Monday, March 26, 2007


There comes a time in every person's life when their Mum dies. From that moment, it seems as if someone has drawn a big line in the sand and all one's past begins to float gently, like an ocean liner packed with freight and passengers, down the river to the ocean. One can still visit it in a rowboat and spend time there, at least for a while, but the main challenge is to now face forward and embrace a new life, new opportunities and possibilities. My Mum was 93 and is now at peace. This is the poem i wrote the night before her funeral.

Release of the Spirit

(For Grace: 2 Dec 1913 – 15 December 2006)

The roses are still blooming

In the mild winter air

But the gardener whose delight they were

Is no longer there

The piano sits in silence

In the bungalow’s still air

But the pianist who made the music

Is no longer there

The dollies all stare sightless

Dressed up like ladies fair

But the girl who so adored them

Is no longer there

The ornaments on the mantle

Are arranged with artistic flair

But the dresser who carefully placed them

Is no longer there

The wandering cats of the street

Found love and comfort there

But the woman who loved them dearly

Is no longer there

The apple tree still stands

Its fruit gone, branches bare

But the woman who ate the crispy Cox’s

Is no longer there

The southern downland still survives

Full of memories beyond compare

But the dreamer who loved its stories

Is no longer there

The spirituals, hymns and carols

Once used to fill the air

But the singer who raised her joyous voice

Is no longer there

The restless sea is surging

Waves crested with mermaid’s hair

But the swimmer who surfed the shallows

Is no longer there

The colours of the rainbow

Imagine them if you dare

But the artist who employed them

Is no longer there


This lady was called Grace

Kathleen Lovegrove May

Her body may have left us

But her spirit is with us today


Fly sweetly

Dear heart

Into the bright light

Be at peace

For evermore

Safe and sure

In the knowledge

That your work

On earth is done

And your time

In heaven is at hand

John May

Written on the night of the 7th January 2007 and read for the first time at Grace’s Memorial Service at Steyne Gardens church in Worthing on the 8th.

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