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T O P I C    R E V I E W
Chris Green Posted - 02/04/2013 : 15:53:17
Funeral Ceremony
Penelope Bryant-Tapp (Nell)
3 p.m. at
Grantham Crematorium
Monday 18th February 2013

[Born: 9th June 1951 Died: 26th January 2013 aged 61]

Civil Funeral Celebrant: Charlotte Graham MICF

Ceremony Arranged by Chris Green

Reception of coffin into the chapel – 'Elgar's Cello Concerto, Opus 85, 1st Movement'


Good afternoon everyone. On behalf of Chris and Oddenstein, I thank you for being here today to celebrate the life of Penelope Bryant-Tapp, Nell to her family and friends. I am Charlotte Graham, a Civil Funeral Celebrant and I will be leading today's ceremony. Please be seated.

Opening Words

'Special' is a word that is used to describe something, one-of-a-kind, like a hug or a beautiful sunset, or a person who spreads love with a smile or kind gesture.
'Special' describes people who act from the heart and keep in mind the hearts of others.
'Special' applies to something that is admired and precious and which can never be replaced.
'Special' is the word that best describes Nell.


In whatever capacity you knew Nell, you have left your daily routines today to acknowledge some of the thoughts and feelings that well up in us when we are saddened by death. You all share in the sorrow of this occasion, each experiencing the emptiness, which comes from separation, each acknowledging the gap there will be in your lives. But sadness is not the only emotion. You have all been touched by the life of Nell, so remember her with kindness, with warmth, with fond memories, with love and affection, and above all with gratitude for what knowing Nell has brought to your life.

Reading – I would now like to read a poem that was written by Chris called


Window enlightened blackness,
darkened military greenness;
the antenna masts, cloud-reaching,
their taut guy-lines softly singing:
the night is black and wet and cold,
touched by Water Spirits of olde,
in that beginning of Earth's age;
before the military rage.

Dark rain and darker shadow,
hide the sorrowful epitaph
of the memory cenotaph:
two wars celebrated, somehow
as though both of them in the stone
for Man's doings elsewhere will atone.

Victor Frankl wrote:
“We cannot judge a biography by its length, by the number of pages in it, we must judge by the richness of the contents. Sometimes the unfinished are among the most beautiful of symphonies.

Eulogy – Chris will now come and read his eulogy to Nell

“What and who is a person now passed on and still remembered as Penny, Penelope, Miss Sealey, Mrs Bell, Mrs Bryant-Tapp and as my fiance' 'Nell'?

She is the sum of all of the people whom she knew, she is a well-loved daughter and a sister, she is a mother, she was a wife to three of us, a lover, a friend, a carer, a fighter who learned to fight her own battles – and they were many – but not out in the open for all to see, but hidden and deeply private.

Nell and I had known that she was dying for over two years but we decided not to burden others with the knowledge and to live our lives as normally as we could; she fought for life in the same way that she fought the world - quietly and tenaciously.

Nell was an excellent portrait artist and had a love of craft work and made everything from pullovers to soft toys to puppets to the bits and pieces for her doll's house.

She was a highly intelligent woman and had a liking for three dimensional graphical design and liked to have the newest computer gadgets; she had little time for politics or committees.

Nell's greatest love was her family and she often spoke of her mother Elizabeth, brothers Peter and Andrew, of Linda and Hazel, of Beryl and of other family members.

I read now the well known verse from Laurence Binyon's poem, which is spoken at Royal British Legion meetings:

“They shall not grow old
As we that are left grow old,
Age shall not weary them
Nor the years condemn,
At the going down of the sun
And in the morning – we will remember them.

We shall remember you, Nell.”

Reflection – Let us take a moment for quiet reflection whilst we listen to the following piece of music:
'Here comes the sun' – The Beatles


Chris would like to thank you all for your attendance here today and for all the cards and messages of sympathy that he has received. He would also like to thank Dean, sister Gill and Fiona for all their help and support.

Anyone wishing to make a donation to the chosen charity the National Association for Colitis and Crohn's Disease (UK) may leave it in the collection plate on the way out of the chapel.

Everyone is welcome to join the family for refreshments after the ceremony.


Now can you all stand for the farewell. I am going to say a few words and whilst doing this the curtains will remain open. This is your time to say your special goodbyes.

