12 December 2011

From the Evangelist desk.

My family and I thank you all for the many letters, cards, phone calls and prayers following the recent death of my mum.

In Loving Memory of Joan Bowman, my Mother, grandmother, great grandmother and friend who died on 17th October 2011 and whose funeral took place in New Romney on 27th October 2011.


Firstly here is a verse by Henry Scot Holland. 1847-1918, which my family and I have taken comfort from.

Death is nothing at all.
I have only slipped away into the next room.

I am I, and you are you.
Whatever we were to each other, we still are.

Call me by my old familiar name.
Speak to me in the easy way you always used.

Put no difference in your tone,
wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.

Laugh as we always laughed
at the little jokes we enjoyed together.

Let my name be ever the household word
that it always was.
Let it be spoken without effort, without the trace of a shadow on it.

Life means all that it ever meant.
It is the same as it ever was;
there is unbroken continuity.
Why should I be out of mind?
because I am out of sight?

I am waiting for you, for an interval,
somewhere very near,
just round the corner.

All is well.

Mum never suffered fools lightly, she spoke her mind and she was what one could call ‘head strong’. Throughout my life I wondered why mum was like this, because my nana wasn?t at all like this with me or other people, other people apart from mum that was, when they got together you could light the blue touch paper and retire to a safe distance to watch the fireworks. Well I thought maybe that explains why mum was so headstrong!

But she always told me she was a daddy’s girl. I then thought about Poppa George and how he used to let me share his breakfast and how he used to get into trouble because he used to get me dirty and grimy. Then whilst sorting her house I came across a letter.
‘Dear Joan,
There is no such word as inclosed it is a word used by illiterate people. Enclose means to put in or insert, shut in or so forth, so tell your friend to forget all about it the proper pronunciation is enclose. (the letter goes on).

Although she was a hard nut on the outside, I know that she loved my children, their children and me. She loved Ron her husband and was dutiful to him until the very end. And even until the last she was more worried about me making myself ill travelling to see her every weekend than she was about her own illness.

St Matthew: 6:19-21 (NIV)
19 ‘Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Mum was also very generous and if anyone was in need, and it was in her power to help, albeit with a kind word, or with a present, or financial, she would provide just to help through the hard times.

To me, listening to her on the phone, or sitting by her bed when we visited, mum came across as a generous person, and her friends were generous back in return. I cannot emphasise enough how people’s friendship to mum kept her spirits up and brought her comfort and joy.

For the great grandmother, grandmother, mum and friend to us all, we celebrate your life and the many ways in which you have touched each and every one of us.

St John. 14:1-3 (NIV)
1 ‘Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. 2 My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.

In loving memory of my mum.

Yours in Christ
Rick Hayes