View Full Version : Rory's Last Word

29th October 2013, 09:59
Hi Everyone, Rory asked his brother to read the following at his funeral or barbecue as he called it - I wanted to share it with you all. We had the celebration after at The Sun, the pub where we met 10 years ago :

Welcome to you all and thank you for coming here today !

Anyway, who was it who invented the game , Hide and Seek ?

Have I won yet ?

I will tell you something for nothing - the bloke who drove me here won't ever get a speeding ticket ! I thought I was going to be late !

I hope you like the coffin - a bit different but you know what Irene is like !

Strange isn't it - the last funeral you go to is always your own ?

Which leads me to -

Apologies for absence.

I am afraid that i will not be attending any of your funerals - please excuse me but I am sure you will understand.

Someone asked me a little while ago, what I thought it would be like to be in a coffin -

well I can tell you now after being in here for a few days – it’s like having a very long MRI scan and you feel a lot stiffer !

With the benefit of hindsight I must admit it was a mistake having one of Irene's homemade brussel sprout soups as my last meal!

I do feel a little guilty as I don't appear to have contributed to the arrangements - apart from providing the goods - so to speak.

So thanks to Irene who I am sure has thought of everything as usual !

Talking about the arrangements for today, Irene planned ahead and spoke to the local paper to organise a notice which was free of charge, as long as the announcement was 12 words or less.

She thought about it and it simply read -

"Rory passed away peacefully. Cremation will be at Mortlake" with obviously the dates. The local paper pointed out that Irene could use 3 more words still within the free allocation , so she thought about it briefly and added the following words:

"Jaguar for sale!"

I did in fact have some say in the arrangements, I went to the funeral directors who were very pleasant and understood my situation. they said in a very caring voice " So Rory , you have come here to die

- " to which I replied, " Well actually , I came yesterday, but you were shut!

I thought it best to write my own speech of my life rather than someone having to try to put together some words of my past, what I am like, what I achieved and what I would have liked to achieved etc.

I know too many of you out there and I feel that the truth may have been distorted somewhat if I left it to you !

Well I suppose I ought to start with my life when it began at a very early age, I was brought into this world by my wonderful parents . Many of you who met my parents know how wonderful they were and what a superb start in life they gave Arthur and me by their love, affection, guidance and not forgetting the difficult balance of discipline and humour !

friends - Thurwells, Howkins, Karasek - not forgetting Auntie Jean - I am pleased to say that we have kept in touch with our special family friends

school Andy ,Kim , Tim - the funniest mates I have met and superb

football Arthur,- Nayland - eyesight was never a strong point - he got man of the season once and when presented he went up and kissed the clock !

Commercial Union 6 years a good introduction to insurance and working life.
There I met Steve Dennis who then went and joined Barclays Insurance and persuaded me to go with him.

After 10 years there I met Brian Friend and John Norman who later persuaded me to join Barclays bank as a banker to the insurance sector where I made lots of friends and enjoyed loads of lunches, some of which had solids.

After 20 years at Barclays I met Chris Lee who later left for Fortis bank and persuaded me to join him - so after 30 years with Barclays I thought it was about time I changed.

At Fortis, I met some real great chums and a new luncheon club was formed: with Jim, Paul, John, Wol, Charles, Hans and Hobbo !

Banter inside and outside the office was tremendous

Wol thought that the term credit crunch was a new breakfast cereal for bankers !

HSBC – Martin and Paul – I only worked with them briefly but they became good friends

Barclays Hockey

Herbie, Soggy, Kipper, Shrips, Pat, Gage, big Martin, mad Monk, Pokey, Martin Shaw, and people even older than me such as Bev !

2 aims in my hockey career were to play until 50 and play in same side as my son Edward, both of which I achieved

I married Jeannie in 1982 and of course we had some very good times together but most importantly our son Edward was born in December 1984. Edward, old Buddy, I am really proud of you for all sorts of reasons including your degree, the way you are building a life in Aberdeen for yourself, playing hockey with you, your guitar playing-you probably take after me I can get very musical but only after about 6 pints!-your great sense of humour and of course you have your own faith which I respect and admire. This is Champo signing off, just sorry it is a little earlier than planned!

