Tony Rainger - In loving memory
Photos unique to Tony's final journey.
Out of respect NONE are from the actual funeral, cremation or wake with one exception - the photo column top right was featured that day (Friday June 12, 2015) - Admired by many as containing his true essence (photo by close friend Suzi)
- Debbie and Tony enjoying a smoke at Hospice in The Weald (HitW), Pembury, Kent on a Saturday less than a week before his passing. HitW was an amazing place for Tony (11 days) with pain management, freedom to enjoy a drink, roll a cigarette, WIFI, constant attention. friendship ,,, the list is so long
- Sarah cleaning kitchen window for Uncle Tony, and having fun at the flat for a week or so in April. We sipped a round of whiskey from a bottle of Jim Beam that had lasted years and was enjoyed / shared by many family members - a gift from Michael to Tony sometime in the past
- Tony and his wicked sense of humour smoking under the NO Smoking sign at Maidstone Hospital. Was he visualling waving goodbye? Words on SIGN: For the health of our patients, visitors and staff - ALL buildings and corridors in the Trust are smoke free:- Smoking is prohibited in this area which of course added immensely to his enjoyment. Tony was there for 10 days to stabilize his condition as best the NHS could allow - wonderful staff. Same place where his cancerous kidney had been removed after Christmas a few years earlier
- Ashes can be seen on the sand as petals float above. Linds had picked the petals off flowers by the pond and Andrew carried them in the small leather box he is holding. Michael nearly fell in the water so Malcolm held on to him. Spreading ashes is not as easy as it sounds! For a year the ashes had remained in the jar and red bag in the flat on a table mum and dad had used all their lives while we were growing up. Hannah of Pembury Funeral Services had been a life-saver in helping to organize the funeral with Michael in Virginia. Paul, Linds, Amanda, Caroline, June, Nina, Debbie, Suzi, Dan, and Malcolm were amazing in 2015.
- Brother Michael giving a last farewell to Tony as the ashes spread slowly, and the petals disperse in the breeze (changed direction after "memorial service")
- Andrew and Sarah watching the ashes hit the water. They had both seen Tony during the prior few years and were extremely supportive on this first anniversay - usually the hardest to handle for those that remain
- MIchael, Paul and Malcolm showing stress and concern after casting the ashes
- Close friends and family at the lake: Paul, Linds, Malcolm, Andrew, Michael, Sarah, Bill, and Maureen with best friend Dan behind the camera
- Sarah and Professor Tony planting tomatoes with marigold seeds with pond in the background and respectful sign to Michael by Sarah
- Best friend Suzi with Tony on oxygen chilling with TV (Royal event) at Pembury Hospital on Saturday with Debbie and Michael before hospice admission on Monday(no room at the Inn on weekends - hours of NHS misery for all)
- Debbie, Suzi and Tony in the garden at the ground floor flat drinking copious cups of English tea and sharing memories. Suzi was with Tony when he was told chemo would be stopped and he had less than 6 months to live (turned out to be about 5 weeks) - Thank you for all that you did for Tone Suzi
While alive Tony and I experienced the loss of 2 grandmas, grandpa, parents, aunt and five uncles. For more items related to Tony: http://www.conservefauquier.com/ in the centre column
Tony liked to help people. The picture of him working with Sarah on planting seeds in his garden when he knew he had less than 6 months to live - is a testament to his kind heart and mostly calm disposition. He did have a temper that was rarely seen.
With that thought in mind, this web page is written to help other folks facing similar circumstances, the upcoming death of a loved one.
Preparation for Death: What the loved one can do for family and friends
Tony, bless his heart, did many of these items (not in order of importance)
- Ask for help no matter how big or small, let others support your needs
- Update will, confirm Executor can perform their wishes, type of funeral, location and discuss everything with key froends and family
- Take care of financial matters such as paying known bills if possible and settling private / past agreements
- See / phone as many friends as possible so they are not left out while there is still time to act and show love, appreciation of friendship
- Cry, hug, swear - Relieving stress can buy time and improve quality of life
- Live each day to its fullest by doing stuff that makes you happy, brings a smile to your face, and others too
- Write letters to loved ones to be amiled after passing, by Executor
- Listen to favorite music, read a book, write a letter, keep a daily journal
- Understand medicines, doses, frequency and cross-train carers
- Find humour in your situation - this one is very HARD to do
- Write down your final service in excrutiating detail - songs, poems, hymns ...
- Read on Death and Dying by Elizabeth Kubler-Ross understanding Denial, Anger, Depression, Acceptance, and Celebration of a Life well spent
Note: Tony had a cancerous kidney removed a few years earlier so he enjoyed life to the fullest when he recovered from his operation. He updated his bucket list and completed as many items as possible over the remaining timeframe/ He was a generous soul.
What friends and family can do for the patient
- Communicate, communicate, and then communicate some more
- Make sure everyone is on the same page with respect to last wishes
- Spend time together, talk even when unconscious
- Share memories, cry, hug, be sad, hold / massage hands,it is OK
- Seek professional counselling to help resolve family and difficult issues
- Hospices primarily help the patient, request additional services if needed
Elsewhere in these columns I have taken time to thank and acknowledge close friends of Tonys, and the Rainger family. Regarding the former, it has been a privilage to know you. A few folks deserve special mention for what has clearly been a multi-year outpouring of emotion over Tony, and others passing in my lifetime,
Paul for true friendship since we were 5. Hosting amazing service, meeting / talking with Tony when he needed help,,for your time, compassion, words, and caring.
Dan and Malcolm for helping Tony move and enjoy the flat for 6 months. For making the garden so amazing. For decorating the flat (still in progress when Tony passed).
Hannah - Pembury Funeral Services Director for caring, skills, trans-Atlantic support
Amanda, Caroline, Suzi, and Malcolm for speaking and helping with the service.
Sarah, Andrew, Malcolm, Paul, Dan, Linds, Bill, and Maureen for memorial service and spreading ashes at the one year anniversary. Love you all.
RIP Brother Tony. You were much loved in your lifetime
Why In Memoriam of Tony May 2017?
We both loved developing new ideas and Tony was our strongest champion
He tested code. Built E-Profiles. Arranged for many 60 minute FREE trans-atlantic calls (stopped at minute 59 and called back) over the years so we could discuss strategies, plans, schedules, content, delivery.
IntraGroups, ThWars, Energized-Fauquier, Energized Research - Learning Institute (ER-LI), Conserve Fauquier, and Brighter Communities were all incubated together in varying degrees of involvement, along with our dearest Uncle Tex (WWII Hurricane pilot shot down over Burma, member Caterpillar Club) who supported us both.
Bless you all - NO ODDS TOO GREAT