John & Judith Woodget
Judith has been a major figure in Lockeridge village life for years and years.
She was a busy lady as she had a garden design business to run, and latterly an important role as granny to her family; this involved frequent trips to Seattle where son Matthew lives and works. She was a very keen reader - she was a member of a thriving literary group, and for a long period was running her own book club at the same time.
Nonetheless she was a cheerful, willing and long-serving Parish Councillor - experienced in planning issues, particularly those to do with conservation, and an extremely enthusiastic figure in innovative Parish traffic calming projects. Together we set up a village seminar with an international expert on traffic management, and the village hall was packed out to listen to him. She was tireless in continuing to try every means to introduce his ideas into the village.
Her work as a School Governor to Kennet Valley school was also something that demanded great perseverance and patience as she and her fellow governors succeeded in extending the Lockeridge site to contain what had hitherto been a two-site school, in East Kennett and Lockeridge. At one stage, even poor John was called in to try to chair an excitable village meeting! That seems a long time ago now as the school progresses calmly and well. Judith turned to the happier task of designing a “spiritual garden” within the school grounds, recently completed, which will now surely be a lasting memorial to her.
She always supported anything that brought villagers together, and she and John were leading lights in establishing our annual Christmas drinks on Lockeridge Dene. This December will feel very strange indeed without them.
Recently John retired from his heavy job at Intel, and he was looking forward to many happy outings in his pre-war Bentley. He had been a “petrol head” since he was a boy. My husband also has a classic car, and John and Judith had for the first time joined us in our trip to an Air Pageant in Oxfordshire, where we had a lovely day picnicking together with other classic car friends. We had been planning to take our cars abroad to attend Rolls Royce/Bentley Rallies in Europe, and the usual Woodget enthusiasm was in overdrive as we discussed various exciting alternatives.
Three weeks later, West Overton church was full and overflowing – standing room only – as we said goodbye to them, with flowers everywhere and the sun shining outside.
We will miss them so much.
From Matthew Woodget's blog of July 24:
When those you love are killed
It’s been five days since they died. Since they were killed. Both of them. My loving parents who I was very close with. As were my sisters. As were our spouses. They adored and were worshiped by their grandchildren. They are gone forever. There will be no new memories made. They are now in the past.
It’s unbearably painful.
Floods of emotion
At first even breathing was impossible. I learned to do that again. It’s like that with everything now.
They say time heals all wounds. It’s hard to believe that at this moment.
What is it like to learn to cope with such a tragic loss? It is as if all my sadness and fear and tears are kept shut behind a door. The problem is that all of my memories of my parents are also behind that door. I crouch down and peak through the key hole. Sometimes I see sadness. Sometimes I remember. Sometimes I smile.
Smiling seemed impossible a few days ago.
Sometimes the door get’s kicked open.
Sometimes it’s mum. Sometimes it’s dad. Sometimes both together.
They come bursting from behind the door in a flood of emotion.
The thought of dealing with reality right now is unbearable. I’ve become intimately aware that whilst grieving one has to manage things like a funeral and the execution of a will and estate.
It’s exhausting. Literally.
Walking beside us
Wise people have said to me that you never get over the loss of a loved one. In this case two loved ones, lost in one tragic accident. They say that you learn to integrate the loss into your life. That it becomes a part of you. Once I heard it described that as your heart heals you will have them walk beside you.
They will live on through us; in our DNA and in what we know about them "Dad would totally say that", "Mum would not be happy with that!" In this future there are there, with us. Living on through our memories of them. There are glimpses of this comfort. Then we slip back into sorrow.
Grief is a journey we must take. Whilst seeking to celebrate their lives.
If I could be half of what either my Mother or Father were then I will have achieved a great thing.
Their love knew no bounds. The community and beyond benefited from their warmth and generosity. The outpouring of grief and support has been a chorus of broken hearts. We deeply appreciate everything everyone has done from simple "I’m sorry" to hugs to friends going above and beyond to help with everything from driving, cars, airport runs, food, cooking. I honestly don’t know what we would do without you.
For those kind enough to make a gift we would be honored if you could make it to the charity my father was chairperson of, The Wiltshire Community Foundation – ad specifically to the "John and Judith Woodget Fund". They would have been "tickled pink" by any donations that helped them help others despite them not being around to explicitly help any more. A fitting tribute to their lives.
I love you mum and dad. I will forever.
Below is a picture of my beloved parents on their 40th Wedding Anniversary in 2013. Mum is wearing her wedding dress.
Blog reproduced courtesy of Matthew Woodget