This slideshow is my last tribute to my Mother, Stephanie Wolfe Murray, who died on the 24th of June at just 76 years of age.
I spent months gathering hundreds of photos, sorting them into categories and selecting just 50. Many are old family photos that I copied and squirreled away, some are by me and my brothers and some came in just a few days ago (thanks for Felicity and Fiona!). Only one has been swiped from an external agency: the first one (thank you Magnum).
I needed a song to go with the pictures and went about finding one by just listening to music on the radio, and on Youtube, over several weeks, always on the lookout for the ideal song. I believe that if you’re open to something it comes your way naturally; it literally falls into your lap.
This method worked well for the last video I posted about her, this 3 minute extract from a BBC documentary made in 1968. I heard Unforgettable, by Nat King Cole, when driving in Edinburgh and instantly knew that this was the one.
When I heard the music of Joe Hisaishi, who composes the soundtracks for the Japanese film studio Ghibli, I knew that he would have what I need. I listened to one of his concerts on Youtube (about 20 times) and found it, a song that reflects my Mother’s innocence, openness, beauty and courage. It’s called Second Encore and is from the film Princess Mononoke.
I think this song fits my mother’s character perfectly and the fact that it was made for a cartoon princess seems to fit perfectly. Children loved my Mother as they could sense she was open to them.
I found that I couldn’t write a tribute for my mother and I’m impressed that my brothers managed to do so rather soon after she died. And their tributes were superb.
I feel that this song, and these images, reflect what I feel at the moment. Even though I have written books and articles I find I can’t put into words how much I miss my mother; how much she means to me. But this slideshow does the trick. It’s sad but it’s also uplifting and I know she would have wanted us to go on being positive and kind, not wallowing in sorrow.
Before her death I was working on several books. Since she died I stopped working on them. All I can do is write about my Mother and I’ve posted a series of articles about her.
Over the last few months it was like I was in a tunnel, just trudging along, not really being aware of anything other than putting one foot in front of the other. I didn’t know where the tunnel was going, all I knew was that I had to keep going.
Then I had an idea: this slideshow. It became the light at the end of the tunnel. I knew that this would be my last post, my last contribution about her, my last tribute.
Now I can move on.