Please bare with me for a moment as I allow the passing of our dad at the grand age of 85 to be an opportunity to fully feel into death. Not just the good death; dying without suffering, suddenly and peacefully, but feeling into the other deaths; the young ones, the ill ones, the ones who suffer or meet death by an accident.
Can I fully embrace all death? Can I take all fear out of death and instead of being sad for losing a loved one, can I just be grateful for their gift of love and honour their infinite presence (both physically and non-physically). I feel that if I can nail this, it will enable me to truly shine brightly.
Our dad was our safe haven, a shining haven… always there, always bright and he knew how to put our life into great perspective. AND even now from beyond the physical, our Dad continues to shine, to be there for me and my sister, to inspire us.
I receive simple words of knowingness streaming through me about how the passing of a loved can be something to celebrate with love, rather than experiencing more fear and victimhood. You can read my blog post Discover your biggest Fear set yourself Free which Dad helped me finish earlier this week!
Barrie, our dad loved life, was always positive and in for an adventure. He certainly wasn’t one for morbid chatter, propaganda or any hanging onto the negative aspects of life. Life was to explore and enjoy, to move forward making a difference to improve life… until it’s our time to leave.
He wasn’t one for attention and wasn’t really bothered about any farewell celebration. He had, years before, arranged for his body to go to scientific research/study at Nottingham University not wanting any fuss, any funeral or to be any bother!
My sister and I thought otherwise and wanted to throw a farewell celebration in his honour. To be with our Dad and best mate for one last time with as many of his friends and family that could make it. We wanted to share memories with his family and friends, to remember him in all his glory and give him a good send off! At quite short notice, we arranged a beautiful space in our local pub, The Broadway, Derby and threw a beautiful party for him.
AND what a great celebration we had, having no idea he had so many friends and we had family we’d never met! It was truly a great afternoon, hearing stories and words of praise about our Dad. It made us so happy and proud to be his twinkles! Thankyou so much for being here with us and sharing your memories.
A little history about Barrie
Barrie was born in Alvaston, Derby in 1934 to our grandparents Marge & George Sheard. He attended Derby Boys School from 1945 until 1950, followed by national service in the Medical Army Corps. He studied to be a Health Officer in Nottingham and made his work a vocation, dedicating himself to improve hygiene & safety for his country. He worked for Amber Valley Council in Derbyshire, implementing new rules and regulations that would make everyones life a healthier and safer place to live in.
In 1958 he married our mum and had his two daughters; the twinkles in his eyes, born 1962 and 1964… he was a great husband, dad and friend for the rest of his life. He was a great sportsman, after his dad George, he loved all kinds of sports from tennis & cricket to rowing & sailing. AND then there was his love for the steam train, in particular The Talyllen Railway in Towyn Wales.
He was a lifelong member of this railway society and where we spent many happy holidays… and up until his death he never missed his twice annual visit. He loved the thrill of riding on the train, even driving at times! It was always a nostalgic time, remembering a great life, great countryside, enjoying everything. He took videos and photos at every opportunity and would sit behind his computer with a smile and reminisce.
During his long public service as Health Officer, his love for detail and writing brought him together with two fellow health officers Maurice & Peter, and together they created and published an illustrated guide to meat inspection. Barrie achieved the fellowship honour in recognition of being a leading professional in Environment Health. He proudly wore the letters FCIEH after his name Barrie Sheard.
Upon his early retirement he continued to consult as JBHygiene, teaching students about hygiene and safety. At some point on this journey, society became overly cautious of hygiene and safety and the superbug and pests were introduced into modern life.
Together with fellow colleagues he helped found the beginnings of the NPTA it is today. It was with the intention to inspire and support the upcoming need to organise private pest control business in the UK. Not so long ago he became known as the rat man, talking on radio and tv about this modern pest.
Barrie stepped down from officially working with them, but as an honorary member he continued to join them for official dinners and the annual Pest Tech Exhibition. He just loved making the PA announcements!
He knew his passion for health & safety was now safely in the hands of many upcoming young professionals at NPTA, which now gave him time to focus on another of his passions… for history and people, in particular the second world war, his old Derby School and the reuniting of his fellow school friends/soldiers.
His love for research and writing allowed him to rekindle many important memories for himself and become reacquainted with old school colleagues and soldiers alike. He had the idea to create a Reminiscent Project that would reunite a wider range of soldiers and Derby School friends… I don’t believe he realised just how big it would become!
Together with his friend Neville, they created a magazine Rising from the Ashes in which to share all the information that he was collecting from the soldiers. One of his research projects took him to Wales where he retraced his own fathers footsteps when he was in the Royal Marines during the second world war. He just loved this so much, he was happy, enthusiastic and published a report for others to read and reminisce too.
Barrie’s tireless work brought about many happy reunions with old school friends and soldiers around the Country… and more ideas flowed through him to write about, recording everything that was being uncovered. He was certainly busy again!
At some point Barrie was asked to take on the volunteer job as archivist for The Old Derbeians Society. He was already writing for the Derby Evening Telegraph about his findings as part of Bygone Years, now he was being asked to write for the Old Derbeians Society Magazine. He was honoured to take on this work too, he was truly a happy man.
As archivist, you can imagine more and more information was coming forward… it was becoming a lot of work and I remember his delight in meeting Maurice, who would help him on the technical side, finding ways to digitalise the work and Andrew, another writer and researcher… who loved to spend hours, even days patiently copying and recording new writings and photos.
Barrie couldn’t believe his luck at being part of this new dynamic team… The three Musketeers he called themselves. They would meet up regularly to discuss the workload, Old Derbeians Society future and became best mates for life!
I’m not sure how many years it’s been but his tireless research and writing has made the Old Derbeians Society what it is today. I know Maurice and Andrew are missing him like mad, but Barrie knows the work is in great hands and he will continue to support them both from behind the scenes. Follow your gut instincts and your heart… remain happy, he says to them.
Maurice Cass has done a little research himself about Barrie and has written a wonderful summary of his life.
Click on this image to download the PDF.
Thanks Dad for caring and loving us all, for giving us all such great experience. We will miss seeing you walk through the door… but your presence is ever grand if not more! You have crossed over into the non-physical world, returning to the oneness of consciousness… allowing each to feel into the truth of there truly being no separation… only an illusion we are part of… until we are not.
I know for sure we are all going to remember your robust presence, enthusiasm, adventurous spirit and selfless caring and unconditional nature as we endeavour to live our most best life in joy for evermore.
A poem you might like to read that I was inspired to write upon his death.
Many thanks to all Dad’s family and friends who couldn’t make it too, but have written to Angela and I with your kind thoughts, we will be reconnecting with you all shortly… after we have taken time to fully embrace this unexpected happening.
©Barbara Franken… Creative Visionary & MasterCreator
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