Goodbye Kathleen

I’d like to introduce you to Kathleen Mann, she was my Grandmother.


She passed away on March 31st this year, and this morning I attended her funeral.

While none of you will have known her, I felt she deserved to have a little of her story shared. Maybe somebody reading this will take comfort in knowing what she accomplished in life despite disability.

In her early 20’s she’s received the news that she had glaucoma and soon after she lost her sight. Rather than allowing this to ruin her life she accepted what couldn’t be changed and carried on, never letting her disability hold her back. She joined a local centre for the blind, and learned how to ride a horse and even how to drive. This tiny little blind woman, barely 4ft tall, got into a Land Rover and drove across Cannock Chase.

She baked, she sewed and she painted – and she did it all without the sense that we rely on the most.

This poem was written for the service, it’s a very fitting tribute to her character.

After a hip operation early this year one of her doctors made the comment ‘That’s one tough old lady’. He couldn’t have been more right.

I’m so proud to have been able to call somebody so strong my Nan, and as somebody that also suffers from glaucoma – I hope that I find some of that strength in me if I ever find myself left in the dark.