18 August 2016
To my sweetheart Jeremy
It’s exactly 3 weeks today since you left us – and with each passing day I miss you more and more.
At present all the practicalities of your death are keeping me busy – first the funeral, then the clearing up of all your stuff – and boy you have a lot of stuff – fishing gear, golf clubs, tools, cameras, your beloved car – and so many clothes – I never realised just how many golf shirts you owned! And then there’s the paperwork and finances – the will, insurances, mortgage, banks, utilities… the list seems endless! Thankfully your dear friend Peter is helping out with so much of it.
A week ago today we held your funeral. It went off so well. Do you remember you told me that only about 100 people would turn up? Well I got a message from Reverend Ian Maslin the day after the funeral and he said “I wanted to let you know that there were 327 people attending the funeral yesterday; I have checked what records I can access and it appears as if this is the highest attended funeral at St Nicolas for quite some time. I think that goes to show how highly thought of Jeremy was…”
Such a lovely, kind message. It meant so much to me to see so many people at the church. We ran out of the Order of Service booklets! Angela designed such a beautiful one for you – lots of photographs and your favourite hymns!
Talking of kindness – we have received literally hundreds of messages of love, sympathy and support – cards, emails, texts, online messages – it has been overwhelming but comforting at the same time. The messages keep saying the same thing – how kind you were, how generous, a true gentleman!
You’ve never been one for all the attention. That’s usually me! Whereas I’ve always liked talking on stage, in front of people, being centre of attention – you’ve always shunned the limelight, preferring to be behind the camera instead of in front of it. And yet, in your own quiet, unassuming way, your thoughtfulness and kindness has touched each person that you came in to contact with – one by one you made a difference in their lives. These were the people who came to celebrate your life at the church and wake.
Ian who led the service – did so with so much compassion. I am so glad you were able to meet him before you passed away – he led a wonderful, moving service. I hope you enjoyed the G&T!
Jenny, Amanda and Tom also spoke at the service – I was so proud of them all – they were so strong and brave – not an easy thing to do.
We chose well when we discussed who was going to do your eulogy. Terry wrote so beautifully about you – and had everyone laughing and crying when he delivered the eulogy. He captured the essence of who you were so well – your humour, your kindness, your generous spirit and your love for life. He was also with me when I registered your death – one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do.
You asked me to get Tony from Gorringes to organise the funeral for you – and he was an inspired choice. So kind and thoughtful – he looked after me, Shiv and the girls so well when we came to see you at the Chapel of Rest before the funeral, then on the day of the funeral too. On the way from St Nicolas Church to Guildford Crematorium we drove passed Bramley Golf Club, and the hearse and car slowed down as a mark of respect for you – such a lovely touch.
At the crematorium Jenny, Katie and Amanda spoke honestly and were very emotional – but they opened their hearts to you – I’m glad they did. Your mum and Nick were there too. Your mum was in fine form!
The wake went off so well. I couldn’t have asked for more. The Bramley Golf Club staff and members pulled out all the stops. I met with Gill, Sue and Jean beforehand – and felt so reassured by their calm, efficient manner. They dealt with everything – and made it so very special, all courtesy of the club. The beautiful flowers by the lady members (purple and white – I know you would have approved), the greenkeepers marshalling the cars, Brian speaking so humorously about your car (which had its pride of place in front of the clubhouse). Remember when we were planning the funeral? You were so organised – you even told me what buffet to have and how much it would cost! Well, Michael and his team outdid even your expectations – they laid on a fantastic spread – and Michael was so generous – he didn’t charge me a penny. Now I know why you always considered Bramley Golf Club as your second home – they really did you proud.
By the way – the Samburu warriors had a blessing for you in Samburu and there were prayers held for you in Nairobi at the same time as the funeral.
And so to today. The funeral and wake are over. My parents and Shiv will shortly be going back to Kenya (after being a wonderful support), the endless stream of sympathy cards and messages is now down to a mere trickle, and people’s lives are going back to normal.
Except mine. I now need to find a new normal. A normal without your physical presence. And that’s so hard. (I should say that Tabasco has been playing up for the last 3 weeks – he misses you too!)
Today, I have a Jeremy-shaped hole in my heart. But I want to heal that hole with the love and memories that we both shared. I want to keep your memory alive – and I’m sure together with friends and family we will do so.
I am truly blessed. Not everyone gets to have a relationship with their soul-mate in this lifetime. I was so lucky – I got to spend nearly 20 years with mine!
But this is not the end. I know you are here watching over us all – present in spirit as we face the future.
And you will give me strength (because I really need you to do so) – and we will meet again very soon. Until then, remember that I love you …with all my heart…and more.
PS Since you’ve gone we’ve been raising money for Penny Brohn – I know how special that place was to you. People have been so generous. www.justgiving.com/fundraising/JeremyLucas2016
PPS The garden is looking lovely – Rosemary and David still help out and Julian replaced the glass pane in the greenhouse.
PPPS I’m only telling you all of this because you might have missed it all – being too busy with golfing, fishing, photography – “on the other side”.