Life. That's a weird topic to talk about - in the grand scheme of things. What is life? I googled what the definition of 'life' was, and Dictionary.com gave me 35 definitions. I don't think neither you or I need a definition decided upon by a group of well-educated individuals to know what the meaning of life is. We are uniques. We experience unique lives, so shouldn't our own definitions of life be different?

This is what I've been thinking about since I've been away from WHI. Before my sort of 'hiatus', if you asked me what the meaning life was I would've said something painfully generic such as 'the time between birth and death', (or being the the sci-fi nerd that I am, '42').

And that's another thing, that time between birth and death, that void of everything and nothing at the same time. That space being the only thing we know and don't know. That thing we take for granted everyday but can be taken from us in a matter of moments.

I lost my friend to ovarian cancer on the 11th of September 2017. By the time she was diagnosed, it was too late, her cancer had spread to her bladder and liver. She was diagnosed 19 days before she passed away. She was beautiful, kind, funny, smart and inspirational and one heck of an amazing person. And I will miss her deeply.

There’s a gap in my life where my friend used to be. Her absence feels awkward – a joke no-one else gets; a silence no-one else can fill. She’s a number on my phone that I can’t call, and five years of text messages that I can’t delete. Even though she is gone, she’s still everywhere I look. She’ll never go away.

I always thought grief was for grandparents and great aunts; your friends are supposed to be forever. They’re the people you ‘choose for yourselves’ – the ones who squeeze your hand and stand by your side. Death isn’t supposed to interrupt friendships. That’s not the deal. But Hannah was taken away anyway.

So as you may still be thinking from my article title - what did happen? Why did you go? This is nothing but the honest and unfiltered truth. Life happened. And death happened. Two polar opposites, colliding. During my time away from WHI, I’ve learned to look forward as well as back. And I vow, to myself and Hannah, on her birthday, I will go out and order extravagant cocktails in memory of her. Hannah was strong and never afraid to go it alone. Now it’s my turn to follow her lead.

See you guys on Friday for my next article.

Lots of love, Yasmin

xoxo