The tributes and address given at Rachel’s Funeral Service can be viewed by following the links. Each one will open in a new window.
Keith’s Tribute and Poem
Rev. John’s Funeral Address
After the service there was a collection that amounted to £1080 which was shared between St Barnabas’ Church and The Brain Tumour Charity. The sum raised clearly shows the high regard and love for Rachel.
At the time of writing this post the amount of money raised for The Brain Tumour Charity in memory of Rachel and her brother Graeme was over £52,600. The fund, that was originally called The Graeme Turner Fund, is to be renamed The Graeme Turner and Rachel Cole Fund although donations can still be made via this link Graeme Turner Fund. The donation web page is to be updated to include Rachel’s story.
One of Rachel’s friends from Girton, Rachael Berry, wrote a beautiful poem on the night that Rachel died and sent a copy to Graham and to us. Rachael has agreed that we can publish it here so click on the link below to read it.
Rachael’s Poem for Rachel
Best wishes to everyone
Keith and Anne
December 11, 2018
It was a cold bright winter’s day for Rachel’s funeral and it is estimated that over 150 people attended the church service with the majority then going on the crematorium and reception. Many had travelled from far and wide to say goodbye to a wonderful Daughter, Wife, Mammy, Friend and Colleague. A group of over 20 people walked slowly behind the coffin from our house the short distance to the church in the next street with the funeral director leading the way in front of the hearse. It was a very moving experience.
The full details of the service including tributes from Graham and Keith plus the various readings will be posted on the blog at a later date when we have them in digital format. The order of service can be viewed by clicking on this link:
The reception gave us a chance to talk to many of those who attended the funeral but it was not possible to speak to everyone. We would like to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to everyone who came and for sharing their memories and stories of Rachel. We knew that she was special and it was clear that many others thought so too and it was a privilege to talk to them.
The day after the funeral Graham, Anne and Keith visited the crematorium to see the flowers and here is a photo:
We are hoping to publish Rachel’s blog in hard copy in the future to raise funds for The Brain Tumour Charity. Graham has expressed a wish to collect stories, memories and anecdotes about Rachel and he will be looking at the best way of doing this so hopes to post details at some point.
Thank you all for your good wishes and for being such a good friend to Rachel.
The Rents (aka Anne and Keith)
The Methodist Church at the bottom of Strathmore Road has kindly offered the use of their car park so that gives another option for those of you travelling by car. It’s just a stone’s throw away.
Thank you for all of the kind thoughts and wonderful words written and spoken about my darling girl over these past few days.
I can now give notice of the arrangements for Rachel’s funeral.
There will be a service at St Barnabas Church*, Station Road, Rowlands Gill on Tuesday 11 December, beginning at 10:45am, following which the family will travel to Mountsett Crematorium. We welcome those who would like to accompany us to Mountsett.
We then welcome you all to join us for a reception at Burnopfield Cricket Club, Front Street.
Donations in lieu of flowers can be made to the Graeme Turner Fund at the Brain Tumour Charity.
*St Barnabas does not have dedicated parking, so please be considerate whilst parking nearby. There is a small public car park at the intersection of Burnopfield Road and The Grove as well as limited spaces outside of Rowlands Gill Library.
Rachel passed peacefully this afternoon, with her family beside her, following a mercifully short decline which started this morning.
I cannot begin to describe the raw intensity of the grief that surrounds us, the disbelief, the devastation.
I will update you all re funeral details shortly.
Hellos and Goodbyes
Over the past 10 days Rachel has had visits from both university friends and ex-work colleagues. Jennifer and Leo have received various gifts and the carers have been provided with edible goodies. We have also had regular visits from friends of Rachel who live on the other side of the Pennines and who bring supplies of food to keep us from starving. The distances that these lovely people have travelled to see their friend is testament to them as people and to the friendship that they have had with Rachel. One of these wonderful people came from her home in Singapore and after travelling for 30 hours spent a short time with Rachel before going to her hotel to get some sleep. She then returned for visits over the next two days before leaving. Although others travelled much shorter distances they all came to say a last good bye to their beloved friend. In fact one of them said that at Girton Rachel was the glue that held them all together. I expect that their memories of Rachel will be what holds them together in the future. Tears were shed by everyone as they left knowing that they would not see Rachel again. We know that Rachel was loved and respected by all these friends and we are grateful to them all for coming to see her.
Rachel has deteriorated over the past 10 days and her breathing has changed noticeably in the past 72 hours. She still drinks small amounts of water or diluted pineapple juice and despite not eating for about a week she can still respond to people with a smile or the occasional word. Rachel’s morphine dose was increased slightly last week primarily to relieve the pain she feels when being moved when being washed. Apart from that Rachel is peaceful and not distressed which is all we can hope for. A Marie Curie nurse has stayed with Rachel overnight for the last two nights and is coming back again tonight with a different nurse planned for Wednesday night. This gives Graham at least the potential of a more restful night.
Love and best wishes to you all
Keith and Anne (The Rents)
Evening all, G here
We’ve had a difficult 48hrs.
Yesterday, Rachel vomited immediately after taking her afternoon tablets. Not only was this unpleasant for her it brought to the fore our fears for her ability to take her, rather extensive (c25 tablets per day), oral medication**. Thankfully the sickness subsided and we were eventually able to complete her daily dosing. We finished the day exhausted but hopeful that a dicky tummy, rather than the progression of Rachel’s symptoms, were behind the day’s difficulties.
Alas, this was not the case. Rachel was unable to take her tablets this morning as the act of swallowing them left her short of breath. A short time after attemptng to take them Rachel had what, on reflection, I now believe was a number of small seizures, which caused her to become distressed. In consultation with her nursing team, I cracked open the top-shelf drugs for the first time (Midazolam) which calmed Rachel and allowed her to rest.
Rachel is now served by two syringe drivers to both mitigate any pain and prevent further seizures. In addition, the sizeable dose of steroids is now administered via injection.
As I write this, Rachel is calm and resting peacefully. A second day ends better than it had started yet the inescapable reality of my darling girl’s decline over the past 48hrs is all that fills my thoughts. I will wake tomorrow with renewed energy to continue caring for Rachel as best as I am able but tonight I feel lost, adrift in the darkness.
Oh, and yesterday was my 34th birthday.
*I haven’t the creativity to think of interesting titles at the moment.
**The plethora of anti-seizure medication Rachel needs cannot all be given sub-cutaneously and, therefore, must be replaced by a sedative to reduce brain activity, reducing the chance of seizures. From this point on it is expected that Rachel will be very sleepy and less able to interact with the world around her.