From your fellow Hospicians

Yvonne Paul

Yvonne Paul

On behalf of Therese’s Hospice friends in the UK and worldwide, I would like to thank all present for taking the time to celebrate the life of our dear friend,Therese Striggner Scott. I must explain that the word Hospice is Arabic (and in this context, it means a Lodging or Care home for travellers).

 

It was with deep sorrow to read the email from Therese’s daughter, Geta, announcing the passing of Therese. A few days before, I received a response to the email I sent Therese about an Italian friend of hers, Clotilde Richelmy, who lives in Rome. Clotilde is 95 years old.

 

I met Therese in the late 50s of the last century. We were forty four young girls living in an International Students hostel at 28 Lyndhurst Rd, Hampstead, London. The owner and Warden, Miss Mary K Wilkinson, had an idea to bring girls and mature female students from different parts of the world together, in order to understand and respect the rich culture of races and nations that live on our planet. The students were one third British (UK), one third Commonwealth and one third from Europe and the rest of the world.

 

Therese was an older and an outstanding member of this community. We, the younger students, sought her advice when needed. Therese never criticised or took sides, but was able to explain facts clearly and encourage the seeker to make her own decision, (a true Lawyer in the making). She was a well respected student, with a dynamic personality who was not forgotten after our studies ended.

From time to time over fifty years, some of us had small reunions to reminisce about bygone days.

 

A few years ago, another Lawyer, Shurabi Metha Nag, passed away in Poona, India. I sent the family a poem. Later, her son sent me an email to say that his family chose the identical poem to read during the celebration of her life. The poem is described as a message of Comfort and one of the most inspired statements of Hope and Belief ever written. The title is, «Death is Nothing at All« by Henry Scott Holland, thé Regius Professor of Divinity at the University of Oxford and Canon of Christ Church , Oxford.

 

Death is nothing at all

I have only slipped away to the next room.

I am I and you are you.

Whatever we were to each other,

That, we still are.

Call me by my old familiar name.

Speak to me in the easy way which you always used.

Put no difference into your tone.

Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.

Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes we enjoyed together.

Play, smile, think of me. Pray for me.

Let my name be ever the household word that it always was.

Let it be spoken without effect.

Without a trace of a shadow on it.

Life means all that it ever meant.

It is the same as it ever was.

There is absolute unbroken continuity.

Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight.

I am but waiting for you.

For an interval.

Somewhere. Very near.

Just around the corner.

All is well.

 

We Hospicians hope that the above poem will lift your spirits and remind us that even though we cannot see Therese as before, she is with us in Spirit.

 

May God bless you all and keep you Safe.

 

With all our Love.

 

Yvonne Paul, Cedars Cottage, Byfleet, West Byfleet, Surrey. UK.