Sunday 24th February

 The whole week has been very hot and sunny.

Today was no exception!

Jesika & Evan had a list of people they needed to catch up with.

So I booked a table at Crusoe’s Cafe so they could meet up with 2 of the couples over lunch.

They headed off.


Bri & Nick came.

They had all the flowers with them.

Christian systematically photographed them all for me with their cards so I could keep track of who gave what later on.

Then we all headed to David & Sasha’s.

Mahalia had her nail polishes out and there was a nail painting party happening when I arrived there.


 Meanwhile back home on the ranch, Paul had arrived with his digger.

Anson had surveyed the spot where he wanted to lay Tim to rest.

Paul set to work and dug rather a large deep hole!

Thanks Paul – we really appreciate you doing this for us.

 There was also fishing and mustering happening.

Never a dull moment at home!




I had booked the table for 1pm so we headed off there form David & Sasha’s.

I had booked for around 10-12 people, but soon we had 4 tables moved together and the numbers swelled to around 25 of us – gathered together to enjoy lunch in the sunshine.

 It was such a lovely relaxing day.

There was no stress – just chillville!

I had told Rami not to get too stressed in the kitchen cuz we were in no hurry.

He did feed Mat & Wilf first cuz they had a plane to catch around 2pm.

Me & Nicola

Sally popped in for a catch up chat.

She bought these gorgeous flowers from her folks.

Ella arrived straight from work pleased


David & Eilidh enjoying Azzan’s company at one end of the table.

Mahalia & Abby at the other end.

It really was a lovely time together.

But soon it was time to leave.

Rami had run out of food in the kitchen so he shut up shop and we all milled around while paying.

None of us seemed in a hurry to leave.

Finally we had too.

I took Nathan and Sunniva to fuel up their cars.

Then we popped around the corner to leave Estelle’s 4WD with her.

Thanks so much Estelle for loaning it to us – it was a real Godsend to have the use of it.


Bri & Nick took Abby, Mahalia & Shoshannah  home with them and all the flowers.

Nathan took Christian, Leann & Cat.

David & Sasha took Janet & Miriam to airport and then met up with my crew and then headed to Port Ligar in the late afternoon.

Seb went to Motueka to gather up some corn and apples and then he met up with Dave, Nicky & Phoebe and Te Towaka.

Left the borrowed truck there and came home in the van.

So by nightfall most of the whanau were home.


I stopped off with Estelle to have a chat for half an hour, then Louisa rang to say she and Roger were on their way back to Nelson and where would we meet?

Azzan and I said a fast farewell, hopped in to the Terrano and drove to Richmond to meet them in a place where he could park his truck and trailer unit.

I picked up Louisa, said goodbye to Roger and made our away to Ross & Andrea’s house.

Azzan was at a bit of a loose end, he read some books, rested, and wandered about aimlessly.

Louisa and I talked for ages.

Jesika & Evan arrived back and then took Azzan shopping.

I text Becky and she was soon down the road with a bottle of Baileys and a container of chocolate biscuits.

We savoured the food and drink and had a great time laughing and reminiscing over our ‘cookies and milk’!

We laughed and talked and shared a lot of stuff.

It was a good release of emotions.

I got Azzan all packed up as he was heading home with Jesika & Evan early next morning.

I packed up the Terrano as best I could so there wouldn’t be to much to do in the morning.

Finally it was bed time and we all hit the pillow gladly.










Saturday 23rd February – part 3




Later in the early evening I was collapsed on a couch at the reception.

Most folk had left and only a few remained who were cleaning up.

The Sparrow clan decided to go hang out at Smugglers so the rest of us went to join them.

I gave Louisa my keys so she could put stuff in the car for me while I said my goodbyes.

The Terrano wouldn’t start!

I had left the lights on when I arrived and now my battery was flat sad

Thankfully there were men around to take care of the problem.

Dave & David got some jumper leads and kicked it into action.

I hopped into Ella’s vehicle with Louisa and left David & Sasha to take my Terrano back to their house and put the battery on a charger.

It was quite busy at Smugglers and our crowd sort of took over the outdoor seating areas.

It was a very pleasant evening.

I was so incredibly tired though so just sat and let it all go on around me.

Everyone was so caring and made sure I had food and drinks.


This was just a small part of our group – we were spread throughout the outdoor area.

Azzan was in his element!

Mahalia was delighted to be with Emma and wanted to party up all night.

Anson, Marah & Murray headed off home sometime in the evening.

When I decided I just had to leave I had the option of going with Sunni & Mat or Ella.

I looked at Ella and the tears welled up in her eyes at the thought that I should go with anyone else but her.

So I hopped into her car and we drove out to Richmond and talked and cried.

