Epilogue

Veronica and Ian Dudley

Before Ian says some final words, I would like to express as a family our gratitude to all those who have been involved in Freya’s life, from her many and wonderful teachers, all her excellent medical teams at the John Radcliffe and Churchill hospitals, our own great friends and families, all Freya’s many friends, especially Natasha and Grace who have done so well today and lastly of course her best boy Joe who brought a whole other facet to her life.

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Freya’s love for life never abated. She said one night: “I know we are just sparks from the fire or meteors in the darkness, but even after the spark has gone out it did exist, and the world is different because it existed.”

Even though she was dreadfully ill she continued to explore. In the last 6 months of her life she made hundreds of origami of exquisite complexity, took five hundred real photographs, watched Jupiter and its moons through a telescope, studied Horace, Virgil and Socratic philosophy with Roy Batters, developed an interest in moths, watched ladybirds pupate, played Dungeons and Dragons, read dozens of books, got ready for Cambridge, talked about adopting a child because she could not have one of her own and “there are so many people in the world who need love”, and still had time to care for us and make us laugh.

Of course at times Freya was very sad. She said: “I need people to understand what I am like. I have so much inside my head. I think all the time. There is so much that people will never know.” We watched a murder mystery in which a young girl was killed in the first act and she commented: “It’s so unfair, she didn’t have a story.”

Freya’s mother and I shared her care on her last night. I was my turn to watch and Freya was sleeping fitfully when I heard her speaking quietly in the darkness as if to herself. She said: “I am a story.” Then she said: “To be continued,” paused and repeated with great emphasis and urgency for someone so ill, “To be continued.”

We are all here because we have been touched by Freya in some way, whether by her love, humour, generosity, intelligence, insight, enthusiasm, imagination or one of the many acts of small kindness with which she filled her days. Those of us who have longer and easier lives should not forget. From time to time we should recall what Freya did for us, pass on her gifts as best we can to someone else, and make the world, and ourselves, a little better for doing so.

To be continued.