Jean Thiel

 10 July 1948 - 30 May 2002

When I first met Jean, she was Jean Gardener and was Mum to Vicki, Lizz and Kate. She quickly became Mum to me, too.
Jean worked for a firm in Croydon and we'd often joke on the phone, each time she'd telephone for computer support, but also about her... well let's call it, admiring the boss. His name was Julian and he was to become her husband in April 2002.  I realised Jean was special when she'd spend a considerable amount of time with me, talking over the problems I was having at the time.  But if I wasn't sure how totally genuine and caring she was, it was further confirmed when I was in hospital and she visited.  That afternoon, with just Jean and I, was a strange spiritual feeling that I've never had before or since.  All I can think is that it was extremely special and I feel mentally strong whenever I think of Jean now!

30 May 2015
To commemorate Jean's life, Vicki, Kate & Lizz invited Jezz and me to Jean's favourite Chinese restaurant for a meal out for the evening. It was at Blossom House in Limpsfield Road, Hamsey Green, Warlingham.

In between times of talking on the phone with each other and seeing one another whenever we could, Jean and I spent the time to write to each other.  In one of her letters, when she had one of her more 'spiritual' moments, Jean would know exactly how I felt and send me messages. One of them was the "Don't Quit" poem. The "Death Is Nothing At All" was read out at Jean's funeral. Both appear below.

Don't Quit

When things go wrong as they sometimes will

When the road you’re trudging seems uphill
When the funds are low, and the debts are high
And you want to smile, but have to sigh
When things are pressing you down a bit
Rest if you must, but don’t you quit

Success is failure turned inside out
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt
You never can tell how close you are
It may be near when it seems so far
So, stick to the fight when the hardest hit
It’s when things go wrong that you mustn’t quit

Death Is Nothing At All

I have only slipped away 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 which you always used. Put no difference into your tone; wear no forced air of solemnity 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 ever the household word that it always was. Let it be spoken without effort, without the trace of a shadow on it. Life means all that it ever meant. It is the same as it ever was; there is unbroken continuity. What is death but a negligible accident? Why should I be out of your mind because I am out of your sight? I am but waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near just around the corner.