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  • Louise Coughlin

In memory of....

I found out on Monday a dear friend had died, she had been ill, but I was still shocked when I heard the news. Steph, a fellow psychologist, was gorgeous through her core. I never heard her say a bad word about anyone. I met Steph professionally when she helped me adapt an intervention I was doing with a man in custody. This man had intellectual difficulties and Steph was experienced at adapting work to help people like him. Our bosses let us meet one afternoon a month to do this work, we would meet in a café, or if the weather permitted, a park and have a working lunch. Now, if I’m honest, we spent an hour actually working and there was no way we were going to go back to work if we didn’t have to. So like two naughty school girls we stayed put and our friendship developed. We extended our working relationship as long as possible but all good things have to come to an end. Steph often asked after the man I was working with and years later she still remembered his name. Steph always showed compassion, honesty and passion about her work, and this never faltered in all the years I knew her.

We continued our lunches but in our own time! Steph met my children and they took to her in an instant. Steph was rooting for me when I set up working in the community (most probably because my first clinic was near where she worked so that meant more lunches). The last time I saw Steph she was proudly showing me her surgery scars. I remember the scene so well. I was in her living room and whoosh her top flew up and she said ‘these are my scars’ it was only afterwards she asked if I was okay with her showing me!!

The last message I had from Steph was about how she had been paying off her mortgage because there had been nothing else to spend money on during lockdown and how she was trying to stay positive with her health worries. She said it would be great to meet for lunch…we never made that lunch…that makes me sad but I have to accept what I can not change. I have lots of fabulous memories of my time with Steph and that will help me moving forward.

I have heard so many lovely things said about Steph as I have discussed her with mutual friends; considerate, gorgeous, beautiful, compassionate, lovely, kind, emphatic, funny, talkative, sincere...I could go on. Steph was loved by many. I feel sad for the lives that will not be touched by her kindness.

'Courage is not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it'

Rest in Peace lovely lady.

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