Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Eulogy for a friend - goodnight Nana Karen x

As many are now aware, activism, Amnesty InternationalGreen Party of England and Wales and our Nana family have lost one of our most beautiful members and tomorrow we say goodbye to Karen Merritt. The cremation is at Lytham Crematorium at 1:30.

Our eulogy from the Nanas is here so that those not near can join us in their thoughts and hearts.

Each of us here holds a cherished memory of Karen and I believe that what we each see... is very likely: a warm, beautiful face looking back, with understanding.

The Karen we knew, earned the trust and respect of colleagues, friends, fellow volunteers, activists and strangers - always relied on for the truth and she spoke it clearly.  But true to her own gentility, understanding and kindness - she tempered her straight-talking with good manners, courtesy, politeness and an acute awareness of our feelings.

She understood the reality of life's challenges and sought always, to ease the burden of others. Volunteering and carrying more than her fair share, came as naturally as breathing to Karen.

It seemed that her personal fragility brought out her protective spirit FOR others; an incredible strength that showed itself in her demanding commitments to easing suffering, speaking out for the voiceless,  and demanding humane, responsible government, that acts for justice and true democracy for all.

Karen was not saintly - she was pure human.

Her wacky side came with a cheeky grin, and  glimmer of a potential 'something' in her eye. For me personally,  this is the Karen I recall most readily, because it was the sheer joy of her and it was stunningly infectious.

In her work she was exemplary; dedicated and relished creating order out of chaos and nurturing calm in the storms. She could facilitate, minute take and adjudicate a meeting like a master craftsman. It is rumoured she could also herd cats like a pro...

A skill she would need as an activist and most particularly as a Nana. With us, she found no order, no predictability, no assumption that could be trusted and no manual, guidelines or checklists. And although there were no rules, no structure and no shape to work to ...Karen adapted beautifully as she allowed herself to freefall in. And I know, she found such pleasure with us each and all; becoming more of her own self and in the process, totally sorting the rest of us Nanas out!

No one can truly measure potential and although we all feel we lost Karen too soon, she achieved so very much; on a human-to-human, one-caring act of kindness at a time way... making every encounter, count.

Karen's giving seemed to know no bounds, giving all she had to all she could. And so now she rests... leaving all her best bits, inside all of us. She would love us to do her proud and not waste our own chances to make a difference to those around us.

I think everyone in this room wishes they could have given more, been more and seen more ...of what it was that Karen needed in return.  BUT she would have taken our wishes, illuminated them with her gentle truth and made clear that they are not ours to wish. And then - in her ever-so-determined way, Karen would have encouraged us to instead wish - that we give more, be more and see more of what we each need ourselves... taking gentle care with all that is precious.

To leave even a fraction of the beautiful legacy that Karen left behind... would be to have taken life and lived it well.

We are honoured to have had your love Karen. May the peace soothe and calm you now.

The Nana tribute in dusters


A poem for a friend by Nana Tammy:

They say only the good die young, but this is not true,
Because sometimes they are older, and they are amazing,,
Sometimes, they are running around town wearing yellow,
Yes, sometimes they are a Nana.
Sometimes, they are chairing meetings, and planning things,
Even as their heart breaks unseen, they are smiling for the camera,
Sometimes they are getting stuck on gates, and smiling too,
Yes, sometimes they are a Nana.
Sometimes they are taking a tank to the Prime Ministers house,
Whilst if you did not know better, you would imagine,
They were quiet and they were shy, but not an activist type,
Yes, sometimes they are a Nana.
Sometimes they are able to carry on, for so long,
For a long time, when they do not want to,
And they are brave and they keep fighting for the futiure of all,
Yes, sometimes they are a Nana.
Sometimes they leave this huge hole in your heart,
And they leave and you miss them, and you cry all day and all night,
And you know things will never be the same without them,
And sometimes ,they are a Nana.
And sometimes, you begin to write a poem for them,
But your eyes leak so bad you cannot see the keyboard clearly,
And all the words you wanted to say dissapear, and you just hurt,
And so do not tell ,me only the good die young,
For sometimes, yes sometimes,
They are a Nana.
R.I.P Karen. Beautiful Nana Closet.