Our Beautiful Friend

me and jenny <3

Loosing our lovely lady

ShinyThoughts has always been about happy, colourful things in my life and despite dedicating this post to a beautiful friend who has tragically passed away, it is really no exception. I’d be so happy if you’ll read this post, be thankful for people you have and be inspired to complete your own goals.

Our friend Jenny was a happy, shiny thing like no other. If energy could ever be transferred in such a way, then her smile would have lit the very bulbs in the ceiling of the room. Never have I known anyone with the ability to express so much joy in one grin (and a cheeky nasal chortle that cracks me into a smile every time I remember it) nor speak so modestly of herself and take so much care in others, nor reduce an audience to rolling on the floor belly laughing with just one badly told joke that she got gloriously wrong.

Jenny passed away two weeks tonight after a year-long battle with a rare bowel cancer condition at just 22 years of age. When I say battle, I imply a proper fight  – with that big smile and a source of positivity that can only come from some eternal magic lake somewhere, or one heck of an admirable personality like hers. With the incredible support that is her hero boyfriend, her friends and her family, she fought and fought and never gave giving up a flicker of thought. I can’t even start to fathom the sleepless nights, endless driving, parking bills at the hospital, flocks of cards to fill a room, tears to fill a pool that others have had to deal with in their day-to-day life and I’m hugely grateful towards them. Despite all this, she was inexhaustibly upbeat about every experience and promised her big geographically spread group of girl friends (who manage to virtually hug each other via the godsend that is Facebook messenger) that she would never give up.

roses in ceramic vase pink and orange

positive words pink flowers in vase

pink tipped roses


What amazed me about this little lady is that that whilst suffering this year, she managed to complete a degree, learn to drive, pass her driving test and attend her graduation ceremony. Yes she had to move home and continue with 3D design despite appointments, fatigue and minimal support from her institution plus  squeeze in lessons in a car, but she still did it, and still came out to see us if we arranged a gathering – in whatever state. She kept us informed, told us about all the interesting medical facts she’d learnt, sent us links and told us that even if there was a step back, there would always be two steps forward and never, ever a complaint. I don’t know about you, but I’m not sure I could have done that!

The message I want to give in this post isn’t sadness – it’s strength, energy, optimism and gratitude, all for you to take and make your own. Fling it far and wide! Make a thought for Jenny; what she went through and how positively and maturely she delt with it and you too can do anything, against any odd. And still make people smile.

friends together memory

We’re raising money for Macmillan and Cancer Research UK in memory of Jenny for those like her who benefitted so much from their work. Do please feel free to support our JUSTGIVING page by donating even a tiddly bit or sharing it around our big wonderful bloggy world  – thank you so, so much!


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  • Rena February 3, 2013 at 3:22 PM

    What a beautiful post for a beautiful friend… so sorry to read about your loss, but what an inspiring tale… We cannot ever take for granted the amazing chance for life on earth we are given, nor the people there to share it with us, for someone to pass away at such a young age only goes to show how much we should treasure every second… Thanks for sharing this Lucy, my thoughts are with you and all those who Jenny knew and loved. xxxx

  • Anna February 1, 2013 at 3:23 PM

    I am so sorry for your loss. I perfectly understand you because my close friend passed away too, car crashed her on pedestrian crossing… I couldn’t belive that and I can’t until now even if it’s been 3 years since then. Your friend was amazing person and she’s beautiful example for all people who are loosing hope, we never should give up! Greetings for you 🙂

  • Anna nuttall January 31, 2013 at 7:28 PM

    Hi what a lovely post! I really enjoyed reading it. The photograph of the flowers -wow that such a lovely picture.


  • Lucy January 30, 2013 at 5:59 PM

    A lovely post and tribute! With lots of love xxxxx

  • mat January 30, 2013 at 9:36 AM

    so sad, it’s always hard to loss loved ones but taken from you at such a young age is totally heartbreaking. you have the comfort of others around you.

