Cruse ~ Richmond upon Thames Branch
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MEMORY WALK

Cruse Bereavement Care invited families, friends and co-workers to come together and walk in memory of loved ones who have died.

The walking began from Terrace Gardens (opposite the Roebuck Pub) and proceeded through Richmond Gate via Pembroke Lodge to Ham Gate, then returned to Terrace Gardens.

Here Susan Kramer said a few words and read out the specially written poem by William Radice*, entitled The Shoes (shown below), before a large biodegradable balloon release in front of the famous backdrop of the River Thames by Terrace Field.

Participants received a Hearts Ease plant (the Cruse emblem) and they were given the opportunity to leave a message for a loved one which will later be transferred to a ‘cyber tree’.

Every pound that was raised will make a difference for bereaved people throughout Richmond and the UK and will allow Cruse to continue to provide the services that bereaved people so need and deserve.

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Specially written for Cruse Bereavement Care’s Fiftieth Anniversary

“If you wear shoes, your whole world is covered with leather.”
Indian saying

Frail are my feet when I lose what I walk with,
Stony the ground and painful the thorns;
Scorching in summer and icy in winter.
The road I must trudge on freezes and burns.


I’m managing now with shoes I’ve borrowed,
I appear unchanged as I walk on the road;
But the stones and thorns still hurt when I’m lonely,
The ground can be scorching or icy or hard.


O fetch me a bowl of warm healing water,
Soothe my exhaustion, bring life to my toes.
I wonder if, learning from others before me,
I’ll find a firm pace, fresh hope, new shoes?


The leather can’t be like that of my old ones:
It’s hammered by sorrow and stitched by grief;
But kindness from helpers has made me look forward
To shoes that are mine again, sturdy and safe.

William Radice, © 2009

*William Radice is a widely published poet and Bengali scholar who is particularly well known for his translations for Penguin of the poems and stories of Rabindranath Tagore.

He wrote the libretto for the version of Zaide that Cruse staged at St John’s, Smith Square, London, with the Trinity College of Music in 2007.

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