This was, sadly, for a friend I have only recently got to know. She came on the choir trip to Cornwall last summer and I got to know her there and at choir, where she had a good voice and helped to keep me singing roughly the right notes. She also encouraged me to keep trying! Apart from that we had a few phone calls.
She had been ill since I have known her – fighting breast cancer – but since Christmas she had been ill and in hospital every time we had a holiday from choir, but then was soon back at rehearsals. After Easter she told a few of us that she had been told there was no more possibility of chemotherapy and then we didn’t see her after the half term in summer, when she was again in hospital.
She did come out of hospital after that and was staying with her daughter, as she and her husband were having their whole house painted! She had no energy, however and was not able to get up and get ready in time to get to choir. I did speak to her on the phone and arranged for a card to be sent from the choir.
A short time after term ended her husband phoned to say she was in the hospice – at her own choice. I did try to get to see her twice, but failed and she died about a week later. The funeral was about a week after that, at the crematorium. So many people attended that there was not room for everyone and there were quite a lot of us standing in the entrance hall. That was really good and showed how well liked she was and how active in various roles. She was very involved with the local amateur dramatic group and I think a lot of people came from that. About 9 of us came from the choir – 4 of us altos like she was.
The minister had obviously never met her, but the eulogy was very good and said a lot about her and how positive she always was. The final music was “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life” by Eric Idle, and that was a rather good summary of how she was.
So, although I didn’t like the fact that it was necessary, I am glad that I went, to show my respects and fondness for her.