Dear All

I made a few notes - sorry tp all who were there BUT so many of you have been 'keeping in touch' vicariously - anyone elselike to comment -

on what was a wonderful and terrible day - inspiring and yet we were all on the edge of breaking down - clinging on to each other - as we always have done I guess  -

with love to you all

Valerie



Dots funeral on Monday was very moving - the readings and address concentrated on the wonderful person who was 'our Dot' - and included many contributions from us all.

Andrew was an example of strength to us all - looking less frail than he has for some time, and immensely proud of Dot and all her achievements.

Many of us met at the house ahead of the service and drove to the crematoriom gardens together .
Jean Dixon was the last of our little band to arrive - she had only flown back from Canada the day before mindful of Dot's promise to 'wait for her'.

The service was led by the woman vicar from the hospice who had spent much time getting to know and love Dot over her last weeks there. She appreciated that Dot was 'not religious' in a conventional way - but was a wonderful peron who gave to all she knew. The tributes were funny as well as heartfelt - as we all remembered our great friend. So much of what we had written was included at various times that it felt as if we had all contributed to Dot's farewell.

The service card included the lovely picture of Dot and her cat, as well as the aborigine philosophy - we sang two favourite hymns (Abide with me  and Hills of the North) both carefully chosen to remind us of Dot's inclusive philosophy for the world to be a better place.

The first reading of 'Abou Ben Adhem' was so much the essence of Dot -  a person who loved others, and they continued with 'Remember me when I am gone away' as I imagine we always will remember our dear friend.   The tribute from the chaplain included  so many stories both from Andrew and the family, and from all our contributions to the website - including the wonderful story of the Rainbow Bridge, the story of the visit to the Cat Show in Birmingham and of course, the many, many protest meetings all over the country and the story of the London
taxi-driver who refused the fare.

After the committal we read the lovely prayer we all remember from one of our dear farmers during the troubles 'May the road rise to meet you' and as we left the chapel, deep in our own thoughts and memories and holding on to each other for comfort and support, they played John Lennon's 'Imagine'.

Together we enjoyed the beautiful spring day, and the glorious spring flowers - golden yellows and deep purples, some wound with wool from the sheep Dot loved so much, including personal verses from some of those who loved her so much - and have been privileged to share these past few months with her.

Back at the Chalet we joined together for comfort - as someone said 'it seems so odd that we don't have to write and phone any more' - and it will be strange without dear brave Dot - who shared this last few months of self-discovery with us all.

I hope we will be brave and strong enough to live up to the inspiration she brought us - and that we will all be 'still a thorn in their sides' as she urged us to be and keep up our work each of us in our own way - as we have done for all of these past two years.  I wish she was here to share with us - but am sure her spirit is watching over us still.