On Friday 21st December, at the turning of the year, in the early hours of the morning, our colleague Pauline passed away in the hospital in Hereford. For those of us who saw her most recently, we realise that as well as a sadness it was in ways a blessing for her. Her chronic lung condition had meant that for some time she had struggled, both to maintain her commitments to us, but also to herself and family.
Pauline had worked with us as a supervisor, assessor and therapist for a number of years and her thoughtful and caring approach to her work will be missed. The week before, when it became evident that she was unlikely to be able to return to work with us, she tendered her resignation , expressing her appreciation for her time with us and her particular pleasure in supervision. Those who she supported in this way will carry with them a legacy which will continue to benefit others, an outcome she would have wished for.
I know that Pauline would not want any of us to carry this too heavily, particularly at a time for family, which she herself valued highly. But perhaps the quickness of what has happened is a useful lesson for us all in valuing the lives that we have while we have them. Pauline realised that the trip she made with family to Canada in the summer might take a toll on her health, but she wanted very much to live her life as far as she was able to the full. Her work with clients and with us was a part of this commitment.
Hopefully we can take that awareness (and the need to look after ourselves) with us into 2019.