03/02/2020 - Your Funeral

Dear Rebecca, 

This time last week was the most difficult day of my life so far.

This time last week we buried you, my beautiful sister.

Having suffered significantly over the past 5 years with severe Bi Polar, on Monday 27th January you decided to end your darkness and be at peace. I’m usually quite private but people have told me that my eulogy I shared at your funeral resonated with them. I’m therefore sharing it in the hope it helps anyone reading this or anyone else you may know who might be suffering from any form of mental health.

Rebecca, there are no words to describe how much I miss you and how broken I am at the thought I will never see you again. But I promise you, your legacy will live on.

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Please bear with me whilst I try and get through this. It’s going to be the hardest thing I’ve ever done. 

When I came to write this I thought I wanted to say what I would say to Rebecca at the grave about how much we love her, how much we miss her, how much we wish she knew how incredible she was, how we will forever have her in our hearts. But I am a private person and I think that is something that should be kept as a special moment between sisters.

So I started thinking what could be done to best preserve Rebeccas memory and celebrate her life. I want to take this opportunity as we stand here together in this darkness to shine a light on what has led us here today. The struggle that is mental health.

The past years have been a serious step up in education as to what mental illness can do to a person. Let me tell you, having witnessed it first hand, having lived first hand with it when Rebecca was staying with me and staying by her side whilst she was going through a psychosis episode. Staying up with her for 4 days straight whilst she didn't sleep at all and getting the insight into what one’s mind can do a person.

Yesterday I was thinking to myself, it’s so sad, she has gone so early and she could have made such a difference to so many peoples lives personally but also professionally but actually I know she will do that even though she isn’t physically present here.

We have a huge amount of people here, so my ask to you is that we use this force for good, for Rebecca, and to champion mental health so that we can help more Rebeccas to live out their lives and make a positive change in society.

So, let’s break the stigma. Let’s smash the stereotypes. For all the men here who think it’s not ok to cry, it’s ok to cry, it’s more than that, it’s brave to cry. To any woman who has been called sensitive or weak because they have cried you carry on crying until people understand that it’s the healthiest way to show your emotions.

For Rebecca, show your emotions. For those who think they can’t, I’ll go first.

I am not ok and I know I won’t be ok for a long time and that’s ok.

The pain. The pain, it’s so deep. This pain I’m feeling is the most overwhelming feeling I’ve ever felt and I don’t know how to process it. I'm devastated and I’m lost. But that’s ok. It’s in those times that we find strength and resolve in places we didn’t know we had them. We need to show that it’s ok to ask for help.

I am going to do just that.

And for those of you who know me who know I’m fiercely independent and always want to achieve things myself you will understand how big of a step my ask is.  I ask you from the bottom of my heart, whoever you’re here for today, be it my parents, Sara (my youngest sister, Rebecca was the middle and I am the eldest) or me please - be here for longer than this week. The next week will be the most intense overwhelming week of our lives but it will be the weeks, months and years afterwards where we will need our friends more than ever.

Rebecca, thank you for allowing me on your journey. Your intelligence is unfathomable, you have taught me more than you could have ever imagined. Your quest for answers and solving the worlds problems was so impressive but then at the same time we could just get up and dance around to the spice girls. Your smile lights up a room and thats never more true when Asher would see you walk into the room and say “Ecca” and get so excited. 

Rebecca, I promise Asher (my son) will grow up knowing what an amazing auntie you were to him, and that I promise you will always be present in his life as your legacy will live with him as you have taught me how immensely important it is to share feelings and communicate.

Two emotions that will feature heavily in his life, because of you. So even though your life may not technically be living your legacy will become a vital part of his upbringing and as your sister passing that on as a mother that is immensely special.

Standing here today is a path that no one chooses, it has no map, it has no answers but the rainbow that shone over the house yesterday just as we announced your passing shows that you will always be with us.

In that moment you came out to say hello and show me you are safe and at peace now. And as one of your friends put it so aptly: Rebecca found joy and love even in the most difficult times and my goodness you did just that.

I hope you’re dancing up there with all the rainbows!

All my love 

Esther x

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