A Good Send-Off

10 Aug

The service of thanksgiving for the celebration of the life of Mr Prue went well. So many people came from all over the country, some of whom I hadn’t seen for well over 10 years. It was good to see them all catching up with each other at the afternoon tea after the service, exchanging contact details.

The service itself was wonderful. It was just right, with music Dez loved, two tributes by the ex-head of the research institute where Dez and I worked for so long, and also the chairman of the geology group we both belonged to.

Here’s the order of service. It seems odd putting it on a writing blog but I want to share.

Requiem by Tomas Luis de Victoria sung by the Armonico Consort

Entrance music: Hanaq Pachap Kusikuynin sung by Ex Cathedra

Welcome and Opening Prayer

Poem: Not how did he die, but how did he live? Anon

Tribute (about Dez’s scientific career)

Reading: Proverbs ch 4, vs 5 – 13 (we heard this on a visit to Ely cathedral a few years ago. We’d been on a tour of the cathedral, the last of the day. As it finished the evening service was starting and Dez suggested we stayed for it. Rather odd as he didn’t believe in God and so never went to church. The reading was Proverbs ch 3 and 4. It impressed me so much that I asked one of the clergymen after what it was, and he wrote it down. I’d looked it up in the bible when I got home and left the piece of paper in the page, then forgot all about it. When a friend phoned the other day to suggest a reading, the bible opened at Proverbs. I remembered and thought, “Yes! That’s just right”.

Hymn: For the beauty of the earth

Tribute: (about Dez’s invovlement with the geology group)


Music: Blowin’ in the Wind by Bob Dylan (Dez loved Bob Dylan’s music. I didn’t share this love – one of the very few because mostly we liked the same music. It seemed right to have Dylan in somewhere, although I had to grit my teeth through it!).

Reading: Song of Songs ch 8, vs 6 – 7 (NIV)


Hymn: He who would valiant be ‘gainst all disaster

Commendation, Committal and Blessing

Poem: If I should go before the rest of youby Joyce Grenfell

Exit: Trumpet Tune and Ayre by Henry Purcell

A friend did the flowers; ivory roses with frothy gypsophilla, stripey grass leaves and larger dark green leaves. It was a glorious tribute. And I cut some wild carrot flowers because Dez worked on fungal diseases of carrots.

It was a sunny day, people stood around afterwards chatting in the sunlight. It was more like a party which was lovely. Afternoon tea lasted nearly 3 hours! This was held at the conference centre where Dez worked. They put display boards on tables and I’d put up lots of photos of Dez. There must have been well over a hundred people there and I think I managed to speak to every one of them.

It was a fitting end to a life well-lived and enjoyed, and it was wonderful to see people talking and laughing. The afternoon was as good as it could be, and as more than one person said, “Dez would really have enjoyed it,” which made me smile because I think he would have.



Posted by on August 10, 2012 in Uncategorized


16 responses to “A Good Send-Off

  1. Ramble

    August 10, 2012 at 5:13 pm

    It sounds like it was a perfect day of tribute for Dez, and I’m glad so many of his and your friends could share in it. A remarkable life, no doubt! Hugs to you, Prue, and for many sunny days and warm memories to come.

    • Prue

      August 11, 2012 at 12:53 am

      Thanks for your good wishes Ramble. Life seems bleak right now but I hope that there will be ‘sunny days and warm memories to come’ one day.

  2. Rabia

    August 10, 2012 at 6:22 pm

    *HUGS*, Prue! I’ve been thinking of you and wondering how you’ve been. I’m glad you had a lovely, sunny day to gather together with your loved ones and remember Dez.

    • Prue

      August 11, 2012 at 12:55 am

      It was a lovely day. I feel bereft of my partner now but life must go on. *hugs back*

  3. rae101049

    August 11, 2012 at 3:52 am

    I’m glad to see you on line again. Thankyou for sharing Dez’s celebration of life with us. Bless you heart, Prue.

    • Prue

      August 11, 2012 at 7:47 am

      Thanks Nancy.

  4. Diane J Mills

    August 11, 2012 at 4:02 am

    Glad to hear you could share memories of Dez with many friends. Hugs.

  5. Prue

    August 11, 2012 at 7:47 am

    Thanks Diane *hugs*

  6. Kirsten

    August 12, 2012 at 10:50 pm

    Thank you for sharing this. It gave me chills (the good kind!) to read about the verses you choose, and even that ‘Blowin’ in the Wind’ was one of the songs played. It’s so important to remember the ones that have left us, and I’m glad to read that you were able to do that in such a fitting and lovely way. 🙂

  7. Prue

    August 13, 2012 at 1:46 am

    The reading about ‘get wisdom, get understanding’ seemed just right for a research scientist, and the poem ‘not how did he die but how did he live’ could have been written about Dez. What a loss. You’re right, it is important to remember the ones that have gone, and also have a service which offers comfort to those remaining. Everyone said how lovely the service was and I was so pleased by that. I wanted to do the best for Dez as it was the last thing I would do for him.

  8. Wendy

    August 13, 2012 at 8:29 am

    Dear Prue,
    I’ve not done a good job keeping up with my HTTS classmates and that’s a sorry excuse for not stopping by to read your posts about your dear one. I am sorry you lost him (in one sense) and hope that you’re really beginning to feel that in others he isn’t gone at all. The service sounds perfect.

    By the way, consider that it wasn’t the last thing you do for him – but a continuation in a long line of kindnessess that would make him happy. At some point when you feel like writing again, that might also be in the same category.

    A hug to you dear writing friend,

    Wendy (aka estuary)

  9. Prue

    August 13, 2012 at 8:23 pm

    Thank you for such a lovely idea – a continuation in a long line of kindnessess – and including writing in that. He would want me to carry on with the writing – he was very supportive of what I was doing.
    Hugs to you Wendy x

  10. Mike Schulenberg

    August 22, 2012 at 5:21 am

    Sorry I haven’t dropped by sooner, Prue. I lost track of how long it’s been since I’ve done anything online 😦 I’m glad to see that you’re posting and stuff, which I think can only be a good thing.

  11. Prue

    August 22, 2012 at 8:02 pm

    No problem Mike. You must be up to the ears in new stuff! Yes, getting back to posting means I’m feeling a bit better and trying to get some normality back into what is now a very strange life. Thanks for dropping bye.

    • Mike Schulenberg

      August 22, 2012 at 8:34 pm

      I just finished up the summer session, so now I get a week off until the Fall semester begins where I will handle more than one class simultaneously for the first time in 20 years or so. I intend to partly use this time to get reacquainted with social media, and hopefully blogging.

      I’m glad to hear you’re feeling a bit better. Keep hanging in there *hug*

  12. Prue

    August 24, 2012 at 7:58 pm

    Enjoy your week! You’ll be fine with more than one class. If you want to do it, you will.
    Thanks very much *hug*


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