Cindy’s Gravestone

Well at last, Cindy’s gravestone has been put up in the cemetery. We all went this afternoon after Meeting, had a look at it and lit some candles Pat and Maurice had sent for Cindy’s anniversary and birthday.


The text says:

Cindy Michele Tarrant
9.10.1961 – 11.9.2005
run because you can

“Why the tiger?” I hear you ask. It was Rose’s idea, and it comes from something that Cindy used to joke about with the children. She often told them that at night, she unzipped her tail, turned into a tiger and ran around Rowntrees Park. So it really reminds us of her. And it goes well with the lower case writing at the bottom, which is an adaptation of the last sentence in her diary – “Certainly if there is life after death I am going to be a runner and I will run every day because I can.”

If you want to go and see her grave, it’s in York Cemetery (the Victorian one on Cemetery Road near the Barbican) and here’s a map to show you exactly where.

Map to Cindy's grave

Memories of Cindy

Cathy Holman and Chris Hughes wrote this wonderful piece about Cindy for the Meeting Book of Memories.

Cindy Tarrant

It was a real gift and a pleasure in our lives to have been a friend of Cindy Tarrant.

Cindy was born on the 9th of October 1961, the middle daughter of Pat and Maurice. Her sister, Jayne was 2 years older and Mandy 4 years younger. Cindy lived in a house by the sea, which her father had built and her love of the sea remained with her throughout her life. Cindy cycled 4 miles daily to her primary school and moved onto secondary in Chichester. She attended two sixth forms in order to study for the A levels she was most interested in. Cindy always enjoyed sewing and knitting and made many of her own clothes. Cindy went on to the University of Surrey, the first person in her family to go to University. She was determined to follow a career path which she knew was for her and all her life took a pride in furthering her knowledge and skills in Home Economics and teaching. During her finals Cindy managed to fit in making her sister’s wedding dress.

Following her degree and her teaching qualification Cindy worked at Sarah Bonnell School in Newham. Cindy loved the work and enjoyed being a member of a hard working team however her love for travelling won out and she began a round the world journey with a good friend, Karen Cseleda. She was always ready to meet new people, travel to new places and was optimistic and cheerful about the future. They travelled through India, Nepal, Tibet, China and Hong Kong arriving in Australia. She made connections with people and formed relationships which endured the years, despite years of little contact. Cindy worked in Australia in the catering industry before heading off to travel again. She met Edward on her travels and they wandered Asia together, meeting many people who were touched by her flair and energy but also by her friendship and care.

They returned to this country for a while and Cindy took up her teaching before heading off again with Edward to South East Asia and Australia. Whilst in Australia Edward applied and was accepted to study at York University and they planned to have children once Edward graduated. However the children did not wait that long to arrive and Toby was born in 1991. Cindy got a temporary job while pregnant and worked after the birth of Toby and after the births of John and Rose. Cindy worked long hours with travelling on top and she did a lot of the work around the house. She did this all with good humour and grace.

Meeting for Worship and Quakers became very important to Cindy, having attended at Westminster when she was working in Newham. When she and Edward moved to York they began attending at Acomb Meeting, which they found friendly and welcoming. They moved to worship at Friargate Meeting following the birth of Toby. Cindy and Edward were married in Friargate on 22nd August 1992. Cindy was a valued member of the Friargate community and had a clear sense of her own spiritual beliefs. She was loved by many. Her wonderful laugh, her dismissal of pomposity or verbosity and her readiness to contribute, enriched our communal life beyond measure. Cindy was never daunted by tasks, no matter their nature or size. Cindy just got on with things. Her cooking and baking were sublime and the residents at the Arc Light project for the homeless regularly thanked Quakers for and commented on her sticky toffee pudding. Cindy took on the jobs no one wanted, including running the Link group, organising rotas and spending many Sunday mornings in crèche or Fox group. She organised numerous meals at Barmoor, enlivened the knitting and book groups and gave us much to think about. She could make things so easily, be it a wedding dress or costumes for John’s dance company. Cindy was hospitable and was really good at connecting with people. She had many friends.

Cindy loved clothes and especially shoes; she adored good coffee and food, loved parties, enjoyed electronic gadgets and was such fun to be with. At the age of 36 and with children aged 6, 2 and 1, Cindy was diagnosed with lung cancer. She had a lung removed followed by radiotherapy and it looked for several years that the cancer had gone. Unfortunately it returned and Cindy faced her illness and the treatment with such an enormous amount of courage and bravery, it left us all staggering.

Cindy was a wonderful mother. She was immensely proud of all her three children, loved them dearly and was determined to continue treating them exactly as she always had, despite knowing that she would not live long. Her love for Edward was clear and as they both struggled at times through some of the horrors of Cindy’s illness we could see how important this was to get them through.

What more to be said – she was hopeless at receiving presents and I suppose compliments too. It is hard to accept that Cindy, our energetic, inspirational, fun-loving, giggly, loving, thoughtful, giving, caring friend has gone and is not coming back. She had so much to offer and in her too short life she was so generous with her time, her friendship and her many talents.

Cindy kept a diary called “Having A Good Time: thoughts about my family and other things.” The very last thing she wrote in it was

“How can I not think every day that time is limited, especially when I wheeze just climbing the stairs. Certainly if there is life after death I am going to be a runner and I will run every day because I can.”

We love her and miss her.

