Sunday, 5 March 2017

A celebration of life

Yesterday George and I along with many others attended a Eulogy Service to celebrate the life of the lovely, lovely man Les Biggs.

Jaq was wonderfully strong throughout the day singing and talking about Les' love for her and hers for him, his great love for his family, of children and animals and all things canals and knowledge in general. I took some videos which I'm afraid I couldn't load onto the blog as they exceed the limit of what Blogger can take, but I've copied them for Jaq to keep and take to the US and share with her family there.

After Jaq gave her eulogy anyone who wished to was invited to speak ...

.....Mac of nb Griffin who kindly gave his mooring space at Cowroast to Les and Jaq for as long as they needed it.

Tina of nb Ytene  who with her husband Andy met Les within a few weeks of both setting out as narrowboat liveaboards and spent many, many happy hours together

Jennie of nb Tentatrice who met Les and Jaq on the cut just a few times reminded Jaq that boaters will continue to support her when Jaq starts her new adventure as a single hander.

Sue from nb Cleddau who spoke beautifully about Les, and Jaq and brought up the boaters preoccupation of ... yes you've guessed it ... toilets!

Richard half of the duo from Jules Fuel boats who can always make his customers laugh, especially if there was cake involved!

Les's daughter-in-law Joanne spoke of Les' love for the family and the grandchildren and the support that he has given to them.

... and George who spoke of how while Les was ill told us that no conversation or words were forbidden, that we should say things as they are and ask any thing we wanted to ... so George asked for his jigsaw please!

Tom from nb Waiouru also also did not meet up with nb Valerie on many occasions but remembered being jealous of Les from his home in Australia because Les was living his (Tom's) dream.

A good gathering of family and friends to celebrate the life of Les.

After a scrumptious lunch all handmade by Jaq's fair hand we had an opportunity to mix and express our thoughts amongst those family and friends.

And then it was time to leave ... and were each given a gift ... 

 Each package contained some bird seed and bulbs for his love of nature, some chocolate (Les's favourite), some screws and nails because Les fixed everything he could and a candle that in a quiet moment we could light and remember him.

Jaq must have been exhausted after such a long and emotional day but has remained valiant in her efforts to stay strong especially for Les during his illness and far-too-soon death and for those people around her offering support in any way they could.  

We wish her now a good journey back home to the US to spend time with her family and come back to the UK with renewed strength and determination to carry on with the dream that was hers before she even met Les.  We (boaters) will always be there for her should she need help at any time in the future.


Sue said...

A really lovely blog post Carol a real tribute to the great man indeed was yesterday. Here on NP-XL we had a candle alight all day in memory of one of our favourite boaters. Those that knew him will always remember him. Our thoughts too go to Jaq and I am sure her trip to her family will give her more peace and strength.

Ian and Irene Jameison said...

What a wonderful way to remember a truly lovely man. Thankyou for sharing this with us. Xx

Carol said...

Thank you Sue. x

Carol said...

You're welcome Irene. x

Jennie said...

Thank you for posting this Carole - it is a fitting reminder of a wonderful day that we were proud and pleased to be part of. Jaq really did do Les proud. It was indeed a very fitting tribute to a very special man.

Marilyn, nb Waka Huia said...

It sounds like such a lovely event, Carol. Well done to Jaq, and it's wonderful that so many people were able tocome.
Les's life and openness about the approaching end of it were such a lesson and inspiration in how to approach death. And Jaq's courage and strength and vulnerability and tears showed us all how we can be and manage through such difficult times if only we open ourselves up to the whole experience.
George's words about Les saying there was nothing that couldn't be talked about were from the day you two and David and I were there on nb Valerie together. That was the last time we saw Les and our memories of that day are very special ones for us.
I am hoping Jaq has a present of Les for me too when we arrive in May ...
Big hugs to you both, and thank you for this post.
M&D xxoo

Carol said...

Thank you Jennie.

Carol said...

You're welcome Marilyn. Hope to see you both during the summer. xx

Mrs. Jaqueline Biggs said...

Thank you so much for posting this. Your pictures are as always wonderful and the clips you made for me are too. You and George have been pillars of support for me as have Jennie and Chris Gash, Sue and Ken Deveson and so many others. I count myself blessed indeed to belong to the community on the cut.

I will see you when I return,
Love to you both,
Jaq xxx (and Les too)

Carol said...

You are very welcome Jaq, see you on your return xx