12th October 1983 - 8th August 2014
In August 2014 my beloved daughter Jenny, or Marge as we affectionately called her, died aged only 30 in an accidental fall at her home. Despite the pain of losing her, I am still very conscious of the privilege of having been her mother, of the love she gave and received through her life and of gratitude for having had her in my life. I miss her so much, but I thank God for her.
Jenny was a beautiful young woman with a gentle and sensitive soul. Although quite private herself she cared deeply for others and had a special love for all waifs, strays and underdogs. She was also incredibly funny, with a quirky, unconventional outlook on life and a talent for witty one-liners. We adored her, and the gap she has left in our lives is immense. However we are doing our best to honour her memory by focusing less on our loss and more on her deep goodness and the many things we learnt from her: she made all our lives so much richer and we are grateful that she was with us for 30 wonderful years.
One thing she taught us from an early age is the power of the animal world to influence human health and wellbeing. Jenny was someone who loved animals of all shapes and sizes, above all horses. Life was not always easy for her in her teenage and adult life as she struggled from time to time with depression and an eating disorder: so she understood deeply from her own experience how animals can be a source of comfort, confidence and companionship, and also that they have needs that must be put before our own. In particular she loved horses and spent hours tending them at the Burwell Riding Syndicate. She seemed to know instinctively that being with these strong and sensitive animals would bring her peace when she most needed it.
We have started a memorial website for her at www.iwantjennyonthere.com (a family joke - at the age of three she wanted to hear her name recorded on a tape machine; later she took the phrase for her email address and we will always associate it with the livewire toddler she was, loudly demanding digital recognition) All who knew and loved her are welcome to upload photographs and other memories of her so that we can rejoice together in having known her.
So in Jenny's memory we have set up a small charity called simply 'Jenny's Trust' to support the work of organisations using animal-assistive therapies and particularly equine therapies to work with troubled teens, or others with mental health challenges. Through the Trust we hope that Jenny’s wisdom, experience and courage will live on and benefit others who face struggles in their own lives. We would be glad to receive donations here, or at www.iwantjennyonthere.com/trust