Wearing Wings

Last month we went to the funeral of a very lovely 41year old woman, my husband’s cousin. We were asked to come in bright colours and bring photographs. We had few photos boxed after a recent move so I wrote photographs in words.

A Rainbow Came to Walney IslandThe poem above links to those that came to celebrate a life wearing many colours like a rainbow. We had to cross a bridge called ‘Jubilee and there seemed to be a double meaning lent by the word. This poem below is a mix of my first memory of Lucy and of some of the many tributes I heard from her family and friends in person or on Facebook.

Wearing Wings

When I first saw her she was wearing wings,

Dan and I were tired, late for the celebration,

At Sarah’s wedding Lucy was glimmering –

Welcoming us at the door as if it were her station,

I, nervous to meet the family en mass in one place,

Mood shifted by Lucy as she watched a girl play,

She saw no trace of the boils on my face,

With her eyes and smile she knew what to say,


Unforgettable if known for lots of years

And for many who only met her for a day

Or two,  we join in celebration and in tears,

Dan recalls The Lakes where they would play,

A family made and all those they included –

Brought into the circle when met on holiday

Or captured by the bright fun she exuded,

Bonded in tents between grass and heather,

Or at home, in work, in travels far and near,

Or as Cumbrians that must stick together

By her example we honour her with cheer,


We toasted her with good wine from France,

Honouring her vibrant ‘joie de vivre’

The Francophile who loved to dance,

Gone too young, her family grieve,


We lit a candle in a circle of friends

For her and those she brought together,

Add to condolences each loved one sends

To those whose recollections dance forever,


Her titles: ‘sister, ‘daughter’, ‘bright star’

‘grandchild’, ‘niece’, link within The Link,

‘Cousin’, ‘auntie’, ‘best friend’, ‘godmother’,

Kindness recalled as each raises their drink

Living in each story each friend regales,

A gift  – so many felt special in her sight

Her salute in all those many wagging tails,

This makes  sense;  her name means ‘light’;


‘Ray of sunshine’, ‘radiant smile’,

A warmth not turning off and on –

It was, quite simply,  just her style,

To make someone feel welcome

She always went that extra mile,


Her laugh, imprinted like a photograph,

Children  given knitted gifts or teddy-bear

Remember, a legacy of love in every epitaph,

A glass for those who taught Lucy how to care,

She signed each life with her autograph,


Celebrate her life with colourful things –

So much was beautiful in her eyes

As I was to the Lucy wearing wings,

Early to the door, to greet those late,

Such energy moves on but never dies,

If she became a welcomer at heaven’s gate

Tell me, who would that surprise?


Antonia Zenkevitch  for Lucy