, my best friend, my lover and my wife. Alas, there will never be an easy way in which to tell you all that Lisa passed away very peacefully on Monday, March 11th, 2013.

In a way that only Lisa could pull off, she left us in exactly the way she had planned (a year or so ago, I awoke at 5am to find her furiously typing said plan for the end of her natural life). The plan was to be at Trinity Hospice with her husband and parents. The plan was that we would be overlooking the beautiful gardens. The plan was that it would also be peaceful, beautiful, tranquil and pain free. I probably don't need to tell you that Lisa ticked all of those boxes (what can I say? Some people are just so damn talented that they can plan for any eventuality).

The story doesn't end here. One of her great and oldest friends @quarkmonkey introduced Lisa to journalism at University (Toby, perhaps only Berry Gordy can match you in the talent spotting stakes) and it's therefore highly appropriate that he should become guardian of the blog. His partner in crime - @wardotron - will be joint custodian. I hesitate at affording him the title of guardian (he's a Forest fan). 

We, her family and closest friends, feel complete and utter devastation that is matched only by resounding pride that she was, and will forever be, our girl. For us, it's a time to privately shed tears and to reflect on what she meant and will continue to mean to us. Lisa, I love you with a passion that burns as brightly as you did. Your light will never ever go out. 

I'm now going to hand you over to the much more capable hands of @quarkmonkey who'll share his thoughts and then more anon.


Toby, over to you...

A Message for Lisa

Lisa Lynch. It's time I told you a few things, Lisa flipping Lynch.

The truth is, Mac (and yes, you've been branded 'The Mac' for 15 years) is, well the truth is, you've right royally pissed me off.

First off, you should see the emails I've had since I've started looking after So many people desperate to tell me how wonderful you are and how you have inspired them and so on and so on…

… no, hang on, that's not why I'm annoyed with you.

OK, let's go back a bit. Remember back at Loughborough University? I was editing the student magazine, and on one dreary Monday night when I was hip-deep in deadlines, you wandered into the office, bright as a button. You'd been to a Bluetones gig the night before and written a review, plus a few other bits and bobs. Would I find them handy, you asked?

Well I did. Because to be frank, you'd written solid gold. But then… just as I was breathing a sigh of relief that The Mac was on the team, you casually mentioned that, actually, you were off to Norway for six months, to wrestle puffins or some such. Remember that? Yeah? Thanks for that. THANKS.

Actually, no, that's not it either.

Alright. Remember how you got to be editor of Real Homes Magazine before your 26th birthday? Remember how everyone watched your career skyrocket once you arrived in London, and all me and Ward could do was humbly joke about biding our time and scrounging a job?

No, that didn't really annoy me actually.

How about when you told us you had breast cancer? Then you took the horror and the fear and the pain you went through and somehow, using that insane work ethic of yours, turned it around? You wrote and wrote and before we knew it, you'd become this brilliant blogger who could reach and inspire thousands of readers. Remember when you got "The 'C' Word" published? And you made me cry like a little girl on the bus home from work as I read it?

Nope. That's not why I'm cheesed off with you right now.

Or when your cancer went into remission? Then, just as we all stopped holding our breath and joined you in looking forward to a life beyond The Bullshit™, you emailed me to say it had returned, and that this time it was terminal? And just a few short weeks later, with a cruel twist of the knife, you told us that the years you promised us were now mere months?

Even that, Lisa bloody chuffing Lynch, isn't why I'm hacked off at you.


Lisa, I'm pissed off with you because, on Monday, just as I was waiting for you to recover from the latest Bullshit™ tsunami, working on this blog and feeling useful, my phone rang.

It was Pete.

"I just wanted to let you know… Lisa passed away this morning at about half past nine."

He told me that you died peacefully with him and your family at your bedside and that you weren't in any pain, and I think every single person reading this will take comfort from that.