  • Emma January 29, 2013 at 8:13 PM

    This is a lovely, lovely tribute to your friend. It made my eyes well up. Such beautiful words about someone you clearly loved. I’m thinking about Jenny’s friends and family xx

  • Kate January 29, 2013 at 7:10 PM

    I am deeply moved and motivated. I’m so sorry for this great loss, and I am so thankful for human strength.

    Kate from Clear the Way

  • Alice January 29, 2013 at 1:51 PM

    This really touched me, so terribly sad. Such beautiful words for a beautiful girl. xxx

  • Harriet January 28, 2013 at 8:40 PM

    I am so sorry to hear of your loss. my thoughts are with you xxx

  • Sami January 28, 2013 at 7:49 PM

    I am so sorry to hear of your loss
    She sounds like such a beautiful soul and accomplished so much
    All my love to you and her family during this time

  • Raquel January 28, 2013 at 6:59 PM

    oh, I’m so sorry, honey! sending good thoughts your way.

  • Fashion Bandit January 28, 2013 at 6:12 PM

    What a beautiful post. I am so sorry to hear about your friend, how awful to lose someone so vibrant, so young. It sounds like she inspired a lot of people, and I am sure she will be greatly missed. I love how this post is a message of positivity, and it certainly has made me think!

    Thank you for sharing her story. xx

    My latest post:

  • Katie January 28, 2013 at 2:00 PM

    This post is so lovely, I’ve never seen anything such lovely like this *_*.
    Friends are very important. I have any so I really know how important is this.
    You are such wonderful person!
    Love this post !!!

  • Jessica January 28, 2013 at 10:19 AM

    This is such an amazing post, I am so sorry that it is under the circumstances but your friend was and still is an inspiration. What a phenomenal woman to complete a degree as well as her battle. Thankyou for sharing your kind words and inspiration! xxxx

  • Jo January 28, 2013 at 9:28 AM

    Firstly can I say how sorry I am for your loss. And for all the people who knew and loved your dear friend from what you have so beautifully written it seems like you were a very lucky person to be a part of Jenny’s life.

    Your story is also so inspiring and it has really made me stop and think about all the little minor problems I allow to disrupt my life. Jenny has shown that strength and positivity means not even cancer can stand in the way of you achieving your goals.

    A touching, beautifully written post thank you so much for sharing.

  • Chantelle January 28, 2013 at 5:16 AM

    Bless her soul. Thanks you for sharing her story with us. I am always blown away by the positivity and strength of cancer patients. When I volunteered at Toronto’s famous cancer hospital, I would leave feeling to grateful and inspired by these fighters.

  • Winnie January 27, 2013 at 11:34 PM

    Oh Lucy. This is the loveliest, most gorgeous post ever to an obviously, very missed and loved friend. Unfortunately I know what it’s like to lose a friend far too young but under different kinds of circumstances – but one thing I have learned is that your memories of them seem to burn brighter even after they’ve passed. She sounds like one inspiring lady and accomplished so much at such a young age! I feel proud of her and I never even knew her. My heart goes out to all her friends and family – thanks for a lovely post xxx

  • Sarah January 27, 2013 at 11:18 PM

    I’m so sorry to hear that you have lost a wonderful friend, but I am happy that you had the chance to know such a beautiful person.

  • Katie January 27, 2013 at 11:09 PM

    I don’t really know what to say, except how sad I am for you and everyone who knew this amazing person’s loss. I’m so glad you’ve managed to take the positives out of a distressing situation like this. She’s inspired me too! I should stop procrastinating and start living life to the fullest, because you never know when it could be taken away from you. I recently attended a ‘Safe Drive Stay Alive’ talk with my school, and it was frightening how many young people die from road traffic accidents each year. Thank you for these beautiful and inspiring posts as always Lucy.
    Katie xx

  • Fern January 27, 2013 at 10:50 PM

    I’m so so sorry to hear about your friend, I know how awful it is losing someone, especially when they’re so young. It’s so amazing how she managed to stay so positive and even complete a degree, pretty inspirational really! x