A Tribute to Ann

Know that the river of Life

will never cease to flow.

Ever present

to guide and

carry you home,

She is your closest friend.

Trust your friend,

and give thanks

for Her eternal blessing.

William  Bloom 

This was not a cemetery, but Nature in all her loveliness.

In a meadow on a cliff top in Pembroke, looking across a sea that was quiet as glass, blue sky and wisps of mist, a guitar and violin playing angelic English folk music, her close family and friends gathered. Her casket was natural wood with a curved top all in a soft blue with a white dove of peace painted upon it.

Geoff had asked the landowner whether it might be possible for Ann to be laid to rest in a place that she had loved and the landowner had said yes. Geoff also found a man who could use a digger as skilfully as a sculptor and the perfect grave was dug in this perfect meadow.

The event was poignant and blessed with grace. As husband, two sons and brother-in-law, slowly lowered the casket, I was momentarily concerned that there might be a slip as the four men gripped the webbing and took the weight. But all was well.

A moment of love not thought.

In the midst of this beauty there were of course tears, but there was also a sensitive good humour, which reflected the very essence of Ann’s nature. She was intelligent, generous, great company, funny, enquiring and entertaining.

Standing there, my heart touched and open, I found my mind wandering in a way that I thought was inappropriate. My mind started to draft this piece that you are reading now.

Not now, I reproached myself, this is a moment of love not thought.

Almost immediately I imagined Ann’s amusement at my musing and also her approval. Good job William, I fantasised her saying to me. And what, I further imagined her asking me, are the books that should go with your piece? What will our readers like?

This was the essence of her work and her calling. In Cygnus magazine she created an ambience of intelligent love and then pointed us toward ideas, authors and books that would stimulate, heal, reassure, enlighten and feed us. Her calling supported fellow travellers on the spiritual path and also supported authors. Her friendship and encouragement reassured me. We live in a world that is not always friendly to spirituality and the study of the more subtle dimensions. It is good to have allies and partners. She was a pillar for me and for many.

Her illness was long like a river with strange turns, waterfalls and deep pools. At her side through it all with absolute loyalty and unconditional love were Geoff and her two sons, Sam and John. At one point, in one of the hospital stays in which Geoff slept on the floor beside her, I talked with her and she was excited! I could hardly believe the vitality and good energy.

‘It’s amazing,’ she said. ‘All these years with all these books! And now, after all that reading and study, we are having to put them into practice. It’s wonderful!’

In A Course in Miracles a real miracle is described as a re-frame of your situation. Ann had indeed created a miracle. The illness, the pain, the medics, the life-and-death realities of it all — all this was transformed into an experience for spiritual exploration and development.

In crisis she was true to her calling and her integrity shone.

Work continues like a tree grows and the sun shines

At the meal after her burial I approached Sam, her son now editing Cygnus, and apologised that I needed to ask a work question about the forthcoming issue of the magazine.

‘How many words do you want?’ I asked. ‘And do you have the books to go with it?’

He smiled kindly and said there was no need to apologise and that life was an ongoing circle. I could see Ann in him and I admired how she had integrated her spirituality and her calling into daily life. Ann’s life’s work was to help us remember that we are spiritual beings. For so many of us, I feel gratitude and wish her blessings on her next adventure.

William