[For those of you who might be able to be there, we’ve been told that the intention is for Liz’s funeral - in the Corris area - to take place towards the end of next week, possibly on the Thursday. I’ll update in here as soon as we have confirmation of date and location.]
I can’t really believe I’m typing this - we were hoping to see Liz in Caernarfon in the near future.
Last night, we were told that she had died suddenly in Corris - for those who would like to know more, her friend Veronica has written a moving piece here: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=2690726511015617 (you can read that without being logged in to Facebook - just click on ‘not now’ when the pop-up arrives).
It feels hard to imagine SSiW without Liz. She brought such passionate energy to everything she did, and reclaimed her Welsh heritage and her Welsh language with a joy that made it always a delight to be in her company. She went from wanting to use a few words in Welsh in her novel to falling in love with the language to becoming a creative and confident Welsh speaker, publishing her novel to widespread acclaim, giving interviews in Welsh for print media and radio and TV (you can see her terrific interview on Prynhawn Da here: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=350041759073154).
And she always, always wanted to give back. She volunteered to teach Welsh in Melbourne, and brought SSiW into the classroom as the regular approach - she blogged about how that had worked, she helped run conversation groups, she even wrote an article in Welsh for Parallel.cymru (Liz Corbett: 15 of us in Melbourne are helping to reach a million speakers) - I can’t believe we’re never going to get to read that book about her Bootcamp friends.
She was one of the most enthusiastic Bootcampers we ever had, and her energy was a huge part of the wonderful group of Bootcamp friends whose company she loved so much. We know that all her friends will be hurting very badly today, and Catrin and I send you our love. I’ll never forget sitting on the beach at Pwllheli with her Bootcamp friends, and being quizzed rigorously about politics and language activism by Liz
I’ll also never forget her on top of the pillar on Twthill, where the troops of Owain Glyndŵr gathered in 1401 - she’d have fitted in just fine with them.
Oh, Liz. She was such a generous friend - she always saw the very best in people, and told them about it. I first met her sitting on a bench in Llanystumdwy - she was doing a course in Tŷ Newydd - I was hugely excited to meet our Australian author who was so passionate about Welsh, and she was so determined to make it clear that she was more excited to be meeting me. I don’t think I ever left Liz’s company without feeling inspired.
Our hearts go out to her family. They have already suffered the loss of a daughter, and Liz’s raw courage was central to helping them all find ways to survive that tragedy. It is heart-breaking that they should now have to lose Liz herself as well, and all her energy and light and grace.
I thought we had more time, Liz. I thought we had more conversations and laughter and refusals to discuss grammar ahead of us. I wanted to read your next book, damn it.
Catrin and I would like to do something to remember Liz - it might be something that SSiW could do. I’m not sure what yet - maybe some kind of writing prize. I’d love to hear ideas from anyone who knew Liz.
As one of her other friends has just said on Facebook: be grateful for every minute, folks