For Lynn

In memory of Lynn Smith

23 November 1958 - 8 May 2017

Service conducted by Clare Spedding

Music when entering

Brahms Requiem

Blessed are those who mourn,

for they will be comforted.

Welcome

The Lord’s my Shepherd, I’ll not want.
He makes me down to lie
In pastures green; He leadeth me
The quiet waters by.

My soul He doth restore again;
And me to walk doth make
Within the paths of righteousness,
Even for His own Name’s sake.

Yea, though I walk in death’s dark vale,
Yet will I fear no ill;
For Thou art with me; and Thy rod
And staff my comfort still.

My table Thou hast furnishèd
In presence of my foes;
My head Thou dost with oil anoint,
And my cup overflows.

Goodness and mercy all my life
Shall surely follow me;
And in God’s house forevermore
My dwelling place shall be.

Ein deutsches Requiem - 1. Selig sind - Brahms
00:00 / 00:00

Photograph:

28 March 2017 Lynn on the descent from Grisedale Pike via the Hobcarton ridge.  Looking to Hopegill Head and Ladyside Pike.

Music:

When entering

The opening of Brahms' German Requiem with its hushed setting of 'Blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted' provides much solace.  The recording is the classic 1956 performance conducted by Rudolf Kempe.

Schubert's 'To Sleep', just four lines and one page of music, is so simple, the tenderness of 'Protector! Friend!' at the start of the third line exquisite.  Baritone: Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau; Piano: Gerald Moore.

Schubert's 'To Sleep', just four lines and one page of music, is so simple, the tenderness of 'Protector! Friend!' at the start of the third line exquisite.  Baritone: Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau; Piano: Gerald Moore.

Psalm 121 - Read by Derek Coe

 

I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills,

from whence cometh my help.

 

Address

Eulogy - Read by Sue Black

Commendation

Schubert An den Schlaf  To Sleep

 

 

Komm, und senke die umflorten Schwingen,
Süßer Schlummer, auf den müden Blick!
Segner! Freund! in deinen Armen dringen
Trost und Balsam auf's verlorne Glück.

Come and lay your gossamer wings,

Sweet slumber, upon my weary eyes!

Protector! Friend! in your arms come 

solace and balsam to my lost happiness.

Music when leaving

Listz Mephisto Waltz

Service at Carlisle Crematorium

Monday 22nd May 2017

An den Schlaf. D 447 - Franz Schubert
00:00 / 00:00
Mephisto Waltz No. 1 in A major - Liszt
00:00 / 00:00

Donation in memory of Lynn will be for Shelter.

Refreshments following will be at Dalston Hall.

Everyone is warmly invited.

 

A website is being set up to provide an opportunity for Lynn's friends to record their memories of Lynn.  The website will include The Service Sheet and Eulogy, with photographs and links to Lynn's particular interests as highlighted in the Service, together with Andy's photographs from today.

 

Eulogy for Lynn

Lynn passionately believed in the principle: from each according to ability, to each according to need.

 

Lynn worked for more than 35 years in the NHS, training first as a general nurse and then specialising in psychiatric nursing.  In the early years she told me how she loved theatre work, perched on her standing stool seeing what was happening and how she relished the fine attention to detail required in laying out all the instruments in exactly the right position.  As a psychiatric nurse she has been willing and able to work in the most difficult fields: drug and alcohol services, a specialist secure unit for psychiatric offenders, and prison work.  She has always chosen to extend her skills, making the best use of training opportunities including a studentship research project and in her last post the Diploma in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.  I was so proud when Lynn received her Masters degree from Birkbeck College knowing just how much work she had put in and what it meant to her.  Lynn loved all the client work helping countless thousands of folk throughout her career.  I know she has always been held in highest esteem by her colleagues.  Her professional career demonstrates how she used her ability to the full to help those in need.

 

Lynn had a real concern for social justice and would rage at perceived injustices, be it the appalling plight of the homeless and refugees or the latest idiocies of public sector  management: how a target driven culture disables highly experienced professionals from delivering the services that would best meet needs.  She worried desperately about social cohesion and the increasing uncertainties facing us all.  She would help out where she could, recognising that this was little more than a token, and together we would write to our MP or the appropriate Minister.

