Friday, 14 February 2014

Christine Joyce Butcher ~ (1947 - 2014)

Mum & Stuart, April 2007
Hestercombe Gardens
Today has been an ordeal.

It is with a very heavy heart that I write to say my beloved Mum passed away this morning, at 12.05 am, just two days before her 67th birthday. It was peaceful and I am truly devastated that she is gone.

She was such an inspiration, very courageous and had the most amazing stamina and determination. Her passing has left a very big void.

Mum had been dreadfully poorly. One serious illness was bad enough, but a series of them was simply too much for her to deal with, yet she fought hard with such determination it was almost breathtaking.

I really do not want to imagine life without her, but she is at peace, not suffering and I hope she realised just how much Stuart and I loved her.

As I said, Mum was just a few days away from her birthday. February 1947 was a shocking Winter here. It was the worse Winter on record and had the most snow for 150 years. The snow arrived at the end of January 1947 and continued until the end of March when it became milder. In some areas the snow fell for 26 consecutive days. I know from my Grandmother that Mum spent her first few weeks in the chest of drawers! and said there was a shortage of power and it was very cold.

In contrast, Britain is currently being battered by the worse storms and gales I have experienced in the south west of England. The gales and flooding have been particularly bad in the last two weeks, but the weather has been windy, wet and cold for almost the duration Mum was in hospital, which was a little over 2 months.

I spoke to her yesterday and said the forecast for Sunday was sunny and wouldn't it be nice for snow, just a little sprinkling in birthday honour. As poorly as she was Mum gave a vehement shake of her head and a faint smile.

Whilst it has been a true ordeal to get through today. There has been much thinking, crying and so forth. It was important to me that I sat down and wrote these few words and shared a small observation or two. It seems so very fitting that someone who loved and was loved so much in return would pass away on Valentines Day.

Thank you to all my friends and family for the support, encouragement and reassurance over the last few months it has meant a great deal.


  1. So sorry to hear your sad news Julie. Sending virtual hugs to you and Stuart.

    We missed you downunder but you were in the right place beside your mother showering her with love in her last few weeks.

    You have been a truly wonderful daughter.

  2. So very sorry to read this news. Your mum sounds like she was a very special & loved woman. My thoughts are with you. <3

  3. My heart aches for you, Julie. Keep thinking about the peace your mum has now. The pain of the loss will still be there, but is tempered a little with those thoughts.

    Sending hugs to you and Stuart,

  4. My heart aches for you, Julie. Thinking of her ease from pain helps temper the loss - I know it did for me. You have good memories to sustain you and I hope they help in the days ahead. Sending hugs to you and Stuart.


  5. I'm so sorry for your loss. *hugs*

  6. Julie, I know that I speak for all your friends in the 'Genealogists for Families' team when I say how sorry I was to hear this sad news. You and Stuart did an amazing job of looking after your Mum. Be kind to yourselves in the coming weeks and months.

  7. I am so sorry, Julie. You will be in my thoughts as you navigate these next days and weeks.

  8. I'm so sorry for your loss, Julie. Your mum was much too young to leave those she loved. Blessings to you and all those who loved her.

  9. I'm so sorry to hear this, Julie. Take care.

  10. So sorry for your loss Julie.
    Your words here indicate that she must have known how much you loved her.
    It's great that you could spend so much time with her - remember and treasure that.

  11. Sorry to read of your mother's passing. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

  12. I was sorry to read of your mother's death. Your closeness came across in youg blog postings and I hope in time that it is the happy memories of your life together that will surface.

  13. Julie, I'm so sad to read about your loss. You've been a wonderful daughter to her. I know words aren't much use at a time like this but I'm sending you much love. Now's a good time for you and S to do whatever you need to - cry, rage, spend hours talking, work very hard, not work at all, whatever gets you through. Just be kind to yourself. Frances xx


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