David had the Terrano all charged up and ready to go so I said my goodbyes and drove up the road and fell into my bed.


It had been the best of days and it was the worst of days.






Saturday 23rd February – part 2




The kids were determined not be arriving on time.

They said Dad was always slow and they would joke he would be late for his own funeral.

So they made sure he was!

It was quite a mission for them to carry the coffin from the truck into the church – it was very heavy.

But Bri had built it with enough rope handles that all 12 could easily get a good grip.

There were a lot of people waiting inside.

Estimates later were of way over 650 – probably over 700, who had come to support us and pay their respects to a good man.

I am now realising there were so many I never even saw, some who had come long distances.

I just want to say how much we all appreciate and love each of you for coming.


Adrienne had not only printed the service sheets for me, she also made these lovely bookmarks for folk to take home with them.

This was the order of service – a wonderful tribute in itself – thank you so much Adrienne.


The children’s tribute was wonderful.

Their hearts were breaking but they were able to share their Dad with everyone in such a beautiful way.

Azzan read a poem, he had searched the net for one that said what he wanted to say and I think it was perfect.

God took the strength of a mountain,
The majesty of a tree,
The warmth of a summer sun,
The calm of a quiet sea,
The generous soul of nature,
The comforting arm of night,
The wisdom of the ages,
The power of the eagle’s flight,
The joy of a morning in spring,
The faith of a mustard seed,
The patience of eternity,
The depth of a family need,
Then God combined these qualities,
When there was nothing more to add,
He knew His masterpiece was complete,
And so, He called it … “DAD!”

Shoshannah sang a song she has been writing for past few weeks.

Tim has been encouraging her and listening to her as it has formed.

The words were so timely and perfect.

My friend Bedelia commented after – “keep the words of Shannie’s song in your head…. ‘just keep going, keep on loving, keep on praying ,keep laughing, keep dancing’, she sung the song for Tim but I think she wrote it for you.

She sang so strong and so well – we were all blown away.

She has only had 4 guitar lessons!

Ross read this poem for me.

He got up wearing gumboots in Tim’s honour which made us all laugh.

A Good Man
by Joan Clifton Costner

When a good man dies a thousand lights go out,
And it’s said a giant library is lost –
Oh, I’ve tried to make comparisons and wise clichés
To estimate, in part, a good man’s loss;
For I know the way it feels to have your heart bend low-
And I understand how dark the nights can be….
But a good man has a heritage beyond the grave,
And we would be so foolish not to see
That a good man leaves a light his children follow-
No groping through some wilderness or maze-
And howe’er their lives, it shines on in a brilliance
That they can see ’til ending of their days’
And his words come ringing, deep, in vibrant stereo
Within the keen recesses of their minds…
There’s guidance there enough to get to Heaven
Where once again their hearts and arms entwine.
I’m so sorry for your loss here on the earth below-
But I’m proud to say “a good man” went away…
And you’ll see him soon – it won’t be long – just follow
The lights a good man left upon the way…





Christian’s photo tribute was amazing.

I am so glad I had watched it the previous night.

If I hadn’t I don’t think I could’ve stood up and spoken straight away.

It was so incredibly moving – thank you Christian, you have blessed us so much.


Normally I don’t do too well speaking in public.

I can do it but I shake and feel incredibly sick with nervousness.

But on this day I felt I needed to speak.

Graham stood with me and read the word Andrea had sent that morning – that part was definitely too much for me to read without breaking down.

And I was able to get up and without any shaking or gut wrenching nervousness I was able to deliver my message.

I was truly cushioned by the loving arms of our Saviour through all of this.

It is the only way I could have done it.

Since Monday night I have been asking why?
But I will never know why, so I have needed to know – how?
How could this have happened.
How could my man who has driven our hills all these years literally fall off the side of the hill.
How did it happen?

From all that we have been told and pieced together, it was his friendliness that put him over the edge.
As the mower driver pulled over to let him past he has leaned down to look through the window and give an appreciative friendly wave of thanks that took his attention from the road and allowed the back wheel to end up on the soft freshly mown verge which crumbled beneath him.

And in that split second he has gone.
Gone forever from our earthly lives.
But never, ever gone from our hearts.

From the time I arrived in town on Tuesday I have been enveloped by several very special close friends who have left their lives on hold and have supported me, loved, me, cried with me, and taken charge of all the details when I couldn’t think straight.
Ross & Andrea are two of those dear friends – Ross has done what he does best – manages! He managed everything for me to get us to this point. But sadly they had to fly out of town Friday morning as they had their own family commitments.