 

Turning to her interests, Lynn loved walking which brought us together in Grasmere in 1979 and our wedding in Eskdale in 1983.  Living in Kent we would plan our holidays to maximise walking: shorter breaks in the Derbyshire and Yorkshire Dales, weeks or longer in the Lake District.  For our 20th wedding anniversary we completed all the Wainwright's by climbing Binsey, now our local fell, having had to spend a couple of holidays earlier in the year ticking off a handful of widely dispersed fells that we found we'd never climbed.  

 

Taking opportunity for a job for me in Carlisle, we moved up to Cumbria in 2004. Certainly there have been problems: the flooding in January 2005 and significant work demands have taken their toll, but with retirement in 2013, we made the most of walking opportunities and became incredibly fit.  We planned to complete the Wainwright fells each year and draw up our connoisseur's guide - the most rewarding way to enjoy climbing all the fells, leisurely, not record breaking.  

 

We also enjoyed a wonderful holiday in Northern Ireland for Victoria and Richard's wedding, and walking the Mountains of Mourne and the Giant's Causeway coast.  Lynn and I have since delighted in seeing Dylan as a baby and now a 2 year old and take great comfort from the love of Mary and all the family.

 

But our strong walking may have been too much as Lynn developed acute sciatica which on some days could be crippling and required a cocktail of medication, not always effective and with unwelcome side effects.  We drew up and regularly revisited a 'well being plan' with cuddles and gentle walking top of the list, and a focus on mindfulness and use of the Alexander technique.

 

Some days were good and we managed walks on the high fells, even Skiddaw and Helvellyn using the easier routes.  On other days lower level walks provided gentle exercise and opportunities to delight in the countryside.  We have kept a walking log for many years and Lynn has taken lots of photos and we were planning to illustrate the log with photos, together with digitising many of our old photos from years ago kept in boxes.  We rather thought these would provide solace in our dotage but the current log and photos are now giving me a great deal of comfort.  Lynn spoke again of her wish to do more work on the log and photos and wondered when we'd get round to it.  But we have managed a 2017 calendar, with much help from Andy and all at StormFront.  December features us on the high fells in snow with crampons.

 

Our last walk was just after Easter:

 

Monday 17/4/17 Dodd

First opportunity for a walk for some time as a result of the kitchen upgrade, London trips and Lynn’s leg pain.  Walking from Mirehouse for 9:15 to St Bega’s to see the Easter flowers - beautiful and so simple.  Returned to Claire’s for coffee and simnel cake via the lower yellow path.  Suitably refreshed walked to the lower observation platform - good to see bird feeders are now out and hear the squirrels are visiting.  Continued across the face of Dodd on the easy green trail enjoying the burgeoning spring signs and gentle sunshine,  if still a little cool.  Made the summit and took the green trail to Long Doors and back to Claire’s for a soup lunch.  Spent a pleasant hour on the yellow trail looking for the squirrels but no sign today.  Back to the car for 2:30 having enjoyed 5 hours or so in the fresh air.  Spent an hour in the garden and noticed buds on the damson tree for the first time after 7 or 8 years!  Hopefully we’ll get a few damsons in the Autumn.

 

I'm so pleased that our last walk included St Bega's, a place of beauty, wonderful flowers in the churchyard, and serenity.  Lynn loved to have some quiet time in the tiny church, just to sit and contemplate.  She'd reach for the change purse in my rucksack: during the last year's we just used the one - we joked with the wonderful Dr Kate at Caldbeck Surgery that Lynn had a medical exemption certificate for rucksack carrying.

 

Lynn was a great 'nester', lovingly creating and tending our garden and home.  She was fastidious in her attention to detail - as she was when laying out those surgical instruments in her early NHS training.  She enjoyed cooking and baking and loved taking a little something to Caldbeck surgery when picking up our prescriptions: what a caring service all at Caldbeck provide.  

 

We were progressing a number of home improvement projects and have delighted in the transformations achieved with many thanks for the incredible skills and patience of Bryan, Geoff, Brian and all, who have become good friends.  The kitchen was ongoing and Lynn saw her longed for Aga installed.  She did manage to stew some rhubarb she picked from the garden.  She saw the granite in Kendal.  The worktops were fitted when we were at the RVI: she would have been ecstatic.

