Tuesday, 30 December 2014

RIP: Suzanne Vincent

I went to the funeral of Suzie Vincent yesterday at St Aubin on the Hill Church, which was packed. The sun shone and the church was full to bursting with so many people - and dogs! - who wanted to celebrate her life.

Her dogs were, as Mark Bond told us in his funeral address, as much part of her life as people, so it was fitting and right that they should be there. Sometimes they barked, and at the end, they briefly whined as if in sorrow.

I have never been to a funeral where dogs have been present before, but it felt right. How can one celebrate someone’s life if something so dear is excluded?

One thing which came through, both in the service, and in talking to anyone who had met Suzie was how selfless she was, how kind she was to people, and how she gave love, and everyone loved her. And yet she had known more than her share of sorrow, losing both her parents to cancer at a relatively young age, and have battled with cancer herself once before.

I remember her as a young girl helping with Sunday school, along with her sister Kate, and again as a helper with La Baguette, regularly and cheerfully turning up to help with the packing nights.

And on Easter day, I remember she would come to the very early 6 o’clock morning service in the Fisherman’s Chapel, at the great Easter day when Christian’s celebrate the risen Christ. May she rest in peace with her beloved Lord.


Somehow the dogs know, and bark,
As if angels passing, gave their hark,
At the parting, saying farewell;
Now this ending, sorrow, time so fell;
And yet as candle flame flows bright
We see her once more in our sight:
Memories, anecdotes, our own and
Others, each sketching with their hand;
Brave, scared, at the last of her days
Before she left on those strangest ways
From which none return, a veil drawn
Until the joyful resurrection dawn;
Time’s sands run out for each and all:
However brief the life, how great or small;
But she was loved, and that must be
A sign of joy for all there to see;
I knew her but briefly in her short life,
But grief still cuts through like a knife;
At the ending of a life, the end of the day
Light a candle in the darkness, pray.

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