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Two years ago, on the 13th of October, I got a phone call that shattered me. My friend had taken her own life.

It was unbelievable, heartbreaking, soul destroying and devastating all at once.

Losing her was like nothing I had ever been through before, and coming to terms with the fact that my friend was in such a completely desperate place, and I was absolutely oblivious to it, was overwhelming and confusing.

I'd reached out to her and knew it wasn't all sunshine and roses, but we all have struggles and battles daily and I wasn't fully aware of how deep the wounds festered. Had I known the depths of her despair I would have done more. But this letter is not about guilt.

I think the thing that broke me more than anything, was knowing that my very special friend, that was kinder and more caring than many people I know, carried so much of her suffering alone.

She lived with it in silence, perhaps not wanting to burden anyone with her problems. Knowing how deep her feelings must have run, and how weak and desperate her soul must have felt, all the while facing it on her own, still makes me feel utterly mortified.

There is a saying that goes: "Everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about, be kind." Be kind. Be more than kind.

The truth is we all carry the weight of our world on our shoulders in some way or another. It feels and looks different for everyone. There are people in bad relationships, struggles with fertility, loss that feels desperate and illness that is so relentless you can hardly bare it.

What feels ok to one might feel like the end of the world to another, but it is important to understand that everyone's feelings are valid nonetheless.

There is a saying that goes:

"Everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about, be kind."

Be kind. Be more than kind.

I had a very bad friendship for many years in my early twenties. This "friend" fueled my insecurities, broke me down emotionally and tore me away from people that made me feel like me.

It was only in building a friendship with someone that cherished me, built me up, complimented me, believed in me and felt like the warmest ray of sunshine, that things in my life and my soul started to shift. As my confidence grew, my strength to tear myself away from the one who did nothing for my soul built.

Once I had cut ties, people that I had drifted from slowly started to come back into my life. Friendships reignited and the light in my soul began to shine once again. The tears didn't stop, but they become less frequent, and my beliefs about myself started to change for the better.

They say "your vibe attracts your tribe", but I want to say "your tribe affects your vibe" is far more relevant. As corny as it may sound, the ones you surround yourself with have the ability to change your life.

But this isn't about what other people do, it is about the realisation that we as individuals have the ability to make an impact with the most simple actions.

Being the sunshine in someone's life is easier than you think!

Life is so unpredictable and busy and taxing, but being there for your people, loving them and telling them how much you love them is one of the most important things in life.

Building people up, telling them your kindest thoughts and helping them to see themselves the way you see them is a gift that costs you sweet nothing. A gift that you can give to anyone from your best friend to a random stranger.

Being seen, appreciated and cared for does more for the human spirit than you could ever possibly imagine.

If I could bottle up the way I feel when somebody pays me a compliment or shows me kindness and sell it for a pretty penny I know I would be the richest person in the world.

Feelings of joy, pride, love and acceptance are things we can all help others to feel.

Realising that we have the ability to change someone's day, week, month and potentially their life just by using the words we speak and our actions for kindness, really is power beyond comprehension.

So while it is so important to surround yourself with people that cheer you on, appreciate you and want the best for you, it is just as important for us to be that person for others.

I wish I had been the sunshine for the beautiful friend that I have lost. If I had known how much she needed the warmth I would have done everything possible to be a glimmer of warm light.

Perhaps the clouds were too thick and the rain was too hard and even if I had tried to shine some light the storm would have taken over, but knowing that I can be the sunshine for someone is what this newsletter is about.

I guess what I am trying to say is that we all hold the power to change someones day. It's hard to remember this with life and its relentless demands, but our response to people (friends and strangers alike) holds a lot more importance than we may ever realise.

I implore you to use your power. Be the ray of sunshine and not the one that steals joy. Consider the words you speak before they leave your lips. Surround yourself with sunshine souls who build you up and make it easier to share the light.

And if, you are on the other end of this. If you are the one that so desperately needs to feel the warmth, the support and the love, know that it exists. No matter how hard life feels, or how irreparable things may seem, there is someone desperate to be your ray of sunshine. You are not a burden and you don't have to carry this alone. Please reach out.

In loving memory of a friend that I miss every single day.

My 11:11

All my love,

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