 

Ballet meant so much to Lynn.  Whilst there were difficult times with her sciatica, there were also wonderful occasions when performances transported her: the utterly captivating Aurora debuts of Francesca and Yasmine in Sleeping Beauty.  We learned after that Francesca had been ill which may have underscored the so touching vulnerability she brought to the role and how radiant she was in the grand pas de deux.  And I'll never forget Lynn virtually jumping out of her seat with a scarcely suppressed 'Yes!' when Yasmine completed her Rose Adage balances, not requiring any support from Bennet, the last Cavalier, with his hand at the ready.  

 

For such very special occasions Lynn loved to arrange for bouquets and smiled so broadly when they were presented on stage, or she would leave some jewellery back stage with a little thank you note where a junior favourite dancer had given such enjoyment in smaller parts in a run of performances. She loved to have a few words with dancers at the stage door.  After the most gut wrenching performance of Anastasia she was so pleased to thank Laura and explain just how much the visceral dramatic ballets meant to her.  Laura's emphatic agreement 'Exactly and that's why we do it for people like you', together with such a warm embrace, meant so much to Lynn.

 

Since Easter Lynn has encouraged me to go to London and report back on a talk by Anna Rose, one of our favourite dancers whose signed pointe shoes Lynn was delighted to get in a charity lucky dip auction of dancers' pointe shoes.  We'd seen Anna Rose in The Nutcracker just a few day's previously to the auction, a performance which provided much of the material for the BBC's Nutcracker documentary.  Most recently I've been reporting back to Lynn on several performances of Mayerling, her favourite ballet.  'Skype'ing Lynn after performances, we could share much of the drama and Lynn was so keen to find out how well Laura, Francesca, Anna Rose and everyone else had done.

 

Our last evening, I was home from the Laura Mayerling early in the afternoon.  After supper we enjoyed a quiet evening, watering and tending the garden.  Lynn always came for a cuddle in bed, my arm in the air as she snuggled down with her head on my chest.  She always had such warm hands but cold feet and she would turn over and warm her feet on my legs.  She'd had some leg pain in the evening and in the early hours her leg pain woke her.  The leg pain eventually eased but she then was hit with an appalling head ache and almost immediately collapsed unconscious.

 

Lynn's desperate worry, has always been of being massively incapacitated, with all the accompanying indignities.  It was apparent that the stroke had been catastrophic and Lynn never regained consciousness.  To the last Lynn followed her principles, with organ donation helping to meet others' needs.  How wonderful the RVI Intensive Care team were, with Taz and Sarah providing such gentle, generous care for both of us.  How good it was to see Dr Alan Sweenie conduct the final brain stem death tests, almost balletic in the deliberate, slow pacing and extraordinary attention to detail.  He gave such an informative commentary and showed Lynn the greatest of courtesy.  And Lisa and Tracey from the organ donation team.  Lisa worked a 24 hour shift, most of it concentrating on Lynn and how recipients' needs could best be met, whilst always showing me such kindness.  She helped us take hand prints together, just overlapping a little as if touching, and lovingly plaited a lock of Lynn's hair.  I cannot comprehend how these people, and their many colleagues whose names I don't have, are able to do such a demanding job with such care;  and I know Lynn who so loved her clinical work and colleagues would have been so impressed.

 

Lynn's love of nature and ballet are brought together in Song of the Earth and the heart-achingly beautiful closing pages:

 

The dear earth everywhere blossoms in spring and grows green

Anew! Everywhere and forever blue is the horizon!

Forever ... Forever ...

 

In Kenneth MacMillan's ballet, to these words the Girl boirees backwards to and fro across the stage and is met by the Man and the Messenger who all join hands and, in ultra slow motion, they walk towards the front stage as the curtain slowly falls, in the most memorable performances dissolving in silence.  And I know we will all be holding Lynn's hands as she finally dances to the blue horizon.

 

I, and all of us, love you, miss you terribly, and will always remember you.

 

Thank you so much for everything, my beloved Lynn.

 

Simon

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View from Binsey