Yesterday I received this email from Andrea

“Dear Raewyn, we spent a couple of hours in the presence of the Lord in the House of Prayer here yesterday morning, and The Lord showed me a picture of Tim in the Safari at the moment it was about to go over. The angels were poised ready for The Lord to tell them to rescue Tim and save his life, but Jesus said, No, I am going to get him Myself. Jesus Himself caught Tim in His arms.”

I don’t get to know the ‘why’
 But I do know the ‘where’
He is safely in the arms of his Saviour.
The Saviour and Lord of his life who he gave his life and heart to 30 years ago is now taking care of him for eternity.

We can also hold close to our hearts that he is spending precious time with his first grandson Cypress, who was taken to the Lord only 3 weeks ago.

Tim loved his babies – and no matter how big they got they were still his babies.
His large work toughened hands would cradle their tiny bodies with so much tenderness and love from the time they were born.
He always would tell me that there should never be a youngest.
He was so happy about becoming a Grandad and he would’ve been the best Grandad.
So maybe this God of ours actually knew what he was doing when he took Cypress first.

Tim’s story of how we met is that he saw me swimming off the wharf at Pohuenui when he, as a local lad of 21 came over to visit the shearing school which my father was running.
I was 14 at the time.

My first memory of Tim is when we were farmsitting at Pohuenui, and the day after a huge storm wrecked havoc in the Sounds a boat arrived and two tall very, very ruggedly handsome brothers came to see if we were alright. One in particular wrecked havoc in my heart.

From that moment on I knew in my heart of hearts that he was mine and I was his.
Seven years later we were married.

Over the years time has entwined us together so closely that our differences blended to become our combined strengths.
He loved me, teased me, laughed with me and supported me.
When life just became far too much for me a couple of years ago I suffered an emotional breakdown & went into a spiral of depression.
He was there to hold me, to pick me up, and protect me.
When I was trying to explain to him one day just what was happening to me he asked with a mischievous grin on his face – ‘Does this mean I will have to live with a mental case for the rest of my life?’
He was my constant one.
He was always there for me.
He had my back!

Shoshannah said the other day that she can never remember Tim getting angry.
She was right.
He could be upset, hurt, frustrated, annoyed, but we never saw him angry.
I would argue with him, rant, rave, and carry on – as you do when you live with and love someone for so long, we have had interesting heated discussions, but he never got angry.

He was a gentle man, he was kind, loving, caring, and completely honest.
He was also a man who just got on with it.

Bureaucracy was just an irritating frustration to him.
He used to do my head in as I fought to keep ahead of the red tape and paperwork.
He would just get out on the farm and do what had to be done – permits or no permits!

I have very strong memories of the day when he and Anson went over the back of the farm to muster stock.
As always they took a box of matches to burn off patches of fern.
This particular time though the burnoff got a tad out of control.
I was at home completely oblivious to the havoc they were creating until I got a call to say there was a fire threatening the trees on the ridge and the fire brigade were about to head in.
The next hours would have had to have been some of the most stressful in my entire life as I fielded phone calls and watched helplessly as the smoke poured up over the ridge top.
But on returning home Tim’s response was that all was well, they knew what they were doing. What was all the fuss about.
He got a such major knuckle rapping over the phone from DoC for no having no permit etc etc!
The very next day I caught sight of smoke curling up around the trees by the dog kennels and immediately ran up to see what was happening.
Tim was feeding his dogs and decided that the toi tois needed to be burnt back a bit.
Permit? What’s a permit??

I see his nature and character in all our children.
They are all strong, resilient, doggedly independent, full of life and purpose.

As Marah tells me often – Tim was a missioner.
And like their Dad our kids are all missioners.
They get an idea and they are off to make it happen.

I have seen so much of him in his children these past few days.
The children have flown in from all corners and we have hung out together.
It has been a very special time for us all.
It has been chaotic at times with 20 of us going in all directions but still pulling together.
Yesterday I paid the younger ones to go shopping with the older ones.
I needed space and quiet and they needed to ‘mission’.

Azzan’s mission was to buy me a rose candle to help me remember the wee roses his Daddy would often pluck off the bushes and present to me as he passed by the house.
Thank you Azzan – we will light your candle when we get home xxx

Shoshannah’s mission was to play her song for her Dad.
He had listened to it forming and encouraged her as she wrote it over the past weeks.

Bri’s mission was to build her Dad’s coffin.
She & Nick drove up from Chch on Tuesday and then all the way to Port Ligar & back to get the timber.
Her tribute to her Dad was finished last night and he was lifted into it by his kids.
Thank you Bri – you have done your Dad proud.

Cat’s mission was to do the ‘flowers’ for her ‘best friend’ – she wanted to make them for him, choosing foliage that meant something to him.

