This entry is part 1 of 38 in the series Fiona


Today, I have to share the devastating news that my wonderful wife, Fiona, passed away peacefully last week at the age of 52. She’d been suffering from pancreatic cancer.

We’d been married for 32 years; I was 21 and she was 19 when we married. We always said how glad we were that we’d married young because we got to spend more of our lives together.

We had so many adventures together: exploring our lovely country and other parts of the world; raising three wonderful children and then our two lovely grandchildren whom Fiona doted upon; exploring our faith and worshipping Jesus together. Fiona had an amazing singing voice which complemented mine perfectly.

Fiona was a Special Needs teacher at a local Church of England primary school. Over the sixteen years she was there, she touched hundreds of childrens’ lives in such a positive way. Fe had the gift of being able to see the potential – she saw it as a ‘golden thread’ – in even the most difficult of children, and of being able to bring out the full potential of each and every one of them. With a warm, loving heart and a gentle spirit, she looked after her students as if they were her own children; being there for them when they were sad, sharing in their joys, taking them to hospital in her car if they injured themselves in the playground, or simply using my first-aid cure-all – the ‘cold compress’ – and gentle words for less severe injuries.

Fiona affected so many lives that her Memorial service is going to be packed to the doors*. I’ve never known a lady so loved by so many people, such was the effect she had on them, students and parents alike. So many people have commented on how they loved the way she believed in their children, and brought out the best in them. It was such a privilege for me to be married to such an amazing lady. Her selfless giving and gentle spirit, along with her loving forebearance of all my weird Aspie traits, and the devotion with which she loved me, will never cease to amaze me. I never really felt worthy of that kind of love, but she gave it to me in full measure.

Fiona’s aim in life was to be Jesus to everyone she met, and she did this so well, living in her simple, trusting faith and devoted love for her Saviour, with Whom she now walks in the most glorious paradise which is beyond our imagination. She always loved all the seasons, with their variety of colours, smells and weather; she loved flowers, laughter (with her wacky sense of humour) music, moors and mountains, valleys and woods, walking, horses and people and watching them going about their business with a deep fascination. She’s now in a place where she can ride horses again – she’d had an injury which has prevented this for some years – and where the mountains are beyond anything we have here and where the colours are more real and radiant. And she is with Jesus. Over the last week I have had a series of solid visions showing me just what Fiona has right now, and it’s been life-changing even at a time of my life where my life is already changing because I have lost her. Now, I look forward to being with her, and although I know God has things still for me to do here, I look forward with eager anticipation to the time when I will see her again.

Her last battle was over the last two and a half years. We fought this terrible disease hand in hand and side by side, each trying to spare the other the worst of the ravages of the chemotherapy, the disease symptoms and the side-effects. We gave it our best shot, but this disease defied everything we could throw at it; I have never seen an illness so resistant to healing prayer. And I don’t understand that, having as I do a deep faith in God’s ability and willingness to heal.

Typically of Fiona, with her self-giving nature, I am sure that she underwent all these treatments not so much to save her life – we always knew it was a remote hope – but to help those who loved her, by giving them the chance to see her actually doing something about the illness. Fiona was never in any doubt about her final destination – heaven – and death held no fear for her. She really was remarkable. In her last months, she had a real, solid, lucid waking vision of what heaven was going to be like for her, which, typically, she did not share with me until only recently, for fear of upsetting me. I can’t go into the details but I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that she was certain of her reward and that she has indeed gone to receive it from Jesus.

I don’t know the spiritual mechanics of what happens when someone dies. But I know, utterly and completely beyond any doubt at all, that Fiona is ecstatically happy, knowing that we who are left will be fine. In so many ways, losing Fiona, even in the face of disappointed hope for healing, has actually strengthened my own faith. Odd, isn’t it?

Fiona, I will miss you so much. But I’ll see you again, and next time it will be without the ravages of that bloody disease on your lovely person. You’re whole now, healed and glorified, and out of suffering and indeed in such glorious, glorious joy.

And you deserve every bit of it, you brave, beautiful girl.

*Edit: Fiona’s memorial service was indeed packed; the church was almost full. So much good fruit came of Fiona’s service; there are more details here.

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53 thoughts on “Fiona

  1. Very courageous and loving words. Thanks Ant you are in yourself an amazing testimony.
    Thanks for witnessing and showing such faith in our Heavenly Father. Let me know if we at Brunel Manor can support you and the family in some way.Abundant Peace be with you.

