A personal email from Gillian

To: p.smee@bigduck...

Or maybe.. .org.elsewhere

Hi Paul

I just thought I’d drop you a line. You went away so suddenly there wasn’t much time to talk. Six weeks is really no notice for such a departure – not for you, not for Ann, not for any of us. We’re still profoundly shocked and trying to make sense of it, though somehow I doubt if there’s any sense to be made. Maybe acceptance is the best we can go for.

It wasn’t possible to say ‘we don’t want to lose you’, ‘please don’t go’, ‘we are so sad’ – but I hope you knew that’s what we were thinking as we tried to distract ourselves and you with our chatter.

Nor was it possible to say ‘hang on a minute, who’s going to hack into my computer next time I’ve lost the passwords? Who am I going to consult about bicycles for Owen? Who will possibly provide such entertainment as reversing at high speed into a concrete pillar in an empty car-park (well nearly empty)?

How can I begin to describe the value of your friendship over twenty-five years – a critical member of the group that’s held my family together through our troubled times? You could always be relied on for a comical remark, an alternative view, an encouraging smile, a wiggling of the eyebrows... And for being half of what we’ve come to know as Annanpaul............famous for your hospitality, your sociability and your inseparability.....an example of partnership few can match.

I’m sure you know that we are grieving with and for Ann. Although there is nothing we can do to relieve her sense of loss, we’re hoping practical things and company will do a little to help her through the dark days.

I’d like you to say hi to the folks we both knew back here, especially to Tony and Phil and Andrew. I hope by now they’ve developed some compatible software and sorted wireless technology or you won’t get this. I also hope they’ve not drained the entire stocks of red wine before your arrival.

Just one last thing; if you manage to get a word with God you could warn him I’ve got one helluva lot of questions for him when it’s my turn.

Much love

Back to text of service |  Kit's contribution |  Bob's contribution | Obituary notice