Anson & Sebastian’s ongoing future mission is to carry on what their Dad has begun and to work together to keep our farms ticking along.

The kids were emphatic that he would not be buried in a suit!
He scrubbed up really well when he had to but he was most comfortable in his work clothes.
I let the kids choose his clothes this time.
The shirt he is wearing is the one that the kids have written loving messages to him over the past months.

The children know their Dad.
They know his heart.
His heart was for his children.

From the first instance there was never any doubt that Tim would not be coming home.
Cremation for us was an absolute last resort.
Nick found a way that might be possible , so we asked and the wheels were set in motion.
We began scheming as to how we would  make it happen and how a hole big enough could be dug into our hard stoney hillside.
Anson with a mischievous spark of his Dad, said to Sebastian with a big grin – ‘Dad’s got some gelli sticks, we could just go up the hill and blast the hole!!’
And that is exactly what Tim would’ve done.
So go for it my boys – your Dad has left some large footsteps for you all to follow!!

Last night we got confirmation that on Monday, just a week after Tim left home for the last time, I am able to bring him home in the helicopter to lay him to rest with Cypress on the hill top above our home.

I haven’t been sleeping much since last Monday.
We have all been functioning in a state of surreal disbelief.

Tim loved being home, he didn’t really enjoy town much, so over the years I took on the role of taxi driver. I have spent many hours traveling to and fro town with the children so while I am here I keep thinking that when I go home on Monday this nightmare will end and Timmy will be there waiting for me, just like he always was.

All I can see in my heart is his precious craggy face with his cheeky smile, and his gnarly hardworking loving hands waiting to hold me.

Sally then sang ‘Majesty‘.

It was Tim’s ‘special’ song – the one he connected with his conversion 30 years ago.

She sang it so powerfully and blessed us immensely – thank you my friend xxxx


Bri led us all in one of Tim’s favourite hymns – Be Thou My Vision.

And then I read the ‘Funeral Blues’ from the sheet.

Once again, it was amazing the calm I felt.

All week, whenever I read this I would dissolve into tears by the 3rd verse, but on this day, God gave me strength.


When we went to leave, the kids carried the coffin behind me, there was a hiccup with the final piece of music.

Amazingly I found out later that in the busyness of the previous night Phillipa had forgotten to tell Ryan that we wanted it.

But at 1am Sally had been woken from her sleep and told to put that piece of music on her iPhone.

Man! God has had his hand on this all the way – it is mind blowing.

So while we waited for Sally to connect her iPhone to the sound system the children were struggling to hold their father.

I was worried for them but Tony said to me

‘Don’t worry, their Dad has carried them all their lives. They can carry him for just a few moments longer.’

Thank you Tony – you have been a amazing support to us all through this.

You have been more than just the pastor – you have been and are our friend.

Finally the music was on and we walked out to ‘No matter what‘ – the lyrics are so moving.

The kids had brought ginger beer to crack open and toast their Dad before he was taken away.

He didn’t drink alcohol so they figured it was a fitting toast.

Meanwhile inside the food was being put out by a wonderful team of women from our local home school group.

I cannot thank them enough for all they did.

Phoebe & Marah had made 6 memory books which were scattered about the reception area for people to write in.

It is so lovely now to sit and read them and see who was there.

And many bouquets of beautiful flowers were displayed.


I had no idea of the time, but now looking back I think the service took a good 3 hours and then afterwards there were so many friends and family to catch up with.

I was totally overwhelmed and exhausted.

I was so appreciative of all who made sure I had drinks and food to sustain me.






Saturday 23rd February – part 1




I woke at 4am.

Had thoughts whirling in my head so I sat up and began typing.

I wasn’t planning on speaking at the funeral but once I got going I couldn’t stop and by the time it was time to get up I had several pages emailed to David for printing.

I was sitting there sobbing while I wrote when I felt a small hand stroking my arm.

Azzan had reached out in his sleep to me.

Sweet boy.


I got myself all ready to go and met up with Christian in the kitchen.

He asked if he could take me out to breakfast so I left Jesika & Evan to get Azzan ready and we drove off to find food.

I was feeling incredibly sick, my stomach was knotted and churning but I knew I needed to eat something.

We drove to Crusoe’s – my comfort home – and got my Anat & Rami hugs for the day.

Then Rami made me a very special breakfast of just what a wanted.

A poached egg on garlic toast with fresh smoked salmon.

It was just enough and exactly what I needed.

Christian tackled a more manly sized breakfast of pancakes which filled him up!

Phoebe and others arrived as we were leaving.

Christian went with them and I went straight to the funeral home.

I needed to spend one last visit with my man.

