ALICE MARTHA LYTE. 1986 - 2009
I just gave in and ignored all the weather warnings.
6.00 a.m. start.
6.30 - '170' to Victoria.
Victoria-Green Park -Leicester Square-Charing Cross.
7.15 to Tonbridge.
Taxi to Tunbridge Wells.
Breakfast in 'Carluccios'.
Met up with B who had gingerly driven from the cottage.
I had to buy her boots, scarf and socks as the idiot had not banked on minus 30 degrees and a Church Funeral.
I was shamed into going when I heard tales of other mourners spending all day travelling from Cornwall, Dorset, Southampton and beyond.
Death is something we all have to face, even when it's a blessed relief it's hard, but when somebody dies prematurely it's twice as painful.
23 years old, touchingly pretty and the daughter of a friend. ALICE LYTE died in her sleep and was found by her mother on the morning of December 29th.
The funeral was held in the Catholic Church in Tunbridge Wells.
There was a huge turn out from school friends, work mates, travelling companions, friends and family.
The Priest wore white, spoke honestly and fondly of Alice. Her Grandfather wrote a wonderfully touching speech, row after row of people took communion. Incense was waved over the coffin, we sung 'Abide with Me' written by one of Alice's ancestors, and after the Catholic Mass was finished w sung 'Jerusalem'.
The meeting room was packed with chattering well wishers. Caroline, Alice's mother, received us all graciously as we drunk tea and Bubbly, munched on sandwiches and incredibly pretty fairy cakes with a paper 'Alice' band wrapped round each one.
I chose a cream frosted cake with a sparkling chrysanthemum on top. A tiny little blue sugar ball sits in the middle of the maroon and white sugar-paste petals. I have placed it next to my 60th birthday cake decoration, both celebrations of a life.
It was a simple dignified service. ALICE MARTHA LYTE will be remembered by hundreds of us. In her short time here she did, as her Grandpa said, touch so many lives. A slide show of an incandescent Alice with children in Africa, running along a beach in Australia, laughing and living with so many of her friends, was so painful to watch. It was a celebration of her life.
My heart goes out to her mother, father, sister and brother.
The snow started tumbling down so B and I declined the wake in 'Sankey's' restaurant and set off for London.
My daughter drove us back to London through the snow. We talked of Alice and the need to value every second of our lives. We agreed that however painful it was we were both glad we went.
Alice's first boyfriend, and a great mate of B's, spent over £100 of money he doesn't have, getting from Southampton to Kent. 'What's money in a situation like this' he said.
Out of the mouths of babes.
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That car journey back to London with B must have been so precious to you. Sat there with your beloved daughter, just the two of you. Something so normal takes on a completely differnt value.
May Alice where ever she is have peace.
Dear Jeni, I was worried about you making the journey to attend the funeral, but I am very glad you did. What an absolute tragedy for Alice, her family & her friends. I can only imagine the pain of those who love her & have to live each day, knowing she is no longer with them. I'm sure everyone who reads your post will think of Alice & send a thought of sympathy to all who love her. Perhaps that may give her family & friends a tiny crumb of comfort in the sad times ahead.
Love & light.