Kathy's Journey
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Kath died peacefully on 28th of August, 2009 - at home with all her family around her. She was surrounded by love.

The funeral took place at Bournemouth Crematorium on the afternoon of September 10. It was a beautiful day with sun beating down from a clear blue sky. Around two hundred mourners attended the service. The chapel was packed and people spilled out into the grounds. Rays of sunshine beamed in through the windows and cast a glow over the coffin. Kath's picture was placed on it facing the congregation.

Among the mourners were old friends from forty years ago, fellow art students, work colleagues, friends, neighbours and relatives from Ireland and England. There were flashes of blue uniform at the back of the chapel. Present were the three district nurses who looked after Kathy, representatives of the Palliative Care Team, all of the Marie Curie nurses who regularly cared for Kathy and also the MacMillan Unit sister who provided not only specialist medical support but also a constant source of cheerfullness and encouragement for the whole of the final two and a half year journey. You can see all of these people on the carers video.

The service was in accordance with Kathy's wishes. She had specified most of the elements within it some months before she died. Conducted by Roman Catholic priest, Father Marcus, it started with Dusty Springfield's "Going back" and ended with Sting's "Fields of Gold". Those two tracks form the background to the video slideshow of Kathy's life.

The congregation sang "All things bright and beautiful" and the choir performed Saint-Saen's "Ave Maria". The eulogy was given by Kathy's husband Mel. Her two sons, Tim and Laurie delivered their own special tribute to their mother. Kathy's friend Angie read the poem "What is a Friend?". Father Marcus read Kathy's chosen text from the Book of the Apocalypse.

Kathy had said that she wished the day of her funeral to be "A celebration, sociable and warm". It was all those things and finished with friends and relatives gathering at the house for cups of tea, cakes and sandwiches.

It was exactly the way that Kathy wanted.

Very English and also very Irish.

The ashes

Tim, Laurie, Miriam, Lewis and Mel scattered Kathy's ashes, as she had wished, along the Bournemouth seafront at first light on the morning of Sunday 3 January 2010.

It was an absolutely beautiful fresh clear frosty morning with the sun just beginning to rise in the east and the moon still high in the west. The stretch of beach is the one that was captured so many times in the photos that Kath took during her walks with Mel along the seafront. It is also a place where she often took Tim and Laurie when they were children.

In the picture below, you can see Laurie scattering some of the ashes into the sea.


In memoriam

A number of friends and relatives from Ireland attended a memorial mass at St Michael's church, Ballinskelligs, on November 7, 2009.

Here is a picture of the altar just before the service.


Memorial stone

A memorial headstone was erected in Bournemouth North Cemetery in early March 2010. On it were placed camelias from the garden.

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