Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Honey, May 1974 - 6 September, 2011.

Eulogy at Honey's funeral by Patrick Devitt (I have taken the liberty of substituting Honey for her real name.)

My friend Honey lived an extra-ordinary life. She died before her time and we miss her. Trying to sum up such a life is impossible. Honey could be remembered as anyone of the following:
Honey the Artist – who sought to bring beauty to world, who sought to challenge and confront her audience, to ask them to stand back and observe or to move in to see the detail, to challenge their own perceptions.

It was Honey the Artist, I met first in Glasgow in 2000, she invited a bunch of students to watch some performance art in some downtown gallery. I believe she even promised a free glass or two of wine. So being a fan of a free drink, I trooped along. Little did I know that was how I would meet one of my greatest friends ever while being sworn at by a German eating Bratwurst. We shared many laughs and memories over the years, this brings me to the second Honey.

Honey the Friend – my friend Honey was a firm and mighty friend, putting herself out for those around her. Her friend, Marianne, who cannot be with us today, asked me to recall one of her fondest memories of Honey. After a serious operation in Brussels, Marianne needed some assistance getting around, Honey stepped up and organised a rota of friends to come around and take care of her.

She had a habit of producing some unusual gift for her friends, including a jar of Marmite on one occasion. She had an unusual sense of humour and anyone who saw her painted car Malcolm would certainly agree. Our friend had a generous spirit and a way of making things happen for her friends.

It was as a mother that Honey really came into her own. She took great pride in her beautiful children. They are the very expression of Honey, her creativity, her joy and sometimes her sheer devilment. In her children, I see Honey’s poise and grace, her creativity and curiosity, her playfulness and mischievousness. They are the very best of her. She took great solace in you. You gave her great comfort. In each of you I see part of your mother.

In her eldest daughter, I see Honey’s art, the beauty of creation, a beautiful young lady from afar and when you get to know her you see her, like her mother’s art you find complexity and sincerity that warms the soul.

In her son, her little man, I see the playful side of our Honey. Whenever I would visit Honey, I remember her son using me as a climbing frame. You have such joy in you, and you share it so generously, just like your mother.

Her little Pema, who I am just getting to know, you helped her mother fight, you gave her the energy to fight, you spurred her on to confound everything she was told. One of the things I will remember most about my friend was her spirit, her determination, her sheer will – she was fierce.

Another Honey – Honey the Warrior. After Honey was diagnosed with cancer, she was not given long to live, she fought, she fought hard, she survived. She endured pain. She kept going. She made sure her children would be well cared for.

To those of us charged with their care, help them remember their mother for the strong and complex woman that she was. For the sometimes daft and funny woman she could be. For the artist that she was. Know that we, her friends and loved ones, will be there to support you as you help these wonderful children grow and develop.

To those of us left saddened by Honey’s passing, I say remember! Remember her joy, remember her Spirit, remember her creativity, remember the friendship she gave each one of us. Our Honey was many things to many people: friend, counsel, lover, mother, foil and inspiration. Our lives are richer for having known her. We each have our own memories of Honey, hold them in your hearts, share them with her children, share them with each other and in doing so remember!

I will always love and miss my friend; she was taken from us too early. I know she does not suffer anymore. I know she is in a better place, I know that she is watching over us all, especially her children. May you grow to be like your mother, true of heart, creative and wise, fierce and determined and always thoughtful of others.

Honey was my friend and I will miss her but I feel her strength and love here today, so we do not say goodbye but see you later.

12 comments:

Anji said...

That was very beautiful...

Z said...

I missed Honey after she stopped blogging, and have wondered about her. She knew from the start that her time was limited, I'm so sorry that she has died. Her poor little children. Thanks very much for posting the eulogy, Zoƫ, sad though the news is.

Anonymous said...

I can't place "Honey's" blog identity, but I remember when Marianne had her surgery. I also remember what a character Marianne is, and how you and she would tease each other through your blogs.

If "Honey" fit in well with you and Marianne, then you've both lost a good, true and hilarious friend. My condolences, Zoe. Please pass them along to Marianne, "Honey's" family, and her other friends.

Anonymous, too

Zoe said...

Anon, too - Honey was very special to everyone she knew and was always in the right place at the right time. I wanted to write a post about her but I couldn't without cracking up. Patrick's eulogy was perfect and he added some funny times that he shared with Honey when they were at University together.

At the Wake, pictures of Honey were shown right up to her last days, and in each one of them she was smiling. That is what I'll remember most about Honey, her smile, and make sure that I try to smile and be there for others when I can.

She was an incredibly unique and special person who shall be missed but never forgotten.

Guyana-Gyal said...

What a beautiful way to remember a friend.

Aww, I feel so sad for her children. I remember her blog, I'd shared her story with my mother, she too is sad.

lom said...

Sometimes live can be cruel

Dave Dutton said...

Beautiful. I can hardly see to post this comment.

Keith said...

I'm so sad to hear the news. I loved to read her blog and when she stopped posting I knew in my heart something was amiss, but I hoped that I was wrong.

Thanks Zoe, for posting that tribute to her. I appreciated that.

Beleaguered Squirrel said...

Oh gosh, I had no idea. I remember her blog, and I remember swapping several emails with her. I remember when she posted a pic of the painted car and said that she was setting off on her travels. I remember what a beautiful spirit she was, and what a fierce mother.

Thankyou for posting this, it was very moving and I am very sad.

I also had no idea that you were no longer living in Brussels! I am so out of touch with everyone and everything.

(Clare Boob Pencil)

Pat said...

You were blessed to have a friend like Honey and I hope the happy memories will alleviate the sadness.
Honey had too short a life but I don't think she wasted a moment of it.

Mr Farty said...

I never met Honey, but I remember her blog, her mad car and her photo with the glasses on back-to-front just before she left Brussels. She was an amazing woman. Thanks for the wonderful eulogy.

Mike said...

Everybody who knew her will have their own special memories of a very special person.

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