REST IN PEACE, MY FRIEND

I first met Jan at university.  I was in my final year, and she was a fresher.  I invited her and her friend Dee to a Christian houseparty, where they both came to faith.  It gave us a special bond.

I spent a lot of time with them – probably too much, as I was working for my finals.  There were many ups and downs.  Jan was an only child of older parents from a village in Norfolk.  Coming to London was a huge culture shock for her.  She was a depressive and needed her friends very much, but graduated successfully, went back to her native Norfolk and had a long and fulfilling career as a teacher and deputy head.  She was a born teacher and absolutely loved it.

She lived with her parents for many years, eventually buying a little house of her own not far away from them.  She was devastated when they died, and never stopped missing them.  She found the selling of their house a traumatic experience.  She was acutely aware of having no family, and her friends were a strength and stay.

Jan developed a strong faith.  She became a Methodist Lay Preacher and  taught homiletics (the skills needed for preaching a good sermon) until recently.  Her faith was rocked now and again but she always came through, with a deepened understanding of God and herself.  It was always a connection between us.  Occasionally we would have long phone calls – her voice was husky with the steroids she had to take for her asthma, and interrupted by long and painful coughing fits.  Then a few months ago she was diagnosed unexpectedly with cancer in her kidney and her lung, and admitted to hospital for treatment.  Some of the treatment worked, and some didn’t.  Recently further tests showed that the cancer had spread to her brain and was inoperable.

She was very well cared-for at hospital in Norwich, with its state of the art equipment.  She did not suffer for long.  She was in and out of sleep for the past few weeks, visited constantly by local friends.  She dropped into a coma yesterday, and died peacefully this morning.

What a perfect day to choose, my friend – the feast of All Saints.  Rest in peace, and rise in glory.

Jan

Advertisements

14 thoughts on “REST IN PEACE, MY FRIEND

  1. It is sad to lose good friends. And fitting that she should be remembered at this time.
    She will be remembered by the many people whose lives she touched. May she rest in peace.

    Like

    1. thanks, Kegs. Because it’s All Saints Day there was a ‘service of light’ this evening which I was going to attend anyway. It came just at the right time, and meant I could light a candle in her memory. It was a lovely service actually, full of peace and comfort and was led very wisely.

      Like

      1. I also attended a service at church and lit a candle for my friend who died around this time last year. I am pleased to have had the opportunity to remember him like you have had for your dear friend.

        Like

  2. Ahhhh….it sounds like you two had a long and wonderful friendship, that is wonderful in itself. I’m glad you have so many memories and that Jan passed peacefully on such a special day. Hugs.xxx

    Like

  3. Sad to lose a much treasured friend. You have many happy memories to remind you, your faith must be a great comfort at a time like these. It is also helpful to know that everything possible was done for her. My son’s death was unexpected although he had an ongoing illness. He leaves such a gap in our lives.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s