Yesterday thanks to facebook, I discovered the loss of two people, one of whom I have known for many years and who made an enormous contribution to the South East National Offender Management Service. Soraya is pictured here, her death whilst not a huge shock due to the knowledge that she was terminally ill with a secondary diagnosis of cancer, is nevertheless a huge loss to her family, her friends, acquaintances like myself and the wider community in Lewes where she made an enormous contribution over many years. I first met her when she became a Trustee of a charity I had helped to establish. The other person who has died in the last day or so is Margaret Walker, the Mother of someone I have worked with in the past. Although I never met Margaret, based on the posting from Chas her son, she was a very inspiring Mother. A couple of days earlier I read a posting that informed me of the death of David Weston, a Roman Catholic Priest who worked in the Blatchington area of Hove for over a decade. His contribution to joint working between Churches in that area and more widely across Brighton and Hove was enormous. Sadly whilst there is very little visible evidence of his hard work, he influenced many people in the way he sought to build bridges across traditional divisions. His death which came at the end of last year came at a similar time to one of his work colleagues in the Baptist Church who was based in the same area. Wheras David was way past retirement age, sadly the death of Andrew Edwards was a long way before his life had run its full course if we assume that most of us will live around three score years and 10. However Andrew like David proved capable of working outside of his expected comfort zone. Sadly like Soraya Andrew had been terminally ill for some time. Earlier this week we all heard about the unexpected death of Dolores O’Riordan from the Cranberries whose work continues to appear on Spotify and similar sources of music.
I recall as I was growing up meeting people at the age of retirement who spoke of the number of funerals they attended on an annual basis, almost as though they were marking time with the reduction in number of their friends. Life is clearly not quite as straightforward or predictable as I had assumed. I hope that Soraya and David, Margaret and Andrew along with Dolores will all Rest in Peace, along with whoever I next hear about. Thankfully in different ways each of them will leave a huge legacy behind them.