More about Merryn

Nominations for Merryn’s Smile Day 2024 are open. You can nominate a Severe or Very Severe ME sufferer to receive a special Smile on the 13th May 2024 by completing our nomination form.

Alice kindly asked me if I would like to write a little something about Merryn for Merryn’s Smile Day. Firstly I’d like to say an immense thanks to Alice both for giving me that chance and for what she does all year, through her charity Smile for M.E and for Merryn’s Smile Day too.

What to write about Merryn?

I’ve spoken many times about her love of life, how she never walked into a room but bounced in, her big smile, her infectious laugh, her big heart.

Merryn had so many things she wanted to do in life- study performing arts, travel, have children, have a career in the arts. She was never a stay at home kind of person, she was always up early and out with friends, she had so much to do, she wanted to make the most of every day and fill it with fun. I recently found an old blog of Merryn’s with the words ‘I want to live, not just exist’. Poignant words written before she ever became ill.

Merryn was love and light with an immense love for people, for connecting with them and making them feel good, that undefinable something. We called it Merryn Magic.

M.E robbed Merryn of so much, her life shrank and became smaller and more isolated by necessity but through everything, all the pain and losses she suffered her love, empathy and need to connect with others grew.

Through her illness she worried that her life wasn’t meaningful, that she hadn’t achieved any of the goals she had had in life. She couldn’t have been more wrong and I would tell her that.

Her suffering only grew her need to help others who were suffering too, she made so many wonderful friends in the M.E community. A community of some of the bravest people ever. She sent letters (I wrote them as Merryn was unable to), messages, gifts, some thoughtful words and I would tell her because of you someone feels good today, someone remembers those kind words you sent or looks at a little gift and feels not so alone.

She built her new world, from her bed, in a dark room and the light it shone came back to her and helped her feel less isolated. It made her happy to know she was helping others.

A wonderful friend of Merryn’s wrote a poem on the first anniversary of her death. It’s a beautiful poem but I won’t write it all here, one part particularly stood out for me.

‘Listen, listen, listen,

For there was a girl

Who grew light in the dark

As though it was a plant

And she was a gardener.’

That is Merryn