Saturday, November 7, 2009

Goodbye my friend

Claudia above in deep conversation with Chuck my hubby in our garden.

Thursday last week I lost my buddy, a good friend for about 10 years, and a wonderful human being. She had not been too well and suffered from heart disease that was diagnosed 2 years ago. She was a determined lady who never complained. She left in October to visit her family and friends in the USA where she had fallen ill and had to be hospitalized. I spoke to her twice and on each occasion as ill as she was, she wanted to know how I was doing . She told me that her hubby Floyd turned seventy and I said that we will celebrate when she came home. She said that she can't wait to come home to celebrate and harass my hubby Chuck.

On Friday I went by "Shifting sands" her house where she and hubby Floyd lived, and I mowed the lawn. I wanted to be close to her, feel her spirit and her presence. I
caressed her cat patches and told him that his mummy was not coming
back. Claudia had touched many lives and was loved by so many. Her
easy going and generous spirit made her an easy target to love.
Richard and Jenny her friends from the UK stopped by when they saw me at "Shifting sands". As we
walked around her garden, tears welled up in Jenny's eyes as we were
speaking about her. My eyes welled up too, and I felt good that I had
mowed her lawn.

Too many times I would drop by unannounced, she and Floyd would
welcome me and we would sit at the back patio and chat. Once when I was going
through a difficult and frightening time with my husband who was ill
and was away in the USA getting medical treatment, Claudia would call me up to
check in on me. One weekend she called and told me not to cook she was
bringing some food. Not only did she bring the food , she brought the
drinks, dessert and even the glasses as well as some friends. I was
moved by this, no one had ever done this for me I told her. Now how
many friends would have gone out of their way to do something like
that? Claudia would!
Claudia at my house where we would often meet for a meal and enjoy a social get together.

Claudia was from Boston in the United States and came to live in Barbados 23 years ago. She loved her garden, her cats lovey and patches, the beach and the multitude of
friends she had collected over the years living in Barbados. Yet she
made each of us feel that we were her best friend. Claudia managed her
friends well, giving each of them the attention they sought yet still
having time for everyone.
Jenny Claudia and Diana her beach buddies

We are all trying to come to grips that she has gone and it is very
difficult to accept. Claudia has left a big void in our lives and
hearts that we can never fill. Claudia was a rare and beautiful
flower who would give the shirt off her back to you. A fantastic cook
and fabulous baker. Every Christmas she would bake a present for
my husband Chuck
and would send little goodies for him whenever she baked.
All we have now are memories of how this great woman touched our
lives, these memories would live on forever in our hearts.

My profound condolences to her husband Floyd and her sisters in the USA and her many friends who loved her dearly.
Floyd do not be surprised if you see me sitting in your back patio! I
am keeping Claudia's company and watching over her garden!


  1. Sorry to learn of this news. I know it is sad to loose a friend...

  2. I'm so sorry to know that you've lost such a good friend. May God give Claudia's family strength during this difficult period of their lives.

    My thoughts are with you, Helen. How difficult it must be for you and Chuck and all of Claudia's friends. What a great personality and what a beautiful garden.

    Take care.

  3. She was your sister, wasn't she? Not by blood, but by spirit. She left many happy memories, and she will be remembered. This is a beautiful tribute to your friend.

  4. It is always so hard. I am so sorry for your loss, and everyone that loved her. I will keep you all in my thoughts.

  5. Helen,I was sorry to learn about the death of your dear friend. You did a wonderfully touching gesture by mowing her lawn.It is very sad to lose good friends.

  6. I am so sorry for your loss. Your post made me feel like I knew this wonderful woman. The Nana songs brought tears to my eyes. Bless you for honoring your friend's memory. Fran

  7. Hello Helen

    My name is Renate Jasperson , My husband Norman and I stay with Gerry Hooper every January. Gerry was married to my sister Sigrun( who passed away from cancer in Aug). They live in the circle area just down from Claudia and Floyd. Over the years we have gotten to know them both and count them as good friends., The tribute you wrote to Claudia was very moving – every inch Claudia. We will miss her greatly. It will be difficult going back in Jan without Claudia or Sigrun there. Sigrun was an avid gardener as well and shared many plants with Claudia. I love the pictures of your yard too. Both Norman and I have come to love your island immensely. Hopefully we will run into each other at some point while we are there. We will be in Barbados Jan. 7 – Feb. 10.

    Thank you again for the lovely tribute and I will continue to visit your blog


  8. Hi Helen~
    What a beautiful tribute you have given to your friend, Claudia. I'm so sorry for your loss, sounds like she had a beautiful spirit. May you always cherish your experiences together.
    My thoughts are with you.
    Take care!

  9. Helen, I am so very sorry to know about the loss of your dear good friend. You have written a very touching tribute to her and from this tribute, I can know what a wonderful person she has been to everyone who were blessed to know her. I sincerely hope that time will heal your pain and I am sure that the wonderful memories of her will live on in your heart. Do take care of yourself. My thoughts are with you, Helen. Take a good rest this weekend and May the good Lord bless and keep you in good health always.

  10. Your grief touched me, I knew Claudia only by smile, thank you for the introduction. May you and her family find comfort knowing that she is in the eternal garden. Rest in Peace. juju

  11. Thank you all for your kind comments and sympathy.

  12. Helen, I am so very sorry you lost your dear friend. It is truly a hard thing to lose someone you love. May God comfort you and those who loved her. She seemed a dear lady.

  13. My deepest condolence to you for losing your dear friend, Claudia. May she rest in peace and God bless her.

  14. Hi. My name is Arlene Ryrie. I am a sister to Gerry Hooper, a neighbor and friend of Claudia and Floyd. I have a picture of Claudia and I doing a jig-saw puzzle and she is showing that beautiful smile, When Gerry returned to Barbados alone after losing Segrun in Aug. I knew Claudia and Floyd would be there to support him. What a shock to find out that Claudia too had passed away. Condolances to Floyd and you as well Helen. Your tribute was beautiful.


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