I was sad cause a lot of my crew had already arrived, I was later getting there than I planned.

But they were great and backed right out and let me have my time with Tim.

It was the hardest thing to finally tell them to put the lid on.

But soon he was all covered up and strapped down and ready for take off!

Haven’t Bri & the kids done a brilliant job.

It is solid, rugged, practical and has an intense natural beauty to it.

Just exactly like Tim.

Tim would’ve been so incredibly proud of them.

It was a bit of an act to get the box out of the doors.

Anson backed his truck right up and then they all had to help to manouver it.

The determination on all their faces to get him out and onto the truck safely is so evident.

Anson, right at home directing the proceedings.

He, like his Dad, knows how important it is to tie things down securely on the truck.


This is my most favourite shot of the day.

Cat brought out the flowers/foliage

We all milled around for a few moments


Me and my girls.

And then we had to leave.

Into our vehicles, lights on and follow the hearse in procession to the church.





Friday 22nd February




I woke early.

Sleep covers the pain but I’m not getting much of it.

The early hours of the morning are so quiet.

It was so comforting to have Marah snuggled in here beside me.

She is such a blessing and support to me.

Anson, you have chosen a good woman.

Make sure you tell her every day that you love her, cherish her as much if not more than your Dad cherished me.

She loves you so much.

Thank you for finding a treasure.

I am so blessed with the choices my children have made in their partners.

Each one has special strengths which have really come to the fore this week.

Phoebe & Marah – I couldn’t ask for better extra daughters – both of you are surrounding me with such obvious love and compassion.

Nick – you have been a tower of strength, without you we would never have known it was possible to bring Tim home, without that little clue you found, we would never have know to ask.

It has been such a comfort to just know I can rest and let you carry on with the organising of it all.

Mat – you and your Dad – thank you both for your quiet ‘just getting in there and being where ever you have been needed’ spirits.

Your support for my precious daughter and us all is immense.

She has been so unwell this week and you have cared for her and treasured her as well as the rest of us – thank you.

Wilf’s understanding and humour has been so appreciated.

Leann, you in your own quiet way have been amazing. Just getting in and being and doing whatever and whenever.

Your care and love towards us all.

It has not gone unnoticed – thank you.


Azzan found this wee bird.

It had stunned itself on the window.

I love his tenderness, he was most concerned for it’s wellbeing.

He was so gently with it – so like his Daddy.


I didn’t have to be anywhere.

So I just stayed at the house.

There was a lot of coming and going.

The day was incredibly hot.

Christine ministered to everyone with drinks and food and the care that she does so well.

Christine, I cannot thank you enough for all you have done for us this week.

There was a lot of fellowshipping as we passed back and forth through the garage and admired the incredibly rugged and wonderful coffin that was under construction there.

Martin & Sylvia arrived just before all the chaos, as did David & Eilidh.

There was lots of introductions, hugging, talking, reminiscing.

All the young folk were milling around making plans.


Jesika & Evan to suss the florist for their wedding with Sasha.

Then joined Sunni & Mat at Hangar 58 with Nathan for lunch.

Then they went to visit their Dad.

It was a very emotional time for them.


There was no more to be done to the coffin until the boys arrived back from the farm.

There was too many people and too many plans for me to cope with.

So I gave the 3 younger kids money for each of their needs/wants and told them to go!

Shopping with their older siblings.

No second invite was required – they were gone in a flash winky




I spent the rest of the morning relaxing and chatting with Martin, Sylvia, David & Eilidh.

I was so, so tired.

I was also incredibly grateful for Phillipa & Sally who were both busy in the background running about sorting all the last minute things to ensure the next day would flow well.



We had to be at the church at 4pm.

We all met to run through how the funeral service would happen.

Tony was wonderful, we seriously couldn’t have chosen a better person to help us through this.

His compassion and love for us all has been so evident.

He talked us through the order of the next day, listened to our questions and prayed with us.

Sally, Colin, Bri & Shoshannah went through the music together.

Then all the young ones gathered in the side room to talk about what they wanted to say and do at the service to honour their Dad and Dad-in-law.



After that I went to the funeral home to spend some time with Tim.

I just sat with him, talked to him, stroked his hair and held his precious loving hands and cried and cried and cried.

Those hands were the ones that have loved me, cherished me, touched me, tickled me, cared and provided for me and our family.

Nathan had been to see his Dad earlier in the day and left a note tucked in his hands.

It was so precious.

I just cannot believe this.

I cannot believe he has gone from me.

It is all so so surreal.

Everyone is going on about how amazing I am being, but I don’t feel amazing.

I am so full of such an emptiness and aloneness.

I am surrounded by so much love from my precious family and friends, but I just feel so so alone.


