As you can imagine, the last two weeks have been very full of practical matters made none the easier by dad suffering from pleurisy. Because he was looking after Mum full-time, he had no time to find a church for himself until she was spending her final weeks in a home, and then he made his base with a church just outside Malvern. It was the perfect place for the memorial service to be held. We held our own family time of prayer in the side chapel the night before, and then Dad and I, with Tim and Dominic wheeled Mum down the aisle at the start of the service – which was a great deal more fitting than letting the undertakers do the job!
Dad had chosen a number of short readings which various people read out. I then shared a selection of the tributes that we had received. Quite a few of these are attached as comments at the end of Ros’s article last week, but we have included two or three additional ones from the many we received below. Linda sang her own version of the hymn ‘Jesus the very thought of Thee’ and Carol contributed three powerful songs of her own, which really touched Christian and pre-Christian alike.
The whole service celebrated life rather than death: Mum has gone on the most exciting adventure of her life, and we have a great sense of her doing well! At the very moment that she passed to glory, I had a great sense of ‘the next generation’ and the whole family were anointed with oil during the service.
Some hours after that I had a great sense that the Lord was introducing her to various people from well before my own time (she had been adopted herself as a toddler, following the early death of her mother). As Mum was laid to rest in a double grave there were obviously tears all round but it is so precious that we do not grieve as others do, who have no hope of resurrection.
Tributes and Comments from Friends
Thank you for the beautiful way – in action and word – you have honoured
Angela’s life and home-going. After all the wrenching encounters as
disease altered her, before your eyes, what an exquisite wonder to now
witness fears and cares and questions smoothed away, her lovely face
deeply at peace, cradled in God’s hand, the long suffering ended. May
God gift you all with a new rhythm this week: for remembrance,
reverence, and reflection. God be with you, tangibly, each hour.
My love goes out to you all you release your mom into the open arms of
our Lord and Saviour. The Holy Spirit will give you both grace to stand
in love during this transition and into the future.
Much love. Paul and Gretel Haglin
Tribute to Dad
Dear John You are such a wonderful man . . . You cared for Angela so
well, even when things got so difficult. I know you didn’t always find
it easy but love shone from your eyes and in all things, you considered
Angela first. I will always remember you both coming to a coffee morning
at Church Stretton Parish Centre and my sister Kathryn was serving teas.
She asked me who you were and said what a lovely couple you were,
holding hands and looking lovingly into each other’s eyes. My sister
said she would like to have a husband who was in love with her as much
as you obviously were in love with Angela. I can’t feel sad for Angela.
We all know where she is now! If someone came to me and told me they
were going on holiday, I would be pleased for them. Angela is somewhere
so much better than any holiday I have ever been on. I imagine her
worshipping and singing with her beautiful voice and her lovely hair
amongst the angels in Heaven – I experienced a bit of this when I sat
next to her at Cwm Head; but I bet the beauty of it all now is
breath-taking and blinding!
Thinking of you so much love, Carol (Morris)
Tributes to Angela
I remember your mum as a lovely quiet and supportive and talented woman . . . How marvellous that that black cloud has now been wonderfully
lifted, and that she is, in the words of the hymn, “reclothed in her
A golden heart stopped beating, hardworking hands at rest, to dance and
reflect a beautiful life, now at home at last. May you all feel a touch
of the delight Mum now knows, and be bathed in sweet comfort for her joy
and for all she has been to you.
Shalom in Jesus Name. Stella x
We have such fond memories of Angela – most of all we remember her
radiant smile. She smiled beautifully with her eyes. In this, she
reflected the glorious face of Christ, whom she now sees face to face.
Our love and prayers, Tony and Jill Roake
Such a beautiful testimony, not only of a beautiful, gracious lady, whom I remember from years past, but of a beautiful family who spreads abroad the fragrance of the Lord’s love and joy in so many ways through all circumstances.
Thank you. Xx Treva
How I thank God that you have the sure and certain knowledge that your
Mum is, right now, doing what she always wanted to do – look on the face
of Jesus and be overcome, and welcomed into, heavenly choirs of praise.
What comfort He beings in your mourning.
With our love, Richard and Ann
May the glory that now surrounds Angela settle on you as a family. The
devotion and sacrifice we have witnessed from each one of you,
especially John, shows us what real love looks like. I am humbled by
that. and grateful for the lovely memories I have of Mum. Thank you,
Ros, for taking us behind the veil. Your intimate account has brought
Heaven very close. My heart goes out to all of you in the sweet pain of
Gratefully and prayerfully yours. Florence Joseph