On Tuesday I attended the funeral of Joel Picker-Spence at the parish church of Mary Magdalen in Newark. After the service of thanksgiving some, me included, went on to the Sherwood crematorium for his final committal.
Now at this point I was going to describe the service,but several newspapers have already done this so I won't.Instead I will simply say that what I saw and heard that day moved me to tears. The story that was told that day in church of a child who fought his disease like a tiger, smiled like the sun,played with his friends,had fun and touched the hearts of many. I had the privilege of knowing Joel and his wonderful family for only a few months, but the experience has left a lasting impression upon me, and I am sure that his story has certainly touched the hearts of so many others.
I have heard some people ask why this had to happen to Joel.Why was such a happy and loving youngster made to suffer this terrible disease, and why was it not the happy ending that we all hoped and prayed it would be. I can't say that I know the answer to such a question,but I would like to think that Joel's death will somehow help others, perhaps make people take more notice of the pain and suffering that is all around them, and maybe spur them on to take action and try to make a difference.
For Joel the journey is over all to soon, but in the the short time he had in this world he proved himself to be so much more than just another poor kid with blood cancer.He was a example to us all, a bright star that lit a beacon of hope and it is down to us that are still here to carry that beacon and try to make a difference in the constant fight against the enemy we call Leukaemia.
They say that the smallest stars are the ones that shine most brightly.Well now there is a new star in the sky, and boy is it putting the others in the shade :-).Rest in peace Joel.