Liane was one of those people you loved to get sat beside at a wedding. She wasn’t the extraverted instigator of the party, but rather that person with a laid back sense of fun who was an excellent conversationalist. Serious topics would be broached but always in a positive manner. Although, at the same time, she wasn’t averse to challenging you where she saw fit. She had a fun way of talking about serious topics that even extended to joking about her epilepsy that would eventually take her life one month ago today.
I wish I remembered more of the content of our conversations, but what I do remember is the pervasive feeling of gratification after chatting with Liane. This may have been helped by the fact you were always doing something active, fun or challenging with her. Swimming in Baltic conditions in the 40ft, hiking up some mountain, playing board games, going to gigs or road tripping to Galway were common pursuits. She enjoyed quality time with friends, and I was lucky enough to be one of her friends.
It’s the conversations I’ll remember most though. As we’d delve into another meaningful topic of life she was incessantly encouraging. When Ali and I moved home to Ireland after living in Australia everyone was great in making Ali feel at home, but no one better than Liane. She may have been doing it as a kind act of friendship to me at first, but that was not the case for long at all, as theirs rapidly blossomed into a close friendship. She became Ali’s best bud this side of Devon. Nothing could have pleased me more.
I love how different yet complimentary she and Mark were together. Mark being organised and busy as a blue arsed fly while Liane was chilled and happy reading a book on the couch in her PJs. Liane got Mark into yoga, and could, on ocassion, be found watching a rugby match - although she was really just there for the chats. They challenged each other. They were also great at finding activities they liked doing together. As our friend Cian observed recently, “at the time I thought it curious how they toured the saunas of Finland, but it was just what sums them up as a couple, find something you like, keep doing it.”
Liane was thoughtful, considerate and caring. I, like everyone who knew her, find her loss irreconcilable. Liane never liked a fuss and couldn’t stand people who took themselves too seriously. However she’d have loved the natural simplicity of her ashes being spread around some of her favourite places. She’d also have been immensely proud of the send off she got at her funeral, especially from Mark. He was nothing short of heroic. His loving words were delivered in a way that helped sooth the suffering everyone was, and still is, feeling. I always thought I knew how great my best friend was, turns out he’s even more courageous than I’d realised.
Losing Liane was a heart breaking tragedy, but it wouldn’t be appropriate to remember her with sadness. Her can do attitude and indefatiguable positivity are what will endure as an influence on all who knew her. We’ll miss you Liane but you’ll always be with us.
Photo Credit: Ruthless Imagery