I was lucky and priviledged to have met Katie at the age of four when she was sporting long hair and pigtails, with that same unforgettable smile, at Glaisdale primary school in Cheam, Surrey. Even back then Katie had a passion and flair for creative writing and was always top of the class. We played many a netball game together with Katie as GS and me as GA. Katie and I also celebrated our first holy communion together at St Aidan’s in Coulsdon.
I have such fond memories of what are now called ‘play dates’ in Sutton; playing netball in the garden and playing in Katie’s room in the attic at the top of her house (which I thought was so cool).
One memory that really sticks out for me is one of Katie’s birthday parties, I think it would have been her 10th or 11th, and Katie sang Kylie Minogue’s “I Should Be So Lucky”, karaoke style with Kim Taylor and Laura Thurston, but Katie’s smile and impersonation stole the show……
When our time at Glaisdale finished our lives drifted apart with me moving abroad. We enjoyed a few brief catch-ups over the years; and through the powers of facebook and Katie’s excellent communication skills, Katie and I recently picked up our friendship where we had left off. We had a fabulous Glaisdale reunion in Covent Garden two years ago with some of our other old primary school friends, Lisa Miller, Cat Cook, Katie Fletcher and Michelle Fragniere. It was lovely reminising about our old school days.
To me Katie always seemed to be a real go-getter, who lived every day as if it was her last. She was a very caring and thoughtful woman with a genuine interest in what everyone was doing. Whenever she spoke to anyone she would make them feel special and when you talked to her she listened as if you were the only person in the room.
I never got to meet Richard, despite Katie and I talking about getting everyone together for lunch, and sadly I could not come to their wedding as I was expecting my second child any day. I could tell though from all of her emails and from all the beautiful photos that becoming Mrs Haines put Katie on ‘cloud nine’.
Katie’s smile, heart, energy and passion for life will never be forgotten. Katie – you are often in my thoughts and many things remind me about you such as Wimbeldon, Grey’s Anatomy, netball, and trundell wheels to name but a few!! Even though you are no longer here, you continue to smile down on everyone and while the words of the poem below are not yours, I know that the sentiments would be to comfort those you leave behind. Jenn xx
Death is nothing at all, I have only slipped into the next room I am I and you are you. Whatever we were to each other, that we are still. Call me by my old familiar name, Speak to me in the easy way which you always used. Put no difference in your tone, Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes we enjoyed together. Play, smile, think of me, pray for me. Let my name be ever the household word that it always was, Let it be spoken without effect, without the trace of shadow on it. Life means all that it ever meant. It it the same as it ever was, there is unbroken continuity. Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight? I am waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, Just around the corner. All is well. Death is Nothing at all.
By Henry Scott Holland (1847-1918) Canon of St Paul’s Cathedral