Nell, we bid you farewell, we rejoice that we knew you. We are glad that we saw your face and walked the paths of life with you. We treasure the memory of your love, your kindness and your good humour. With sorrow we bid you farewell, with love we leave you in peace.
We now commit the body of Nell to its natural end.

At committal 'Let it be' – The Beatles

'Farewell My Friends' – Rabindranath Tagore

It was beautiful
As long as it lasted
The journey of my life.

I have no regrets
Whatsoever save
The pain I'll leave behind.
Those dear hearts
Who love and care...
And the strings pulling
At the heart and soul...

The strong arms
That held me up
When my own strength
Let me down.

At every turning of my life
I came across
Good friends,
Friends who stood by me
Even when the time raced me by.

Farewell, farewell
My friends
I smile and
Bid you goodbye.
No, shed no tears
For I need them not
All I need is your smile.

If you feel sad
Do think of me
For that's what I'll like.
When you live in the hearts
Of those you love
Remember then
You never die.

Comfort for the Future

The separateness, the uniqueness of each human life is the basis of our grief in bereavement.
Look through the whole world and there is no one like the one you have lost. But Nell still lives on in your memories and, though no longer a visible part of your lives, she will always remain a member in your family or of your circle, through the influence she has had on you and the special part she has played in your lives.

Music on exit – 'Elgar's Cello Concerto, Opus 85, Last Movement'

Nell 2008

The photograph was at the foot of Nell's coffin.

The coffin was made out of woven seagrass with rounded ends and it was lined with wool and sewn onto the lid was a single, red, silk rose.

Flowers were sent by family members and they were removed by the Funeral Directors for use at the interment, the following day.

As I went to her coffin for the last time, I stood and remembered Nell, then I reached out and patted her coffin and said, “See you around sometime, Nell.”

The Interment of the ashes
Penelope Bryant-Tapp (Nell)
Newark Cemetery
Tuesday 19th February 2013
at 2.30 p.m.

Funeral Director present was Paul Richardson

I opened the urn and poured Nell's ashes into the grave (EM 396), which is located at the west end of the cemetery beside Newark Cricket Ground and the Elm Avenue gate.

Paul Richardson read out these words:

“You can shed tears that they are gone,
Or you can smile because they have lived.
You can close your eyes and pray that they come back
Or you can open your eyes and see all they have left.
Your heart can be empty because you can't see them
Or you can be full of love that you shared.
You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday
Or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday.
You can remember them and only that they are gone
Or you can cherish their memory and let it live on.
You can cry and close your mind, be empty and turn your back
Or you can do what they would want;
Smile, open your eyes, love and go on.”

The grave was filled in and we positioned the flowers on top of it.

I shall talk to all and then select a suitable headstone in the coming months: Nell liked roses and I shall plant a variety called 'Remembrance'. We had agreed that the stone would be'Twilight' red granite because she liked that colour very much.
I should like to have a photo of Nell etched into the stone.

Suggested inscription, subject to approval:

Penelope Bryant-Tapp nee' Sealey
Artist and Poet
Born: 9 June 1951 Died: 26 January 2013
Aged 61 years

Though Nell's smile has gone for ever
and her hand we cannot touch,
we shall never lose sweet memories
of the one we loved so much.
3   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
Chris Green Posted - 20/08/2017 : 09:04:00
It is now four and a half years since Nell died and there is not a single day that I do not think of her.

Nell was a remarkable woman and I love her dearly, despite being married to Mabel since December 2014: I promised Nell that I would get on with living and that is what I have done.

However, I did not seek out a woman to be a form of substitute for the lady I had lost, rather I found someone who is unique and radically different to Nell.

Rest in Peace Nell.
Chris Green Posted - 21/04/2014 : 21:53:08
Elizabeth saw Nell's grave and her own cancer has gone into remission, which is a blessing.

It is 15 months since Nell died, the grief comes in waves and each time it passes you think that finally you are clear of it, but then another wave of sorrow hits one.

Later on in the year I shall choose a bright, sunny day and get a really good picture of Nell's grave.
Chris Green Posted - 17/09/2013 : 21:32:39
I am trying to get the headstone erected as soon as possible because Nell's Mum has cancer and she wants to see her daughter's grave before she dies.

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