What Will Survive of Us is Love

Philip Larkin – An Arundel Tomb

Side by side, their faces blurred,
The earl and countess lie in stone,
Their proper habits vaguely shown
As jointed armour, stiffened pleat,
And that faint hint of the absurd –
The little dogs under their feet.

Such plainness of the pre-baroque
Hardly involves the eye, until
It meets his left-hand gauntlet, still
Clasped empty in the other; and
One sees, with a sharp tender shock,
His hand withdrawn, holding her hand.

They would not think to lie so long.
Such faithfulness in effigy
Was just a detail friends would see:
A sculptor’s sweet commissioned grace
Thrown off in helping to prolong
The Latin names around the base.

They would no guess how early in
Their supine stationary voyage
The air would change to soundless damage,
Turn the old tenantry away;
How soon succeeding eyes begin
To look, not read. Rigidly they

Persisted, linked, through lengths and breadths
Of time. Snow fell, undated. Light
Each summer thronged the grass. A bright
Litter of birdcalls strewed the same
Bone-littered ground. And up the paths
The endless altered people came,

Washing at their identity.
Now, helpless in the hollow of
An unarmorial age, a trough
Of smoke in slow suspended skeins
Above their scrap of history,
Only an attitude remains:

Time has transfigures them into
Untruth. The stone fidelity
They hardly meant has come to be
Their final blazon, and to prove
Our almost-instinct almost true:
What will survive of us is love.

Icing Bag Nozzles

I’ve been making meringues for John’s birthday this evening. Cindy always used the icing bag to squirt them out quickly, so I thought that I’d do the same. But I can’t find the nozzles anywhere. I can find the icing bag, but not the nozzles.

I think this just shows that it really isn’t my job.

The meringues look good though, just not as neat.

It’s very odd looking back ten years to the night before John was born. Toby must have been coming towards the end of his first term (part-time) at Scarcroft. Cindy was fantastically well, working hard in Norton, car sharing with Jean. I remember sitting in our kitchen with David while Cindy had contractions, enjoying a sausage sandwich. We were lucky to have so many good times together.

Donations to Oxfam

When I was at Meeting yesterday I picked up a letter that was waiting for me in the pigeon holes.

It was from Oxfam and said that £872.01 had been donated at Cindy’s funeral. I’ve also had a few other letters from their central office telling me that other people had donated money in memory of Cindy. So the grand total must be nearly £1000.

Poem from the Holmans

This poem is one that the Holmans chose to read at Cindy’s funeral, but didn’t find a space to.

The Dead

The dead are always looking down on us, they say,
while we are putting on our shoes or making a sandwich,
they are looking down through glass-bottom boats of heaven
as they row themselves slowly through eternity.

They watch the tops of our heads moving below on earth,
and when we lie down in a field or on a couch,
drugged perhaps by the hum of a warm afternoon,
they think we are looking back at them,

which makes them lift their oars and fall silent
and wait, like parents for us to close our eyes.

Billy Collins

Cindy’s Birthday

Today would have been Cindy’s 44th birthday.

To celebrate we are going out this evening to La Piazza for a meal.

John, Rose and I have spent the afternoon at Beningbrough Hall with David, Mimi and Jocelyn Campbell. Have climbed trees, run around, had scones and generally enjoyed ourselves. Toby has been working very hard on his graphics project and then went out with Tom Robinson.


Service for the Burial of Ashes of Cindy Tarrant

Held at York Cemetery on
Tuesday 27th September 2005

A Intro :- We are met as a family to say our final farewell to Cindy Tarrant and to commit her ashes to be buried.

“Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted.”

B A short period of silence to remember Cindy

C Readings, recollections, memories – by the family

1 Corinthians 15. 51-57 – Read by Mandy

Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I tell you a mystery: we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed – in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”
“O Death, where is your sting?
O Hades, where is your victory?”

The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

“Remember Me” by Christina Rossetti – Read by Jayne

Remember me when I am gone away,
Gone far away into the silent land;
When you can no more hold me by the hand,
Nor I half turn to go yet turning stay.
Remember me when no more day by day
You tell me of our future that you plann’d:
Only remember me; you understand
It will be late to counsel then or pray.
Yet if you should forget me for a while
And afterwards remember, do not grieve:
For if the darkness and corruption leave
A vestige of the thoughts that once I had,
Better by far you should forget and smile
Than that you should remember and be sad.

From “Having a Good Time. Thoughts about my family and other things.” One of Cindy’s diaries – Read by Edward

Certainly if there is life after death I am going to be a runner and I will run every day because I can.

D Committal Since the earthly life of Cindy Tarrant has come to an end we commit her ashes to be buried, ashes to ashes, dust to dust, trusting in the infinite mercy of God. May she rest in peace.

Soil into grave

E Short period of silence

F Prayer
God of Love
who brought us to birth
and in whose arms we die:
in our grief and loss
give us hope
and embrace us with your love;
through Jesus Christ. Amen

Father of all, we pray to you for those we love, but see no longer. Grant them peace, let light perpetual shine upon them, and in your loving wisdom work in them the good purpose of your perfect will. Amen.

G Closing words

Help us in the face of the mystery of death to turn towards the future that Cindy’s
energy for other people
inspiration as a teacher
joy for life
and love for her friends and family
may live on in our lives

and at the end may we face death with the same courage that she showed.


“May the souls of the faithful, by the mercy of God, rest in peace.”