Our dear friend Helen died just over a year ago. You can download her memorial booklet here:
If you have any problem’s please email Jackie on firstname.lastname@example.org.
You may order a printed and bound version for £10 including postage by emailing Jackie and giving her your address. Jackie will advise you how to pay.
Here is a short article about Helen by Margot Oakenby.
It was quite a journey from first meeting Helen when I arrived at Trelay nearly 2 years before, to her death on November 1st 2014.
I discovered a quiet, thoughtful woman who had extremely strong views on certain subjects, and whose life was coloured and scarred by a very sad experience when her only son died ten or so years ago. And the subsequent reappearance of the dreaded cancer. I took to her immediately, we had some deep and meaningful conversations about life and death, and latterly insights into our childhoods and earlier experiences. We had both lived in community before, which made for another link.
Her feminism and love of words were both very strong. And the speed at which she completed jigsaw puzzles was phenomenal. I’m glad to say I’ve caught the habit, though not the speed.
Long journeys to Truro for treatment and check ups provided time and space for conversation. Her decision to stop chemo earlier this year was fully supported by me, and it was a joy to see her return to her full vigour and get her life back for a short few months before she started the downward spiral, gradually losing energy, then appetite. It was a race, but we got a Roundhouse built to her specs, and thanks to Jackie this was completed before her death. Now known as Helen’s Hut, it was a joy to see her pleasure in this small building become the reality she had dreamed of.
We fully endorsed her determination to stay at home for her end of life, not have strangers come to care, and to be buried here on the land. She had picked a spot up in Undertown ages ago with a sea view, quite the best spot and often frequented by the buzzards which she so adored. So when the time came we knew what to do: we cared for her in her cabin for that last brief week, kept her body on her bed until the time came for her burial, and then with much consideration from her brothers, she was carried on her last journey, up the fields to her final resting place with a simple ceremony to wish her farewell.
It’s so precious to have the Roundhouse up there too, a fit memorial to her, and a place for sitting quietly in meditation or contemplation.
I miss you Helen! Your quiet ability to stick to your guns, dig your heels in, say no; I learnt a lot and felt totally supported by you. I’m so sad you had to leave us, but I wish you well on your onward journey, wherever that may take you… The mystery of the afterlife: we ponder on what that means, yet I can feel you sometimes in the air, or round my shoulders as I wear your beautifully knitted cardigan; I believe you’re not too far away. Blessings friend, and much love.
Oops, Helen, you’re not here for a check! Did I put too many commas in this piece?!