A strange start to the New Year

libbyI am pleased to say that despite my own advancing years I am rarely invited to attend funerals or celebration events for people who have died. However on the first working day (for most people) of 2017 I was involved in an event to celebrate the life of someone I had known for over 20 years and yet who was only in her early 40’s. It seems strange to feel upbeat about the loss of someone so young. When we first discovered Libby had died, the news came via facebook and a message from her parents in USA who had been woken up by State Troopers who in turn had been contacted by Sussex Police. After many weeks her body was released and the process of funeral and memorial services could be planned. The whole process was a bit chaotic at times, with various elements being decided from the States and some from here and yet at the end of the whole set of arrangements it felt a bit like a release and in an odd way a celebration of someone very special. The presence in one space of family, social friends from the church and other organisations she attended, and work friends (she had worked for the same employer for 18 years) and some music, some sensitive words and even some dance all culminated in a fitting way of saying goodbye. The strangest element was speaking to people who had known Libby almost as long as I had, who met her every working day of her life, yet had no other connection with the other people in the room. Rest in Peace Libby and thankyou for introducing us to your friends and work colleagues. We will all miss you very much (and have been missing you since early November). What is very touching is your final post on facebook which is the image of a post it note arguing for us to safeguard the NHS, based on your experience of the American health system. That seems like a very fitting legacy for you to leave behind.


About ianchisnall

I have a passion to see public policy made accessible everyone who want to improve the wellbeing of their communities. I am interested in issues related to crime and policing as well as in policies on health services and strategic planning.
This entry was posted in Brighton & Hove, Church Teaching, Health Reform. Bookmark the permalink.

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