I’m going to start this post by saying that I was not best friends with Justine. I did not know her very well. While I grieve, I grieve for the loss for her family, partner and close friends. Justine was part of my Cantoo community. My lifesaving, amazing bunch of Cantoo friends who I love this week more than ever. Cantoo trains people for marathons, half marathons, triathlon and swims. Participants sign up to raise money for cancer research and in turn receive training. I’ve made a bunch of lifelong friends through this group, which can be hard to do in adulthood and it keeps me on the straight and narrow at least for three months per year.
Everyone that does Cantoo is kind of special. Dickheads don’t want to raise money for cancer.
Justine had done a few programs before me, but once you are a Cantooer you always are. Former participants often stay involved to cheer or energy champion other programs. Justine would often turn up to cheer our long runs while we were training for our marathon in the dead of winter. Always smiling like an idiot, on freezing cold days in her UGG boots. She was more excited than us runners. She had lost her mum to cancer years ago, and turned this experience into one of helping and healing others. Some would have gone the other way. She drove us to our race day, more excited than us, who were quietly shitting ourselves in the back. Whether you met her for a second, or several times, she would hug you and bubble over like you were best friends. And it wasn’t fake. This was the type of joyful and caring person that she was. This was further emphasised by the huge turn out at the vigil. She had touched many people throughout her life here and in the US.
I can’t stop asking the question WHY this week. Why do shit things happen to good people? What is the point of it all? Why has Justine’s father experienced the loss of his wife, and the loss of his daughter in one life. More sadness than one should have ever in their lifetime. If there is a God (and I don’t believe that there is), why would this be in his plan? To have someone who devoted their life to helping others and sharing light, lose their life in this awful, careless way. Why her? Why then?
Can we get an explanation please?
It’s just pretty fucked all round.
And while the world waits for answers, the best we can do is spread a little Justine around the world.
Laugh. Hug. Play jokes on people. Give freely to others. Live your best life.
Much Love, Ashleigh XXX