Phillipa & Ella waited there with me.

All the family arrived much later – I think around 7.

They had the coffin finished and brought it down.

It was so big that they had problems getting it in through the doors.

Had to come in the front ones!

The kids spent time writing on the lid, talking, hugging, crying, it was a very gentle time.

Mahalia wanted to see her Daddy so I took her in.

She knew he had gone – she said ‘He doesn’t smell like my Daddy’.

She just hugged him and cried and cried and cried.

It was a very special time for her and me together.

Mahalia had written this on his shirt months ago.

This was so Tim – he was always Sunny Side Up.

Anson found her a pen and she wrote more loving messages to him on his shirt as the sobs just wracked her whole being.



Azzan Timothy popped in for a few moments but he needed to leave.

Then he spent the rest of the time ministering to his siblings.

He is such a servant hearted treasure.

He has his Daddy’s name and his spirit.

Shanni and Bri had their moments with him.

It was such a hard time, but such a special time.

My kids are all strong – but they are broken hearted.


The strength and simplicity of Bri’s message says it all.


It is such a big chunky box that it wouldn’t fit through into the rooms so we had to park it in the hall way.

Anson thought it was just the right height for a bar – needed to be leaned on!



We finally had to leave as it was getting so late.

We headed back to David & Sasha’s for dinner.

David & Sasha – I cannot thank you both enough for opening your house to us to descend on, take over, collapse in.

You have feed our bodies, and our souls.

We love you both so very very much – thank you for being here with us and for us.


Christian had spent all day working on the slide show for the service.

I had given him the music and photos.

Just before we left I asked him if I could see the finished results.

It is wonderful.

When he has uploaded it I will post a link here for it.

It is over 6 minutes long, he had the photos in perfect sync with the words.

But when I got to the end and saw the photo he had finished it in I completely lost it.

Phillipa held me and I sobbed uncontrollably.

It was just all too much.

Christian – thank you from the bottom of my heart for the time and love you have put into helping us record our lives.

You have blessed us more than you can ever know with your gift throughout the years.

But this tribute is amazing.


No wonder the one you posted on Facebook went viral!

Here it is for all of you who have not yet seen the first shorter version.

Tribute video for Tim.







Thursday 21st February




I slept for a few hours but woke at 6:30am and the realisation of everything just hit me with a savage forcefulness.

I am sitting in bed crying, sobbing, how am I going to get through today?
How am I going to make it without my Love, my dearest one, the one who knew me, who knew all of me.

I cant bare to think of never having him in my bed, of him never holding me, loving me, protecting me, sharing our dreams.

We have been together for a life time.

I fell in love with my tall strong handsome country boy when I was only 14.

That is 42 years of my life but it wasn’t enough.

I wanted more, I needed more.

I know he is with his Lord now.

I take comfort in knowing he is with his grandson and that he and Cypress and whole and complete and are without impediment, they are standing together like two mighty strong trees – Cypress and my tall strong Matai.

But it doesn’t take away my pain.



I’m listening to this song, the words are making the tears flow harder.

I have always loved listening to Leonard Cohen, my children have had to endure his cds playing in the car constantly during our trips to town – in an uncanny way he reminds me of my man.


I loved you for a long, long time
I know this love is real
It don’t matter how it all went wrong
That don’t change the way I feel
And I can’t believe that time’s
Gonna heal this wound I’m speaking of
There ain’t no cure,
There ain’t no cure,
There ain’t no cure for love.

I’m aching for you baby
I can’t pretend I’m not
I need to see you naked
In your body and your thought
I’ve got you like a habit
And I’ll never get enough
There ain’t no cure,
There ain’t no cure,
There ain’t no cure for love

There ain’t no cure for love
There ain’t no cure for love
All the rocket ships are climbing through the sky
The holy books are open wide
The doctors working day and night
But they’ll never ever find that cure for love
There ain’t no drink no drug
(ah tell them, angels)
There’s nothing pure enough to be a cure for love

I see you in the subwayand I see you on the bus
I see you lying down with me, I see you waking up
I see your hand, I see your hair
Your bracelets and your brush
And I call to you, I call to you
But I don’t call soft enough
There ain’t no cure,
There ain’t no cure,
There ain’t no cure for love

I walked into this empty church I had no place else to go
When the sweetest voice I ever heard, whispered to my soul
I don’t need to be forgiven for loving you so much
It’s written in the scriptures
It’s written there in blood
I even heard the angels declare it from above
There ain’t no cure,
There ain’t no cure,
There ain’t no cure for love

There ain’t no cure for love
There ain’t no cure for love
All the rocket ships are climbing through the sky
The holy books are open wide
The doctors working day and night
But they’ll never ever find that cure,
That cure for love


Bri and Nick arrived back late last night and she showed me what she had done at the crash scene.

