This is a bit of an unusual post for me to write, I thought long and hard about whether it was right for me to do so. Last week the Cardiff Blogger community were upset by the loss of 21-year-old Bethan James. This is not only my way of paying my respects to her and her family but a way of showing you that all of your interactions make an impact on those you meet.
I think it is fair to say, we are all plagued by some degree of fear of how you are being judged, or afterthoughts of ‘did I really say/do that’. I know, to those who do not know me well, that not all of my characteristics are shown – I am a difficult person to get to know. I’m loud, in your face, and direct with my opinions so my compassion, intrigue and care do not always come across.
Last week, when scrolling through twitter, I came across a message from Bethan’s dad which said, “We have the most indescribably devastating news that our beautiful daughter Bethan suddenly passed away on Saturday evening. Our hearts are broken. she was the most wonderfully caring and kind daughter and sister to Rhys.”
I was lucky to meet Bethan at several events held in Cardiff. I can’t say we were close, that would be unfair to those who knew her best, but she did make an impact. She would always have a striking outfit on, make-up was done to precision – something I will never be able to manage – and a huge smile on her face. People would gravitate towards her, and she welcomed them all.
For those who do not know, Bethan was diagnosed with Chron’s Disease, which she often vlogged about it on her You Tube Channel. She passed on Saturday 8th February 2020 from a heart attack caused by Sepsis. She was with her mum at the time, which must have been a comfort to her.
Here is a selection of the touching tributes left to Bethan, so you can all see what an incredible person she was…
“You were such a beautiful, kind and sweet person. This has hit me harder than I thought… I met you last year and every event we attended together we were drawn to each other and had such a lovely time. You were so young and full of hope. Always messaging me checking what I was going to wear at the events. You always came in beautiful dresses and looked great! I had lovely chats with you and will always remember them. A special girl, just 21, taken too soon. Rest in peace beautiful.” WriteUp.YourAlly
“She was always so glam and full of warmth and kindness. Such sad news.” Balanced Fit Mama Bird
“She was so strong and always looking on the bright side, even when she wasn’t feeling well… She was so inspiring and made the best of everything. She was so fab and I wish I had got to know her better. I remember she was so happy when she met us all and was buzzing because it was such a nice group.” The Little Cardiff Blog
“She was such a sweetheart, we chatted all night at the Christmas event and I listened to her hopes for 2020. She loved spreading her message and doing her bit to raise awareness.” Selina Rose Eats
“Bethan was the loveliest girl and this is so unfair! I guess heaven was short of real angels, so had to take her early.” Cardiff Foodie Fan
“She was always so beautifully dressed at every occasion and seemed like such a lovely girl. Terribly sad news.” Charlotte Rose Writes
“My thoughts are with her family, I can’t imagine what they must be going through. I only met Bethan a few times but she was always lovely and positive. She will be missed.” Suitcase Of Sugar
“This is so heartbreaking. My thoughts go out to her family. She will be missed by everyone who met her. Such a beautiful young girl who was taken far too soon. She seemed so happy and positive. It just doesn’t seem real. She was so young.” Rachel Brees
“She was such an incredibly caring person.” With Love Alys
“It has knocked me for six, and I only met her a handful of times, but she was the most lush person. Taken far too young.” The Yummie Diaries
“What awful awful awful news for her friends and family. She was the sweetest soul. She put so much effort into her vlogs. It was a big part of how she was coping with her illness. Such a strong woman. Hug your friends and families, and fur babies and be grateful for them all.” Mollie 217
Bethan was in the final year of her degree. She was working on her major project – a documentary – on her personal experience of being diagnosed last year with Crohn’s disease. She was also in talks with BBC Wales who were interested in producing a radio documentary on her story. Her fellow Journalism students at the University of South Wales have also left tributes.
You do matter!
It just goes to show, that even the smallest of interactions can make a difference. So never think that you do not matter because you do! Do not let your insecurities hold you back, take a deep breath and plunge right in. Bethan is proof that you only have to meet the once to make an impact on people.
I would like to extend my heartfelt condolences to her friends and family. It must be a comfort to know that she was so well thought of, and will be missed by all who met her. Lots of love to you all, Katrina x