A celebration of a life.

My mother was a remarkable woman.

Back in North-West London (Preston Road, Wembley) my two sisters, Elizabeth and Eleanor, are today hosting a party to celebrate my mother’s life. Many family members and friends will be at the house.

My contribution was to record a eulogy that I will broadcast to everyone using a ‘FaceTime’ link between here and Alex’s tablet that he will have with him at the party.

I wanted to share that eulogy with all you good people.


Just like that!

How is it that I am sitting at a computer keyboard writing these words in this my seventy-second year of my life!

Where did it all go?

What did I learn?

But this is what I do know.

That it is only as we get into our ‘senior’ years that we can start to put our lives into some form of perspective.

When I look back at my life I can see many things that, in hindsight, I didn’t handle all that well. Yet that same backward gaze also reveals many things that I would never have changed.

That is the person that I am.

Or to put it in a more introspective way, that is the person that I was brought up to be. For each and every one of us rises to adulthood wearing a rather colourful psychological overcoat. Our life’s journey hopefully offers us the opportunity to undo our overcoat from time to time and take note of the shape and style of our underclothes.

That is the true legacy of my father, of my step-father and, most importantly, of my mother.

I was very privileged to have them as my guardians and parents.

Mum and Jeannie - photo taken 31st July, 2014 here in Oregon.

Mum and Jeannie – photo taken 31st July, 2014 here in Oregon.

16 thoughts on “A celebration of a life.

  1. Wow! How long have you got. Best thing is for you to spend some time browsing the blog.

    Starting with the home page:

    Dogs live in the present – they just are! Dogs make the best of each moment uncluttered by the sorts of complex fears and feelings that we humans have. They don’t judge, they simply take the world around them at face value. Yet they have been part of man’s world for an unimaginable time, at least 30,000 years. That makes the domesticated dog the longest animal companion to man, by far!

    As man’s companion, protector and helper, history suggests that dogs were critically important in man achieving success as a hunter-gatherer. Dogs ‘teaching’ man to be so successful a hunter enabled evolution, some 20,000 years later, to farming, thence the long journey to modern man. But in the last, say 100 years, that farming spirit has become corrupted to the point where we see the planet’s plant and mineral resources as infinite. Mankind is close to the edge of extinction, literally and spiritually.

    Dogs know better, much better! Time again for man to learn from dogs!


      1. Yes absolutely and what she will not do for her children that is why when a child asks god why r you sending me down and who will take of me like you do he says don’t worry I am sending you in good hands she is my reflection.


  2. It is tough to lose a parent. You think you are prepared for it because you know they are growing older and won’t be around forever. Then when it happens, you feel blindsided. This hits especially hard around the holiday season. Your eulogy was beautiful, Paul. I am certain that your mother is proud of the choices that you made in your life.


    1. Sister Elizabeth returns home to Tokyo tomorrow leaving my other sister, Eleanor, at my Mother’s home until she, in turn, returns to South Africa. They were both in reflective moods, unsurprisingly, when I spoke to them earlier today.


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