But there I stood, numb, phone in hand. What? It didn't compute. Lisa Lynch, stellar overachiever, swearer extraordinaire, grammar scourge, champion kicker of the Bullshit's arse, wasn't invincible after all?

THAT'S why I was so angry.


Except it's not really true is it? Because, Mac, you are invincible and you always will be. You could have laid back and submitted to The Bullshit's grip and not one person would have thought badly of you. But instead, you shone even brighter and more brilliantly than any of us could have imagined.

This blog is testament to it. Here you remain, a part of everyone who loves you, who cried along with you as the road turned rough and laughed as you wrote with humour and tenderness and life.

You're still right here. You are here in these pages. You are here in the lives we led with you. You're here every time I watch South Park or play "Abbey Road". You're here right now as I write this, nervously second-guessing my own grammar.

So while it seems like you've left behind a loving husband and a devoted family, and an army of friends and followers who cared for you so so deeply, it isn't really true.

And even though I'm angry because I've lost my incredible friend who I loved so very much, it's also pretty obvious to me that you're not going anywhere.

Lisa Lynch. 1979 – 2013.

Friday, 1 March 2013

Holding the fort

Well, as you may have gathered, it's been a crappy few weeks for Lisa, and while she recovers from the latest The Bullshit™ has to offer, she's asked me, Jonze, to fill you all in on what's been happening. And so, while stepping into her shoes is a bit scary (I look silly in Louboutins for a start), I'm not missing an opportunity to sneakily take over (well, borrow) the reins.

Before I do that though, while things have been a bit shite, I've been helping out on Twitter, posting a few updates here and there as I get them from Lisa and P. A lot of you have been concerned, a lot of you have sent really kind messages and all of you want to know more about how the old bird is doing.

As for me, while I'm slightly in the loop, it's been a tough time for Lisa and family, and I've only had the odd update here and there. Nonetheless, despite not having the Lisa Lynch knack for turning medical timelines into nifty prose (and being terrified of incurring her grammatical wrath), it falls to me to tell the tale.

Basically, here's the story. After Lisa had Gamma Knife treatment in November, things got really bad, and she ended up being rushed into hospital on Christmas day. Emergency chemo started a few days later, and after a few really rough days that knocked the proverbial shit out of her, she managed to emerge from a near coma and show off with what her doctors described as a 'miraculous' recovery.

After a couple of weeks of getting past the physical and emotional shock of those grim few days and returning home, she started a new round of chemo and transfusions at the end of January, but a few days later the pain increased again. A CT scan showed evidence of an old subdural bleed which hadn't been spotted before, and she was admitted to Trinity Hospice on the 12th with renewed symptoms.

As of now, she's back at Trinity Hospice, doing a bit better, getting her mojo back and cracking bad jokes, but understandably it's been quite a start to 2013 and everybody's focus is naturally on making sure she's looked after.

The last time I saw Lisa was just before Christmas, literally hours before all this kicked off, and it was as good a cup of tea and a natter as I could hope for. Whenever we catch up, I always have a brief moment of recoil that I'm not talking to "LISA LYNCH – THE WEB'S TOP CANCER BITCH!!!" but my old mate who I've known for 15 years, who lent me all her Eddie Izzard videos and likes shit TV and arguing about Derby County with @wardotron while I sit quietly and wait for the conversation to get interesting again.

Last time we met, we talked about this blog, what it means to her and to you the reader, and while it's not been shits and giggles in the intervening time, I think the positive vibe we both took away from that chat remains. Lisa wants this blog to thrive and while I'm at the helm I'm going to bloody well make sure it does.

I've spoken to a lot of people for whom is important and loved, and it's clear there's a community here. So for the next few weeks, we're opening it up. Lisa's done guest posts before (even for the likes of me), and while things get back to normal, we want more. If you'd like to guest blog on here, give me a shout at @quarkmonkey and I'll run it by the big boss lady.

In the mean time, I'll make sure to pass along the latest from Alrighttit Towers as I hear it.

Till next time...