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Final contribution by John

At this point, some of you may expect Alexandra to walk through the door and say ‘For Heaven’s sake, Get a Grip’. To help us Get a Grip, here are three stories that show that she kept her sense of humour and spirit to the end.

First concerns the picture on the website, ‘Remember Alexandra’. As she became more restricted in what she could do, we’d visit gardens as often as possible, as that was something she loved and could cope with. On this particular occasion, one day in April this year, we went to a lovely garden, Doddington in Kent which we hadn’t been to before. In the grounds we came across a brick archway that an earlier owner had built as a memorial to his late wife – and on the walls, this plaque. ‘Oh’, she said, ‘Take a picture, it will come in really handy afterwards’. And she laughed at the thought that we would laugh when the time came to display it. You can see the conspiratorial grin on her face.

She went into hospital on Friday, just over two weeks ago. We’d had a lovely week, the weather was that glorious autumn sunshine and we went out every day; a pub lunch one day, even a shopping trip to London another. Then on the Thursday we attended the funeral of a friend in South Woodford, her very last outing. When we got home we talked about that funeral, funerals in general and, one future funeral in particular. She said something wickedly funny which I’m not going to repeat, but then we pretty well designed together the event we have been having today. Typical Alexandra, funny, practical and decisive.

Then the following day, the Friday, we had a friend visit and I prepared quite a nice lunch; I made soup, baked some bread and concocted a salad of various dishes. She commented that she had really enjoyed it. A few hours later she became very ill and was taken to hospital where she lapsed in and out of consciousness. At one point she sort of lifted her head slightly and said, ‘I think it was John’s mackerel pate’. But it wasn’t. Soon after she more or less lost consciousness and stayed so for the week until passing away the following Saturday