Maria Giuseppa Labadessa Carse


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Always in our Hearts

The tributes were opened by Maria's oldest son , Graham, who delivered the Eulogy for Mum. This is reproduced below::

Eulogy for Maria Giuseppa Labadessa Carse

Our Mum left us on the 14th October 2006. It would be very easy at a time like this to focus on her death and our loss, but what we really want to do is share with you the strength of this amazing woman which should be an inspiration to us all.

Anyone who knows our Mum will be aware that she has been poorly for a number of years. At times it felt like she would bring home a new ailment every time she visited the doctor, and her catalogue of conditions increased frequently right the way up to her death.

Individually, her conditions would test the metal of the strongest person Ė collectively, it is amazing how she managed to cope with these serious conditions for as long as she did. Conditions such as fibrosis of the lungs, a heart murmur, osteoporosis requiring her to have a hip replacement operation, arthritis, IBS, and most recently diagnosed with non small cell lung cancer.

Did this get her down ? Of course it did, but very, very rarely, and it is this which is the most amazing thing about our Mum. Despite these obstacles, she was a real fighter refusing point blank to be beaten by any of these things. It was rare to find her anything but positive about her life Ė yes, there were days when the pain was very bad, and that would have an effect, but a smile, a laugh, a kiss, a look, always said that she was bigger and stronger than the pain, and she would fight it off.

We all have our individual memories that we will cherish forever Ė memories of childhood holidays, of being caught in the coal bunker, of climbing in the fruit trees in the garden, of marching through the kitchen at bath time getting ďsbagliaĒ for the dayís misdemeanours.

Memories of the torture of Mum brushing our hair because we never did it properly ourselves, of giggling fits with her at the dinner table much to Dadís disgust, and more recent holidays to France, and Christmas dinner, and so many wonderful instances that will live with us Ė and of course, whenever we talk of them, Mum will be alive in our thoughts and conversations.

It has been the last 4 weeks though that has really shown what is so remarkable about Mum, her fighting spirit and her bravery. She was admitted to hospital on 14th September with a collapsed lung and pneumonia, and very early on, as a family we were advised to prepare ourselves for the worst. Doctors felt that she would only have a very few days.

During these early days, Mum slipped into the depths of death and she had died, she told us. She had never felt as warm and as comforted, and it was as if she were flying and free and happy. Her Mother was calling her. She told us she would never feel sorry for anyone who had died again because she knew it was peaceful. She reassured us that all was OK, people were waiting, and that was where she belonged, but not yet.

The remaining time in hospital was a rollercoaster ride of improvements followed by setbacks followed by improvements, and all through this period Mum was very patient and calm, taking one day at a time, enjoying the company of her family visiting daily, sharing smiles and touches, kisses and laughs, always positive, never making a fuss. There was good improvement, and we all dared to hope that the immediate danger would pass, but our hopes were dashed when the pneumonia re-appeared.

Physically she had fought hard to get that collapsed lung re-inflated, and she won that particular battle, but it left her very weak - she had nothing left to fight with, and on Saturday 14th October 2006 at about 10.45pm, she closed her eyes having fought as hard and as long as she could.

She may not be here any more, but she will always be with us Ė in the songs she loved to sing, we will remember her; in the stories she used to tell, we will remember her; in the faces of her children and her grandchildren, we will remember her; in the poems of a little girl, we will remember her; in the love we felt and always will feel, we will remember her; in everything we do, in everything we are and everything we will be, we will remember her.

Rest in peace and without pain, dear Mum, and know that you have touched our lives in more ways than we will ever know, and we are all the better for having you as part of our lives.


The tributes continued with the reading of poems in memory of Maria, and were started by Maria's son in law, Chris, who read two poems written by Maria's granddaughters, Megan Clingham and Christina Garcia, in memory of Nana:


In loving memory of our Nana

Itís only been a few days,
But I realise itís gonna be harder
Without you here.


Why did you have to leave me
All alone.
To be by myself
I canít imagine my future without you.


We did everything we could do
But still couldnít save you.
Now tell me thatís not unfair.


You were so strong
Never let me see you cry.
Always smiling
And never let things pass you by.


Megan Clingham

17 October 2006

Special is a word that describes you, Nana,

I treasure every moment of our time together

Our girlie chats about this and that,

Anything at all; even my cat.


I miss you Nana, I miss your smile

But the love you gave will stay a long while.

I cherish our precious memories together,

And hold them in my heart for ever and ever.


Christina Garcia

21 October 2006


Chris then read a poem in memory of our Mother in Law on behalf of the sons in law:

The Day God Called You Home

In loving memory of our Mother in Law

God looked around his garden,
And He found an empty place.
He then looked down upon this Earth,
And saw your lovely face.

He put his arms around you,
And lifted you to rest.
God's garden must be beautiful,
He always takes the best.

He knew you were suffering.
He knew you were in pain.
He knew that you would never,
Get well on Earth again.

He saw the road was getting rough,
And the hills were hard to climb,
So He closed your weary eyelids
And whispered, "Peace by Thine."

It broke our hearts to lose you,
But you didn't go alone.
For part of us went with you,
The day God called you home.


The readings continued with a poem in Memory of our Mother read by Maria's oldest daughter, Evelyn:

I am Free

In loving memory of our Mother

Donít grieve for me, for now I am free
Iím following the path God has laid, you see.
I took His hand when I heard him call
I turned my back and left it all.

I could not stay another day
To laugh, to love, to work, to play.
I could not fight another day
At last His peace has come my way.

If my parting has left a void
Then fill it with remembered joy.
A friendship shared, a laugh, a kiss
Oh yes, these things I too will miss.

Be not burdened with times of sorrow
I wish you the sunshine of tomorrow.
My lifeís been full, I savoured much
Good friends, good times, your gentle touch.

Perhaps my time seemed all too brief
Donít lengthen it now with undue grief.
Lift up your hearts and peace to thee
God wanted me now; Heís set me free.


The final reading was on behalf of Maria's loving husband, Geoffrey Carse, and was read by Maria's youngest son, Patrick:

All Is Well

In loving memory of my Wife

Death is nothing at all.
I have only slipped into the next room
I am I, and you are you
Whatever we were to each other, that we are still.

Call me by my old familiar name,
Speak to me in the easy way you always used to
Put no difference in your tone,
Wear no air of sombreness or sorrow
Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes we enjoyed together.

Play, smile, think of me, pray for me.
Let my name be the household word it always was,
Let it be spoken without regret, without a trace of shadow on it.
Life means all it ever meant.

It is the same as it ever was, there is unbroken serenity.
I am not out of mind because I am out of sight,
I am here, waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, always by your side.

All is well.


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