Her safe haven
To the Editor:
Following immediately on the heels of Penelope Dickens’ heartbreaking and tragic death on March 8 came an extraordinary outpouring of support from her Island friends and the entire Island community. Your heartfelt support is humbling in both its depth and breadth, and it speaks so clearly to how many lives Penelope touched — and how much you meant to her.
You rallied around our family and Pen’s off-Island friends at an exceptionally painful time for so many, and made so much possible in a situation where we could barely cope. The people who have done so much, so willingly – the list of deeds is so long, we cannot begin to capture all in this short letter of thanks.
Our deepest thanks to Roxanne, Deborah, Tom, Malcolm, Jen, Ken, Karen, Leslie, Lorraine, Margo, Chris, Julia, Christine, Jim, and Fred for extending your hands to us and doing so very, very much. To William, Joe, and Melanie for your beautiful music. To Cathlin and Cheryl for your thoughts and prayers.
The combined efforts of all of you and many whose names we may have unintentionally omitted or don’t even know, brought about a beautiful service filled with music, song, flowers, prayer, reminiscences, a program that captured Pen’s essence.
The celebration of Penelope’s life that followed was overflowing with kindness, warm personal thoughts, laughter, stories, food and drink, touching and funny slides and photos, and mementos to cherish. Those who made music filled the hall with beauty and dancing that truly celebrated Penelope. We know she was dancing with us. All of this came about as if by magic through all who labored in love to make it so.
Your support seems boundless not only in the complexity and hard work of organizing Penelope’s service and life celebration, but the kindness of feeding us, talking with us, ensuring that many of Penelope’s personal belongings will benefit others, and helping with the myriad tasks that come with this sad and sudden circumstance of loss.
Your outpouring of support since March 8 speaks to the incredible hearts of each of you who came forward, both asked and unasked, as individuals and as the Island community as a whole.
Perhaps most of all, thank you for the more than 20 years that you wrapped your arms around Penelope, with all her many faces and personas, and made the Island her safe haven.
Amy Dickens, Cindy Hayden and family