Memorial Today

Today we gather to remember together the life of an old and very dear friend, Mrs Essie Honiball. Surely she will be present too? Essie's passage via the frail care into the clouds was so rapid that I missed the opportunity of a photograph together, and yet her face is before me so crystal clear. There are moments that are frozen into my memory. Her presence was such a profound gift I never, ever took it for granted, and yet now that she has left us I just want to sit with her for ever more, as if what I had wasn't enough. From the moment I saw her I loved her totally. She was lying in bed and hadn't her teeth in, though her hearing aid was there. I had come with Averil and we sat in fold up chairs next to the bed. Essie was watching tennis. She immediately set about clarifying that she is lnot going to be involved in anything at all. Nothing that anyone could imagine. Averil attempted persuasion but I hadn't any expectations, I was just happy to hear the voice and see the eyes of someone I had revered for a decade. Essie comes from my father's generation and she had some of the phrases and hand movements that he used. Sometimes I Sits and Thinks, Sometimes I just Sits. Essie sat and watched the world through her window overlooking the grassy common ground in front of the ouertehuis. She loved walking, and she loved her independence. Now she is independent of the final limitation, has shuffled off this mortal coil.

Oh Essie will you be with us today? I am thinking of you every moment.

Essie is now with all of us

The last time I saw Essie was two days ago, her fingers were a deep blue, a fly buzzed around her head and she didn't move to swat it. She lay on her back and the breaths were so far apart I continually wondered if there would be another. I spoke loudly to her, and touched her, and those eyes opened and for a long time she looked at me, and I looked at her. Eventually the lids fell again. I knew it was the last look. At four o clock this morning she died.

I wish Essie were alive to sit with, be with, talk with, but because she was so old her going is very natural. I wonder where she is now, what she is experiencing, who she is with.

There are people whose every word is worth hearing. Each sentence comes from a very deep place.  Essie was a beautiful crystal among the pebbles.