My precious daughter – thank you so so much for honouring your Dad like this.

This is more precious to me than any marble headstone.


I washed away my tears in the shower and while I was trying to get dressed Bri, Cat & Shoshannah arrived.

Bri had to help me into my dress – my emotions were so tangled that I couldn’t think stright to even do such a simple thing as to putting on my dress.

When I got upstairs Christine had breakfast on the table and was looking after everyone – as he does – so well heart

Thank you Christine for being such a true and faithful friend xxx


I had several things I needed to do but as the morning was disappearing into talk and photos I left Cat to deliver Tim’s clothes to the undertaker.

The children have chosen his clothes – they were determined he was not to be buried in his suit, but in his work clothes that he wore every day.

The grey shirt that the kids used to write messages to him on when he was sitting at the table.

When I left the house Bri had the coffin underway.

I left Christine with the job of photographicallyrecording the work in progress while I was away – she was delighted to have a special job to do for me heart

I headed into town and had time to grab a frappaccino before meeting with my therapist.

I had a really good hour with her.

Then it was time to go meet up with the Detective Inspector from Blenheim Police who had driven all the way over specifically to meet with me and formally apologize face to face for the botch up that was made on Monday.

Because I was feeling so incredibly fragile I had asked Sally to come with me cuz I just didn’t have the strength to do this alone.

As Sally and I waited she broke the news to me that the catering company who we had been to see had just given her a quote of $27.50 per head – just for a small morning tea!
We were both horrified.

That would cost more than the entire funeral stunned

Ross arrived and bought us drinks and we sat in the sun outside Di Pierre’s Cafe and talked.

It was actually very therapeutic and calming to talk with him and hear the rest of the story and fill in the missing pieces and to be able to tell him my side of the story.

He was so lovely.

We probably talked for over an hour.

Sally was there on the peripheral, monitoring the phone and chasing up other catering options.

We talked about the possibility that we had come across of taking Tim back to the farm to bury.

He said he would do all he could to ensure it would happen and he headed off to make calls and liaise with our funeral director.

Sally & I talked some more and then she headed off to met Phillipa and do more planning.

I really don’t know what I would have done with out these two very dear and special friends – love you both so much for being right here right now heart

I went to Nelson Beauty Therapy, Bedelia had opened her rooms up to me and any of the family that needed some pampering.

When I arrived Jesika was already beginning an hour long full body massage and Sunni & Sasha were sitting soaking their feet, reclining back on the lounge sofa relaxing and talking.

It was all so calm and beautiful.

I had a lovely relaxing hour or so with Amanda looking after me.

I so needed to just lie and relax and be loved – it was lovely.

Amanda has recently lost her partner so we were able to share tears together.

Bedelia discovered our wish to take Tim home and immediately hopped on board the planning wagon.

She has friends in so many useful places winky

So before I was done she had made calls, liaised with Ross and the funeral director and before I left we knew for certain that Timmy was coming home with us pleased

Sasha & Sunni had left for home cuz Sunni wasn’t feeling well.

Jesika waited for me.

As we hopped into the car we got a call from Nick to tell us the happy news that we had just received.

The family network is alive and well and jumping for joy happy


When we got back the coffin was practically finished – I will get photos from Christine soon.

It is so cool and so Tim.


Everyone went to David & Sasha’s for dinner.

Phillipa grabbed a plate of food for us and we headed off to see Adrienne.

She kindly offered to do the funeral sheets for me so I took my laptop and found her office.

She works there at night and Poppy occupies herself quietly on a neighbouring computer and toys etc.

She’s such a good wee girl – precious friend of Azzan’s.

It took quite a while to get things together.

Phillipa went back to the house and brought back dinner for us all.

While Adrienne worked I sorted photos for the slide show and collected memory quotes for the service.

I found this inside Tim’s Bible, and feel it really sums up Tim’s attitude to his faith and how he lived it.

He really lived it.


Phillipa got loose with my iPhone and got very excited about taking photos.

Here are just a few of Adrienne and me working.

In amongst the floods of tears there were gales of laughter.

I am so happy to be doing this with my friend.




It was getting late so Phillip took my Terrano back and left it parked outside David & Sasha’s andf then took her car home.
She had a 40 min drive still!

The evening just disappeared and soon it was 1pm and we were just finishing.

Only the printing to do now – I am so rapt with the lovely job Adrienne has done of the sheets.

Thanks so  very very much Adrienne kiss


It was way after 1pm when I tiptoed in and curled up beside a very comforting body in my bed.

Marah woke slightly as I crawled in beside her.