  2. Anthony, I don’t think I have ever read words that capture a person so beautifully; I am honoured to have had Fe as such a lovely friend and am lifted by your faith. Much love to you, Ellie, Richard and David, Bev xxx

  3. Such beautiful words Anthony. Fiona was such a lovely, inspirational lady. I had the pleasures to meet and work with her many years ago and she was always a pleasure and fun to be around – I can hear her now as we giggled together about shoes for your sons wedding. I have many happy memories of Fiona and feel blessed to have met her. My thoughts are with you all at this time, with love and hugs Wendy

  4. This is terrible news and my heart goes out to the family. Fiona was a wonderful teacher to both of my children Kirby and Mason and they have fond memories of their time at Collaton with her.

  5. My wife and I only met her once but as they say, ‘first impressions count’ and I can indeed testify that she was a lovely lady with a beautiful heart. Sleep well Fi until we meet again.

    And for my true friend Anthony – I don’t know what to say. There’s relief that you don’t need to suffer in your heart at the pain she may have felt, yet that emotion is also mixed with heart break for you my friend. We are all destined to be together at some point in Jesus, yet some are called ahead of others and it’s those others that are left behind in the mean time. You are in my prayers as I said the other day. You know where I am, and you have my number. ((((((((((Hugs and love))))))))))))

  6. ?speechless. Lovely, kind, gentle Fiona. Rest in peace and bathe in the glory that is yours now. Fondest memories sarah x

  7. I am so sorry for your loss. She really was a wonderful women I am very grateful that she was my teacher. May she rest in peace.

  8. I only knew fiona a very short time, she took my niece under her care, gave her love, compassion and faith in our lord, I know she walks in heaven with many friends and family.

  9. Anthony. My heart cries for you but also rejoices that Fiona is with her Lord and he is taking care of her. Fiona was the loveliest lady I could wish to meet and I was blessed to meet her when I needed to most. I will be forever grateful for that. Words actually cannot say what I feel about her passing but, flipping heck, has she left a massive footprint on all our hearts. I will never, ever forget that wonderful lady and my love and prayers are sent to you and your family. xxx

  10. She touched the lives of many people, may she continue to touch more lives with her spirit up in the sky

  11. Wonderful to hear this tribute to such a lovely, kind lady who was becoming my friend. She was such a support to me when I was ill last year. I’m sorry that I didn’t get to know her better. She will be missed by many. Your words are inspirational, Anthony.

  12. What a beautiful tribute Anthony and what a testimony to the eternal hope and prize you bold hold on to. Thank you Jesus. Despite the pain and the loss, you can still say, it is well with your soul. God Bless you and the kids.

  13. I lost my wife of 42 years about 3 years ago, cancer everywhere in the end. I desperately tried to get her to talk about what was happening and what would eventually happen. She didn’t want to, and I feel a bit cheated. I had to respect her wishes though, it seems you went through the awful times together and I am so glad you managed that, in my mind it is so important. My thoughts are with you.

    1. Ahh, that must have been tough, Ray. I’m so sorry that happened. But I know what you mean about repecting her wishes, and I’d say you did the right thing for her. It must have been a hard decision though.

  14. Thank you, dear bro. Beautiful and fitting words that brought a tear to my eye – and that doesn’t happen easily. You remain in my prayers as you make the massive adjustment to life without Fiona.

  15. What a beautiful tribute to a very special lady ! fond memories of her teaching my Daughter at Collaton St Mary.
    My heartfelt condolences to you and your family

  16. How touchingly beautiful Anthony. May the memory of Fiona live on through you and your family. I am sure it will be a celebration and home going service for Fiona, not a funeral. Sorry we can’t come to support you but our prayers and thoughts are with you. Love and blessings, Carol & David

  17. She truly was a wonderful person and a great friend too. We shall all miss her dreadfully. Thinking of you, her family today, especially. Xx

  18. I am totally in awe of the wonderful words and most heartfelt tribute you have written to such a wonderful woman.
    I had the pleasure of job sharing with Fe at Collaton and she was a joy to work with. The children were always at the heart of everything she did and they really loved her for it.
    I will really miss knowing that she is a text away. I loved when we met up for coffee and a catch up, as we always laughed so much!
    Sending so much love and strength to you all through this difficult time.
    Nicki xxxx

  19. I’m so sorry, Tony for your loss. After you commented on my blog today, I did a little digging into yours and found this. What a beautiful tribute to your wife! My heart breaks for you…knowing she is with Jesus gives hope, but it doesn’t take away the pain and grief. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Love, Christy

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