My words

Peter's words from the Funeral Service

Stephanie has given me and our children something of great significance; and that is the sense that we are deeply loved.

Our marriage has been a huge blessing to me, and I thank God for the wonderful time we had. I thank God for Stephanie. I thank God for who I have become as a result of knowing Stephanie.

There was a wonderful freedom in me from the realisation that I just wanted to be with Stephanie regardless. I love being with her. I love her laugh; her loving teases and the magical peace when she held me.

There is an ocean of tears inside me, but also profound gratitude for what we have had. In the last few weeks we spoke of death quite often, almost pinching ourselves in our happiness. I told her that she wasn't allowed to die, but if she did, I would really need our children, and for them I am deeply grateful.

There is a magic in Stephanie. I always put it down to a fundamental relationship with her Father in heaven which encapsulated her very being. Tony and Ximme described it:

"And I can see her now, so much of God running around her head,

So much of God running around her heart, just love and joy.

If I could hold you now, I'd hug you so much

I'd squeeze you so tightly... and thank God with all my heart for letting me share time with you".

Stephanie and I met in 1985 and in 1987 her mother Peggy suffered and died from cancer. Stephanie was devastated and the sense of grief and sadness remained with her. She loved her mother deeply and wanted so much to share our children with her. Stephanie requested to be, and will be buried with her mother, and there is some joy in the sense that they are now reunited.

We all loved Stephanie deeply. My children would say that they love Mummy to infinity and back.

We have been hit by a tidal wave of love and support. I would like to thank everyone for the compassion and support that has come from every direction. It is undeniable that Stephanie's life has touched many and thank you for sharing with us. The last few weeks have been the hardest of my life and the support from every direction has really helped.

I am so lucky and blessed to have known and treasured Stephanie for so long. To be in a loving relationship is such a joy and privilege; and I would urge you all to treasure all your relationships because you do not know how long you have.

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