Today, I made a new friend and at the same time, learned about the death of an old one.
Lyn Hemming was my editor on The Book of Rubbish Ideas, my very first book which I was so excited to be commissioned to write for Fragile Earth Books, a little sister company of Alistair Sawday.
She was lovely in every sense and I know editors can have a bit of a reputation for being work obsessed ogres; she was nothing of the sort. Lyn encouraged me all the way to the end of my 40,000 words and beyond and she was the gentlest of souls to work with.
Without her constructive guidance, I’m sure I wouldn’t have produced the body of work that I am still so proud of today.
Lyn was only 49 and from what I understand, she simply went to bed and never woke up. No illness, no real time for anyone to prepare for the unthinkable; my heart sank the moment I heard the news and my thoughts immediately went to her man Will, her children and her family. I cannot imagine how their lives must have been turned upside down at that point and no doubt, ever since.
We lost touch once the book was a few years old but got back in contact a handful of years ago just to touch base and we giggled again. She did giggle ever such a lot.
I know once you hit a certain age – I’m almost 49 – you inevitably see some of the brightest lights around you go out. It’s life and it’s the way she rolls. When you hear of one so young and vibrant, somehow that stabs the soul a little deeper. When you’ve had your 3 score years and 10 it’s a fair probability that the Grim Reaper might be considering plotting a course to your door, but not at 49.
I’m not entirely sure why I felt such a burning need to pen a piece about Lyn, I just did. She encouraged me to write, so here I write.
To say my goodbye and to give you my thanks. I know I did them all in your living years lovely lady, but this is another little one to say I am so pleased you touched my life.