REMEMBERING BREE: St John family touched and thankful
At a reception following the funeral, Lady St John spoke to invited guests. The reception was held at the Savannah Hotel.
“ALLOW ME please to thank you for joining the St John and Hope families this evening for a moment of bonding in the memory of my beloved Bernard.
Let me first thank the Prime Minister and the Government of Barbados for the excellent arrangements made to allow the nation to pay its last respects to my husband.
I also want to thank those of you here, who were either his dear relatives, or valued friends, for the love and friendship which you gave to him throughout the various stages of his life. I must thank all Barbados for the glorious tributes paid to him for a life served with courage and integrity, and absolute devotion to family and country.
I am sure you all know, since many of you were by his side when he suffered setbacks, that he has always walked with dignity no matter what befell him, and showed or expressed no rancour against those who caused the pain. And no matter what happened, he never lost the common touch, especially among the warm people of Oistins and its environs.
We of his immediate family will miss him profoundly, but we are supported by the knowledge that he has been called to higher service and feels no more pain.
In closing let me share a few words of one of our favourite poems by Saint Augustine.
‘Death is nothing. I have just passed on the other side. I am myself.
You are yourself. What we were to each other, we still are.
Give me the name you have always given me.
Talk to me as you have always done it.
Don’t change your expression. Don’t feel sad.
Continue to laugh about what used to make us laugh together…
Pray, smile, think about me and pray with me.
Let my name be pronounced at home as always.
Without the shade of any sadness.
The meaning of Life is still what it has a
Simply because I am not in front of your eyes?
I am not far, only on the other side of the way…
You see, everything is fine…
You will find my heart again, you will find it with tenderness.
Dry your tears and don’t cry if you love me.’”
This article was published March 14, 2004.