Yesterday I said good bye to a former colleague. Kath Fry, who on retiring from teaching maths at the college in 2010, discovered she had lung cancer. She kept a grounded yet (and she'd so hate me writing this) inspirational blog in which she charted her ups and downs in a clear eyed, dispassionate way, to keep friends and interested parties up-to-date with what was happening. Early in May, her daughter informed followers she had passed away. Tributes would follow in the Manchester Evening News. This turned out to be unintentionally amusing when Sir Richard Lees, head of Manchester Authority was misquoted. He described her as a 'stalwart of the Labour Party', which was printed up as 'starlet of the Labour Party', which I'm sure would have ticked Kath.
Although non-religious the funeral was incredibly spiritual. It honoured the spirit of a unique individual in a unique way. The singing of the choir was incredibly moving and their secular rendition of 'Freedom is Coming' sent shivers from my knees to the top of my head. Given that Kath's name was Fry (old English for 'free') it seemed all the more fitting.