Excerpts from the funeral service held at Watermead Crematorium, Aylesbury…
Sue Vincent, 14th September 1958 – 29th March 2021
‘We prepare to receive one whose life has been well lived…’
Procession entry music: ‘Vincent’, Don Maclean…
The best of times, the worst of times…
Sue was born in Yorkshire in 1958, into a family that was about as spiritually eclectic as you can get. The various members were Jewish / Buddhist / Methodist (with High Church for special occasions), with one grandfather who taught her very early about the Qabalistic Tree of Life, the other a Spiritualist minister, and one grandmother a noted psychic, like her mother before her. She attended the Zion Baptist Sunday School with Hindu and Moslem friends…
A better culture for one who was destined to serve as a Priestess of the Western Magical Tradition could hardly be imagined…
Sue’s first marriage, it seems, was one of convenience, for her mother.
It didn’t last long, and soon after Sue moved to France to become a Nanny.
Here, Sue describes her second husband, Joel…
“We met in the most romantic circumstances in Corsica… Shooting stars, mimosa, a perfect moon… and the saxophone playing ‘Just the way you are’ as we danced under the stars…
I never expected to see him again. We were both far from home… he a wandering musician, I a nanny in Paris. One of those brief, romantic interludes that sometimes grace a moment in time.
But fate took a hand… we met again, had dinner, talked, and talked. But still, once I had returned to Paris I filed him away as a beautiful memory. But a postcard arrived from Nice. Then the phone rang… and we met in Paris.
He wrote Le Reveil for me then. It was the first song he had written. No one had ever written a song for me before. I would stay overnight and travel back home in time for breakfast Monday morning. The days were filled with music, lunacy, laughter, and love, la vie Bohème lived in good earnest.
We married a few months later and I moved to Vichy, and eventually into a tiny doll’s house of a place, so small even I could touch the beams in the ceiling…
Our first son, Nick was born the next March. Three years later his brother, Alex, followed, but we were living in England by then… Joel’s music was not understood, he had no work, depression set in, and although… because… I loved him, I sent him back to France.”
Raising two small sons alone in 1980’s Britain cannot have been easy…
Sue eventually met Bernard who provided both stability and support for her young family.
Unfortunately, soon after, Bernard contracted bladder cancer, and although he lived on for another ten years with the condition, it was with Sue as his carer.
It was not to be Sue’s only brush with cancer or life as a carer…
In 2009 with Sue now a well-paid businesswoman… Fate’s knife twisted again. Her eldest son Nick was randomly attacked in a Bournemouth alleyway and suffered horrendous brain injuries. With the medical authorities calling it murder and against all medical advice, Sue refused to turn off the life support, took Nick home, and became his full-time carer.
It is a testament to both Sue and Nick’s tenacity, strength, resolve, and love for each other, and for life, that Nick is here with us today.
Through Sue’s daily blog chronicling Nick’s recovery, Nick has become as much of an inspiration to people as his mother…
By this time Sue had again taken up her interest in esotericism and was a member of the Magical School, Servants of the Light.
The help of the people at that time involved with running the school, in Nick’s recovery, should also not be overlooked or underestimated…
By Sue Vincent
As night draws in and silence comes, the door is locked, the curtains drawn
I am alone, the world recedes and sleeps until another dawn.
Yet in the quiet, midnight hour with feathers soft against my skin
Two ravens whisper in my ear, as Thought and Memory begin.
Within the darkness of their wings stir images, both dark and bright,
That dance within the secret heart and quiet hours of the night.
A past replayed, as on a screen, as tears and laughter, broken dreams,
And in their midst a single spark, a star of quiet beauty gleams.
Deep in its central molten core, from what has been the present grows
A seed that reaches to the sun, and borrowing its light it glows
With inner glory, burning bright, with all the mornings yet to be,
The future held within the wings of ravens, Thought and Memory.
Music: ‘Susanne’ – Leonard Cohen
With the advent of Sue’s involvement with The Silent Eye School of Consciousness, we enter the final phase of her life journey. And what a phase it was. It can perhaps best be described as Blogs, Books and Workshops, and all while still caring for Nick, and her beloved dog Ani, her Aquarium, and the pond, and the garden at Nick’s home… and her youngest son, Alex, and her grandchildren, Hollie and Imogen, both of whom she adored, and who adore her.
Sue was a natural-born carer, of both people and animals…
The fledgling school demanded background reading matter, which was duly provided. As well as Nick’s story on the blog Sue incorporated the burgeoning growth of the school, and started several initiatives to help and encourage Independent writers. Perhaps the most successful of these was the Write-Photo challenge… which is to continue after her passing.
Sue also started cataloguing the thoughts and feelings of Ani, the small dog, which proved immensely popular with dog lovers worldwide and spawned several best-selling books…
THE SMALL DOG CONSIDERS…
By Sue Vincent
He’s bringing tea and coffee through,
With toast and honey, biscuits too,
To pick her up when she feels drained…
And I thought I had got him trained!
I’m sort of glad, though, to be fair,
‘Cause, what with all the missing hair
She’s not the way she used to be…
And prob’bly needs more help than me.
She says I do enough all day
By keeping tennis balls in play
And warming feet and guarding doors
…And cleaning chocolate crumbs from floors.
It’s not enough, what can you do?
The years we had together flew!
We’d time to learn each other’s ways
Put so much laughter in the days…
But soon she’ll cross the rainbow bridge
And I’ll stand quiet by the fridge
And wait there for the final ‘treat’…
And know that love is death’s defeat.
Sue’s life was by no means a bed of roses as, hopefully, this brief biography illustrates. It was only through learning from her sometimes difficult and painful life lessons and then generously passing on the benefit of her experiences to others when asked, or needed, that Sue acquired her well-deserved reputation for earthy wisdom…
In one of her thousands of blog posts, Sue wrote, “I am grateful to have lived the life I have been given… all of it… the wonder and the pain, the laughter, tears, and beauty. It is all part of who I am, and who I learn to become. Part of the ongoing story of both my own life and those that twine themselves through mine like roses, sharing the journey and bringing their own richness to the tale.”
Which is, perhaps, a fitting enough epitaph, although I know many who with us would add, “Dear Sue, we are, and forever will be, grateful to have been graced with your presence in our lives. Thank you, for everything, and rest now, love, you have earned it…”
Exit music: Theme from, The Hobbit…