Christine Bramhall

1950 - 2016 | Sheffield

Chrissy's greeting on her mobile was, "Pixie here, I'm out in the woods playing with Hanuma". Now, she was the naughty Pixie, and I was the Hanuma, the mischievous monkey warrior/god from the ancient Indian epic Ramayana. Indeed, our life together wa…

Read more

Chrissy's greeting on her mobile was, "Pixie here, I'm out in the woods playing with Hanuma". Now, she was the naughty Pixie, and I was the Hanuma, the mischievous monkey warrior/god from the ancient Indian epic Ramayana. Indeed, our life together was steeped in benign mischief and laughter. We were like children, something Chrissy never lost. We meditated silently together, read the words of the Buddha and Jesus together, enfleshed them in our beings, wrote about them, and tried to practice that from day to day. She had a pronounced capacity to be mindful, concentrate, understand, and cultivate insight. All that, with selfless love! Now, Pixie is no more. Childhood "As Chrissy said, she was born in 1950 in Jessops Hospital, the youngest in a family of four" mum, dad, elder sister and her. Baptised in the Church of England, she lived in the slums on the Moor in Sheffield, then inner city, breathing highly polluted air. The family lived in a very small back to back house, with a shared outside toilet. They had one small communal room, a cellar, upstairs room for her parents and a small loft for her and her sister. No bathroom, running water or heating, apart from a coal fire downstairs. Chrissy's play area was the road in front, the yard at the back, and unbeknown to her parents, the bomb site over the wall " prohibited ground! Given this environment, Chrissy had various illnesses up to the age of five. Sometimes she felt abandoned when she was in hospital, and was unable to understand that her parents would return. Her parents were poor industrial workers, and even sweets were a luxury. But, Chrissy emphasises that there was caring and sharing in the neighbourhood and family was proximate. There were no physical fences between the houses, and no mental ones between people. That demised when the slums were demolished and family and neighbours were rehoused in various areas in Sheffield. Schooling " Chrissy remembered nursery days, particularly the malt and cod-liver oil. Then she went to St Ives, a church school. She enjoyed school and focussed on playing more than studying. Once, having been forced to eat meat, which her body rejected from babyhood, she ran away from school and home with a friend, but was soon found paying a few streets away. Thereafter, she always came home for dinner. Her next school was also a church school at Woodseats. There, she was often top of her class, and won many prizes. All the books she chose as prizes were religious, including the Bible and the Book of Common Prayer. Healing “I believe Chrissy took to nursing at Netheredge in her mid-teens. She served several years in hospitals, and then worked in Occupational Health Nursing in Sheffield's industrial sector. Thereafter, she turned to complementary therapy, and obtained the highest qualifications in several areas. She was a Reiki Master. She became self-employed and practiced in these areas until retiring a few years ago. After that, she continued voluntarily. Partners “Christine Hartley married Jim Bramhall when both were quite young. The separation after about twenty years together was difficult, and she remained single for several years until she met Glen Turner. They lived together for many years, split up, but kept in touch. I met Chrissy some years thereafter, I believe about five years ago. 'Spirituality' "It was no surprise to me when Chrissy said that she had no pastoral contact whatsoever from the Anglican Church, or for that matter any church! So, when I met her she was in New Age spirituality, in my opinion, a progressive step away from the church. Then her inquisitive mind sensed my in-depth engagement with the words of Jesus and the Buddha. Over the last years of her life, that was primary to her, and was the foundation of our relationship. Ashram “Chrissy rightly said that filling a form and becoming a member was of no avail to her. However, she participated actively in Ashram, and practiced an Ashram ethos of caring and sharing. She was a frequent guest at our 77 Rock Street community house, and engaged in its life. She loved our home, which was her second one in Sheffield. Community Home “ Her inborn nature to care and share without counting cost or thinking of any reward, made her to open her home to others, even residentially. Taking nothing, she gave a roof to the homeless and frequently hosted spiritual' sessions at home, also providing food. Today, this practice has spread to others whom she hosted "is that not salting the earth' and lighting the world'? Sri Lanka “Chrissy called it my island in the sun! The summum bonum that came about from her four long visits to Sri Lanka was to spread the culture of community caring and sharing, by nurturing community homes. She was much influenced by the lifestyle in the home of my dear and longstanding friend Tony, whom she loved and revered so dearly. We intended to be in Sri Lanka over the last winter to promote community homes. However, that was not to be. But I intend to try to do that in memory of her when I'm in Sri Lanka next " hopefully very soon! The Last Eighth Months“ Chrissy started to become poorly around May 2015. She accepted the diagnosis of advanced aggressive peritoneum cancer realistically. After all she was a medical woman and knew the possibility of it being terminal. Alongside that she had hope for recovery, and did everything possible to get better. I was with her throughout this period, a vital period in our relationship“ understanding more, and growing from the experience. She asked me to contact her colleagues in complementary therapy. They came from day to day“ I met them for the first time! And so did her dear neighbour Margaret, helping in everything. Some even said would not have been where I am today, but for Christine. Chrissy never ever told me about what she had done. Surely, isn't that not letting your left hand know, what your right hand does? Chrissy loved her niece Tracey very much, and she was around very frequently and did so much. Ashram's practical and caring Sandra planned ahead, spent quality time with Chrissy whenever she was in Sheffield, and introduced her to mindfulness art', a therapy that Chrissy enjoyed very much. I must mention dear John and Grace who were sort of on call' during this entire period. Their frequent pastoral succour given to both of us was beyond measure and value. Also, several others, her friends, mine, and those of Ashram gathered around us during her last months. Perhaps, of most significance was the reconciliation Chrissy lovingly initiated during this period with her ex-husband Jimmy and his partner! They came with love and kindness to her bedside. Chrissy steadily became weaker, and a marked decline occurred just after Christmas. She could hardly talk; but then she softly and brokenly whispered the song: Country road take me home to the place I belong ' On 2nd January 2016, just after 11 am the nurse who was with her called me to her bedside. I held her and whispered, feel well and happy, whatever. That in my view was the Buddha's motto, and she had cherished it close to her heart. And then Chrissy passed away in her home which was open to all, having given away all her material assets “ she went as she came! May Chrissy be released from all suffering; May she attain Nirvana or in other words Life Everlasting. Nirmal Fernando - Sheffield, February 2016

Close

Donation in memory of

Christine Bramhall



Donations

Current total raised

£418.48

GiftAid £0

£418.48

Funeral Donations

29/02/2016

Thoughts

There are currently no thoughts