Contribution to a eulogy for Kathleen Mansfield

Rather than get one person to give a eulogy for my Mum, we asked her friends and family to contribute their perspective to a collaborative picture of her life. This is what I wrote.

I’ve been thinking about what I owe my Mum. Or maybe the thing to think about is what of myself I owe my Mum.

My mum didn’t cook with salt, didn’t give us soft drinks and fed us fruit instead of candy and left me with healthy eating habits I’ve only succeeded in overcoming after years of sharehousing.

My mum has been a voracious, insatiable reader who taught me to read and fostered in me a love of reading.

My mum has been a lifelong learner who never seemed happy unless she was learning something new, she taught me that our minds grow constantly or begin to go stale.

My mum has been an eccentric original thinker who taught me to trust my own opinion first, even if my view isn’t popular.

My mum has had a passion for justice and taught me to always seek to understand the other side of the argument I was making, often to my immense frustration.

My mum has been intensely curious about other cultures and taught me to inquire ever deeper into how other people thought, prayed, loved and lived their lives.

My mum has always valued peace and quiet and has taught me to let my brain settle down long enough to hear the gentle murmur of nature.

My mum has always been a secret mystic who taught me to value the quiet voice of God within over rules and regulations.

In her final days, Mum could only muster about five facial expressions and I’ve noticed myself doing every one of them at some time or other.

My mum has fought to maintain her dignity even as she lost control of her life and taught me that even at the end of days we can learn to love and respect each other more and to be truly present to each other even through great distress.

Now my mum’s spirit, soul and body have disentangled and gone their separate ways and who she was lives on in us, by us, with us, as us.

Farewell, Mum. I’ll miss You.

Requiem aeternam dona eis, Adonai; et lux perpetua luceat eis.

4 responses to “Contribution to a eulogy for Kathleen Mansfield

  1. This is really, really beautiful and touching, Tim+.Your brother, D.

  2. Tim-Reading this, I feel as though I have a small sense of your mother. It sounds as if you were quite blessed to have been raised by her. My best,Kyle

  3. I’m glad you posted that.x

  4. What a mother, If only we could all have those qualities.Thank you for sharing this Tim. Love jan.

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