A letter to Joan

Gordie Jackson
2 min readFeb 21, 2024
Order of service

Dear Joan,

I find myself at the Travel Lodge at the Parson and Clerk. I recall staying here during your 60th birthday celebration. I am here again today as we celebrate your life.

It is an occasion that feels like a surprise birthday party in which everyone is gathered except the one to be honoured.

It’s going to be different now, you will be present but in a different way. Now we draw on what we have known of you to perceive you.

You know our story yet I recount it as it reminds me how a chance meeting can have a huge effect on our lives.

It was 1988 at the Eurofire conference held at the NEC, Birmingham. I was 17 and you were in your thirties. Richard introduced you to me and others I was with. You were excited about our desire to bring healing to Ireland through Christ. Later you wrote to me not knowing that we had met. You invited me to your home and in the Summer of 1989 I stayed with you, J and D as I worked in the city.

Almost from the word go I felt a mother’s love from you.

Joan that is what impacted my life most your love.

You will know that many of us were loved as children though never felt it. You in just being you made me feel loved, is there anything more powerful?

There are many memories over 35 years, the most enduring is how one day I met you and over the years I knew your love.

It is that love which comes from God that will continue to connect us as it did in life so also in death.

I know many will grieve over your bodily absence specifically those closest to you but I also know that the love they have known from you and to you will continue and may it ease the pain of loss.

Now Joan you will know what heaven is like. I won’t be surprised if you tell me it has,

the best tearooms

the best cake

the best greeting cards

the best church

the best people

the most laughter

and then I will know that heaven was with us in those best moments of life.

Joan, or Siobhan in Irish, thank you for being all that you were in this life.

I look forward to seeing you when my time comes,

Your spiritually adopted son,




Gordie Jackson

Speaks with a Northern Irish accent, lives in Hertfordshire, England.