I am John's uncle - Clare's "uncle-in-law", I suppose, if there is such a title. Clare is in my thoughts at this time because one year ago she and John and Jack and Ben came to Dublin from Kenya on the first stage of their holiday before going on to Congresbury. They stayed with me for about a week and were guests at my surprise 70th birthday celebrations. It was a joyous occasion and I was so pleased they had come. The time they spent in Dublin was brief but filled with happiness and lots of laughter. I can see Clare's smiling face now.
Clare never returned to Kenya. At the time it had not entered her thoughts that she wouldn't. She had a problem with her foot and limped a little but she gave no indication that it worried her in any way. And as the terrible disease took hold and raced through her body she showed remarkable fortitude. I stayed with them in their new home in Congresbury for periods in December and January and remember with admiration Clare's strength of mind as she struggled with the simple physical tasks of daily living that we all take for granted. And through it all she was able to direct her household; her mental capacity as sharp and clear as ever.
I last saw Clare a few weeks before she died, lying in the Hospice bed, John, Jack and Ben by her side. Serene, her smile more tranquil now but bright as ever.
There is a terrible sadness about an untimely death. We ask what might have been. Clare had such a full and fruitful life but far too short. It will reach fulfilment in the years ahead in the lives of her children.
I came across this piece from a poem by Lord Byron:
"Whom the gods love, die young" was said of yore
And many deaths do they escape by this:
The death of friends and that which slays even more,
The death of friendship, love, youth, all that is,
Except mere breath. And since the silent shore
Awaits at last even those whom longest miss
The old archer's shafts, perhaps the early grave
Which men weep over, may be meant to save.
From Kevin Brennan on 30/7/2007
Happy 40th birthday Clare,
We had a small celebration of your life on your birthday yesterday (May 13th as if you didn't know). We put some flowers on your grave, chatted and reminisced about your life and all the wonderful times we shared. Ben, your fellow pyromaniac was in charge of birthday candles and created a fire you would have been proud of. The boys blew out the candles on your behalf!! They hold your torch, which (literally) continues to burn brightly.
We love you and miss you and continue to remember usually with smiles on our faces
John, Jack and Ben xxx
From John, Jack & Ben Mauremootoo on 14/5/2007
We didn't know Clare but our thoughts are with all of those who have to bear the grief of having lost someone so dear. This is a message full of hugs to all of you and we hope will maybe give some comfort through difficult times ahead.
Our love and thoughts are always with you.
Anne and Jane
From From all the Turner family on 8/3/2007