Have a great life, be the best you can be and keep that Merchant sense of humour going - after all you cannot rely on Uncle Arthur to do that with his old jokes!

And now a bit about MND and how I would advise anyone with a life threatening illness - be positive, do the things in life that you want to and don't regret those you didn't do or try to do - hope for the best and prepare for the worst. above all humour can be a great companion - I frequently laughed at the illness, making my own jokes and it was good that others joined in - such as I would try and say something and it would come out incomprehensible and I would be met with the comment - well it is easy for you to say that !

The illness started off whenever towards the end of 2010,

probably a couple of months after I had joined HSBC in my illustrious career !

- slur , twitches, swallowing , coughing as if I needed to clear throat

Doctor didn't know but thought it was nerve issue

Consultant thought the same

week of tests - I remember as I had quite a bit of holiday left, I took the week off as holiday and felt quite relaxed about it - only concern if there was a remote chance of cancer in the throat to be honest.

blood pressure up - obviously - lovely Welsh nurse

do you have trouble passing water

no but I do have trouble passing a few pubs !

can you see the doctor later - i remember saying " of course , yes - there's nothing wrong with my eyesight! "

scan, x ray, respiratory, mental tests, reflexes, eyes, hearing, needles, blood pressure, oxygen levels etc

Biolabs - best comment from any consultant , doctor I saw - he said the good news is, that with two hip replacements your scrap value will be higher !

I was advised that visiting was between 2 and 8 and I remembered the old Tommy Cooper comment, "I don't know of anyone of that age !"

Tommy Cooper was my favourite comedian and I remember a great 20 minutes on meeting him at Paddington Station with my great mate Geordie.

Went to a Melrose event and apologised for my slurred speech to the Chairman - well he said he was the Chairman - and he replied that I was speaking far better than most of his staff who had been on cocktails since the lunch time !

10 good reasons to have MND

no more funerals to go to !

see your family and friends regularly

lose weight without trying

front of queues at airports

you meet lovely, consultants, doctors, nurses, dieticians, therapists, physios,

Irene can now sell the jag without debate

see all the sport you want with remote control nearby

certain dispensation when you leave the toilet seat up

other people go to the bar for you as the bar staff think you are drunk and won't serve you !

You always get a free lift to your own funeral and don't have to worry about getting a lift back!

Believe me when you have a life threatening disease, to regularly see so many of your family and friends, or receive an email, call , letter, or meet for a drink, means so much - I have been very lucky to have known you all and had tremendous support over the past three years.

Irene and I really have appreciated this.

I have left the best until last

My wife Irene has been absolutely brilliant since the diagnosis of my ailment and indeed since we first met. First and foremost she has been a marvellous wife, lover, best friend, holiday and diary organiser and of late my carer!

She has made me laugh every day and has given me all the happiness I could have ever wanted. she has been a mentor, super soup queen , scary step mother, companion and many other roles ! - Some we shall not go into !

I remember saying to her a little time ago ,

"When I die, I am going to leave everything to you dear. "

Irene replied "You always have done, you lazy sod !"

Her vibrant company and positive attitude has been superb and at times I forgot about my illness because I was so happy just to be alongside her and of course all my friends.

We have coped with it together in our own positive way.

I don't know what I would have done without her.

I love you to bits Irene - for ever and ever.

You can feel most comforted that you have been perfect for me in every way before and during my illness. Continue living your life to the full - but please don't go out with the Amazon delivery man!

You' ll be pleased to know I am nearly finished

During the past years I have been marinated in beer, cider, red wine and spiced dark rum and as you all know, I now have a barbecue to go to.

The last laugh will be on me as I was asked if I had any last wishes and I asked for the coffin could have 3 coats of fire retardant paint and instead of Russian Crematorium lard, I have rubbed in a couple of layers of factor 60 sun cream.

That should mean that I am around for a few more hours and that should give them enough time to unscrew the handles off the coffin for future reuse !

I hope they have Sky HD where I am - Irene, I bet you have hidden the remote control again!

