Miriam's Art Work & Mimento

Miriam turned even the simplest gesture of sending a greeting card into something special,
always taking the time to make individual cards for everyone. Before her death she had hoped
to start her own business, Mimento, producing handmade cards. Her family have taken up this
idea and hope to develop it further. For more information please visit:


All proceeds from the sale of the cards will be donated to the Miriam Hyman Memorial Fund
which is currently supporting the work of ORBIS UK (Charity No. 1061352), a charity which
aims at eliminating avoidable blindness globally, helping people to see clearly again.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Eulogy for Miriam

Read at Miriam's Funeral
by her friend Keren Querfurth, July 17th 2005

When Miriam greeted you, it was with a full-body hug. In other words you would find yourself enveloped in an embrace that began at the knees and travelled upwards all the way to the head. Better than sentences were able to, such greetings expressed her love and appreciation for those around her. Her generosity, humility and kindness knew no bounds, she was forever interested in the well being of others, and she would always enquire of you before speaking of herself.

Miriam and I have known one another since we were six years old. Our first meeting was on the climbing frame at the back of her garden. Together in infant school, we watched tadpoles become frogs. As adults, we shared our joys, our sadness and our everyday over endless cups of lattes. Mim was a beautiful, fragile, and earthy woman. She was an unconditional constant in a world of many variables, and only recently, we laughed when agreeing that our friendship would still exist at age 90.

A few weeks ago Miriam emailed to declare that midsummer was approaching, and to celebrate this we should meet on top of Primrose Hill at dawn to watch the sunrise. And this is exactly what we did. At 4.30am on Tuesday 21st June we were on top of the hill, waiting for the first sunlight to speak to a sleeping London. What absolute madness it was to be up there at this time, and what absolute pleasure Miriam derived from it. How we laughed at what we were doing, and how that laughter filled us with life.

Many of us here have taken walks with Miriam on Hampstead Heath, both in winter and in summer. And Miriam’s love for the rural and excitement for adventure was lately on the increase. Frequently she would say ‘If you want to jump in a car and escape for a day to the countryside just give me a shout I’m there”.

In February of this year, the two of us went to Snowdonia in North Wales for a weekend of hiking. The snow, the forceful gales, and the horizontal rain prevented us from reaching the top of Mt. Snowdon, but Mim didn’t half try. Despite visibility of only a few metres, permanently runny noses and already wet tissues, Miriam was more determined than anyone to carry on onwards and upwards. And having seen Snowdon in such weather, Miriam’s conclusion was ‘now that I’ve done this I shall return in the summer when it’ll be a piece of cake’.

To Esther, Mavis and John, I think I can safely speak for many of Miriam’s friends here today when I say that we will continue our friendship with Miriam through you, and that we will be with you not just today, but in the years to come.

Finally, if we were to ask Miriam to make some sense out of the past 10 days I think she would say this – You never know what’s around the corner, and therefore you have to embrace every day. You have to seize the moment.

And if we were to ask her what poem she might read to us, if she were standing here today, I think it may have gone something like this.
'Death is nothing at all'
By Henry Scott Holland.
Death is nothing at all.
I have only slipped away into the next room.
I am I and you are you,
Whatever we were to each other, that we still are.
Call me by my old familiar name,
Speak to me in the easy way which you always used.
Put no difference in your tone,
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow,
Laugh as we always laughed
At the little jokes we enjoyed together.
Pray smile, think of me, pray for me.
Let my name be ever the household word
That it always was.
Let it be spoken without effort,
Without the trace of a shadow in it.
Life means all that it ever meant,
It is the same as it ever was.
There is unbroken continuity,
Why should I be out of mind
Because I am out of sight?
I am waiting for you
Somewhere very near
Just around the corner.
All is well.
Keren Querfurth, July 17th 2005


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