I had the privilege today of celebrating the life and saying goodbye to our dear friend John Spencer and to meet again with his lovely wife Pat, who I had met previously when Deborah of TIFC fame who came over from Australia to take part in the sponsored walk in 2010. I also met with their beautiful daughters and John’s many friends who filled the crematorium, testament to John’s popularity. We were ushered into the crematorium by the Hallelujah Chorus in true John Spencer style, by the Huddersfield Choral Society. Lovely eulogies were given about John’s varied and interesting life with references to some of the tricks John had got up to, typical of the humour and wit of the John we knew. We left to the music of the Dam Busters March, to those who knew him, a tribute to his interest in the Lancaster Bombers.
I was surprised to learn that John didn’t die of cancer but of a heart attack.
On a personal note and for all of you out there going through what I went through in those very dark days, when my husband was first diagnosed, I don’t know how I would have coped without the likes of John, always supportive when you’re running around like a headless chicken, putting things into prospective, anchoring your feet to the ground, giving sound, not patronising advice and in John’s case, with humour.
At the end of John’s service, a poem by Joyce Grenfell was read, appropriate for John.
If I should go before the rest of you
Break not a flower or inscribe a stone,
Nor when I’m gone, speak in a Sunday voice
But be the usual selves that I have known.
Weep if you must, parting is hell,
But life goes on, so sing as well