Have a great evening on me and remember you have all deserved your quota tonight as you have all contributed to a most enjoyable life.

As I love my sport and particularly a day at Lords watching England beat the Aussies at cricket - and as I am now off to the barbecue I think the appropriate toast tonight will be


I love you all dearly and a big thank you for making my life a very happy and memorable one.

I think now, I have come to a 'dead end!'

Sent from my iCoffin

I miss him with every breath I take.

lots of love to you all
Irene xxx

29th October 2013, 10:41

Thanks for sharing. My condolences. Sorely missed.


29th October 2013, 11:07
shed a few tears at that -sadness and laughter ! typical of rory he was so so right .fight the disease head on and with dignity and humour,just as rob and myself did.he will always be with you Irene and never forgotten by us.lots of love as always,Caroline xxxxxxxx

29th October 2013, 12:41
Beautiful…Grace, Dignity and his Brilliant Humor till the very end and beyond...

Thank you for sharing Irene

29th October 2013, 12:49
My condolences Irene, Rory will be very much missed by all those who knew and loved him.
My contact with Rory began when I joined this forum and was the very first person to pm me. That was nearly a year ago. I was grateful for his advice and humour. I am still not out of the woods so to speak and am awaiting a final diagnosis now that everything else has been ruled out, but whatever the outcome I shall remember Rory's words forever.

29th October 2013, 13:46
So typical of our lovely Rory. His humour, compassion and empathy for everyone will be missed so much. Irene, your words at the end must sum up how it feels with every breath to lose the love of your life and soulmate. I hope with all my heart that you take the strength that carried you through caring for Rory to be able to carry on. I don't believe that time is a great healer but I do believe that it allows you to cope. With much love. Diane

29th October 2013, 15:07
I too laughed and cried through that. Rory was one of a kind for sure x

29th October 2013, 19:32
Thank you for posting tis Irene, it is so Rory. Wishing you all the strength to cope with your loss.


30th October 2013, 19:41
Hi Irene,

Have to say I feel a bit odd ,being the only fella to post, Just wanted to say .Rory was unique ,I know I will never forget his quick wit and his kindness ,he was a true gent and the forum has lost a truly cherished member. RIP Rory.


30th October 2013, 23:37
Thankyou for sharing this. Irene. He was one heck of a man who touched so many people. He lives on in our memories. X

31st October 2013, 12:09
It is a mark of how generous in spirit you are Irene, sharing this with us..........we were all touched by Rory's words (yes I said words Rory!)
he was so kind and funny to everybody he replied to, the banter between himself and the gents on this forum, and the 'holes' thread will never be forgotten by those who read through tears of laughter. He was one in a million that's for sure, and I'm sure that your heart is broken, but you were lucky to have been such a strong partnership,
God Bless you and it has been a privilege to know you, I hope you post occasionally to let us know how you're getting on,
I'm sure he would allow me to let rip on the kisses

1st November 2013, 16:31
Dear Irene

My name is Sam. I first came on the forum back in late January because my mum had just been diagnosed with BP MND. I have not been on the forum for some months because I have been privately struggling to cope with my mum's condition deteriorating so quickly. Reading other peoples challenges would make me cry so I thought I would give it a break.

The one pleasure I had on here though was reading your husbands posts. He was the first to welcome me to the forum and I followed a lot of his replies as they had me laughing out loud at my desk.

I told my mum about him and read her some posts, she thought him hilarious.

Like I say, I haven't been on for months but I was feeling a bit stronger and thought I would pop back on. The FIRST thing I thought was 'What's Rory been up to?'. Because I love his mischeivous messages.

So I did a search on his name and my stomach genuinely flipped when I read the title of your message. Even though I never met him he made me feel welcome and made me laugh. - which at the moment takes a lot. He never was just an icon on my computer screen, but reading that he has passed is a sad reminder of what MND is capable of.

I am so, so sorry for your loss. I thought that with an outlook like his he would go on forever. Though I choked up to read that you lost him I was also cheered to read his last words. What a man!

I thought he was fabulous and I am sorry that I have rejoined the forum to late to tell him myself.

I wish you and your family all the strength in the world.

Big love

Sammie x

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