David Harkin 1981
Eileen was diagnosed with a Grade 4 glioblastoma – the most aggressive grade of brain tumour – in November 2008 and passed away on October 24th 2010 after a brave fight and at the all too tender age of 54. This is one of our favourite pictures, taken on our last holiday together in December 2009 in Norway when she was desperately ill, wheelchair bound, hair falling out, sight failing but nonetheless SMILING ! I can only hope I could face the same level of adversity with the same positive, uncomplaining attitude, but I somehow doubt it.
There are so many things we could say about Eileen but it is enough for you to know she was an exceptional individual, intellectually, emotionally and professionally who has left a gaping hole in our lives as she is so very missed by all her family, friends and former colleagues. The poem “When We Remember ” was part of her funeral service and suffice to say we try very hard to “smile, open your eyes, love and go on” as that is indeed what she wished for all of us. Her funeral was a memorable occasion and by common assent of the several hundred people who attended a fitting tribute to Eileen, being full of the love and laughter we shared as well as the immense sadness of her passing. You can see the details here http://www.robotik.co.uk/eileen/
One of many special gifts from Eileen was the financial legacy she left to ensure her extended family and friends were able to make a group visit to the US West Coast, and in particular Las Vegas, once the last of the younger generation turned 21. This was done in the certain knowledge she wouldn’t live to see it, but the thought of being able to ensure it would happen gave her much pleasure. Accordingly 19 friends and family duly had a truly memorable holiday in March / April 2012, tinged only of course by the bottomless regret she wasn’t there to enjoy the experience with us but entirely succeeding in adding a suitable footnote to our collective memory of the immense contribution she made to all of our lives even when so desperately ill. I don’t think I am alone in believing we did her memory proud.
Ei, With all our love and gratitude.
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