Azzan was snoring loudly on the floor beside us.

I managed to sleep till 4:45am when my stupid body clock kicked it’s alarm into action whatevah



People have been sending me photos and amongst them I found this one of Tim and Michael from Colorado, who wwoofed for us a couple of years ago.

It is very fitting to finish this post with the photo and the message Michael sent me this week.

I only spent a short amount of time at Port Ligar, and I feel that my stay there was fairly routine. But Tim Shand had a profound impact on my life simply through the way he lived his. He loved his life, his family and his property.. There was nowhere else he wanted to be, and no one else he wanted to be with.. And for a young man who is still at odds with this world, it was inspiring to see a man at peace with it.
Michael Ball





Wednesday 20th February




I really didn’t get too many hours between shut eye and my phone waking me around 6am.

My brother had flown in from Perth, Australia, and had managed to get an earlier flight from Auckland to Nelson as was arriving into Nelson at 8:15am.

I text Anson and asked him to meet Murray.

I showered and caught up my blog.

If I let it get behind at the moment there is no way I will ever remember later.

Azzan woke and decided he just couldn’t attend One Day School this morning so I called up and cancelled.

They had already heard our news and were so lovely.

We headed down into town at 9am.

I dropped Ross off at the funeral directors and then whizzed into the paint shop to reschedule my appointment.

Azzan thought he would quite like to visit the pet shop so I left him and Christine there.

They had a lovely morning together,

at the library,


and then at the pastry shop where Azzan told me he needed to have a junk food day.



I headed around the corner and met up with Ross and the funeral director Alistair.

Turns out he is married to a distant cousin of mine that I went to high school with – crazy small planet we live on.

We began sorting the major details of venue and time etc

We got it all sorted and posted the newspaper announcements etc

The kids began arriving and we crammed into the back room to talk through the process of planning the funeral.

It was so good to see Murray.

He is a very loving and caring bro to me xxxx

Graham, Phillipa & Sally came too.

I am so incredibly blessed to have these folk in my life to support and love me through all of this.

Once we were done Anson decided he wanted to go catch up with Nathan.

So we loaded everyone into various vehicles and headed into the city.

Sally & I detoured to pick up some office supplies.

Then Mahalia text to we sidetracked and gathered her up too.

We all converged on Hangar 58!

Seb went off to pick up Sunni & Mat from the airport at 1pm.

I called up Tim’s cousin Phil and he popped down to hang out with us all.

Then Estelle arrived too.

There must’ve been more than 20 of us.

We sure make a party all on our own!!

We ordered platters of food and sat out in the sun and talked and enjoyed the day just being together.

Then Nathan’s boss Mike and his manager Carrie gave us this beautiful bunch of flowers.

We were very touched by their generous gesture.

Nathan took Christine upstairs to show her around.

 Mid afternoon we all headed off to do necessary things.

Anson had to get Tim’s trailer and load up our ‘new’ double kayak which we bought a couple of weeks ago and we now will never get to use together bummed

Phillipa went to do my grocery shopping.

Sally, Ross, Mahalia and I went to suss out the caterers.

The others went shopping and then headed back to David & Sasha’s.


All through the day we were planning and talking and making decisions as to the funeral.

Ross, Sally & I went down to the Headingly Centre to suss it out and were horrified to find it was not as big as we had thought and it was not going to be at all suitable.

I had been doing well all day but this is when I began to lose it.

I left Ross to sort it out and by the time we arrived back at his house we had a new venue which will seat nearly 3 times as many.

The funeral will now be held at 10:30am at the Annesbrook Church of Christ in Saxton’s Road Stoke, Nelson.


Sally took Mahalia home with her.

She is spending the night & tomorrow with Kashana.

Kashana lost her Daddy 2 years ago so she understands her friends grief.


Tony came to discuss with us the plans for the service.

We had a lot sorted already so it is beginning to flow.

I am really pleased we have Tony taking the service.

We have known him for about 30 years and he is such a lovely man.

We also have the music sorted and are delighted that Colin is playing – he is Tony’s bro-in-law!!

Sally is singing for me too.

Graham picked up Sunni & Mat from their motel and joined us for this planning session.

The rest of the kids went to the airport to pick up Jesika and Evan.


Finally we all packed up and headed to David & Sasha’s for dinner.

All the kids were there except Bri & Nick.

They had driven home to get the things we needed.

Tim’s clothes and passport – no, he doesn’t need it to get to heaven!!

Just to satisfy insurance authorities!!

After lots of hugs Anson, Seb & Murray drove home.

They are staying for a couple of nights to get stock work done and feed dogs etc

It was so wonderful  to have Ross & Andrea, Colin & Jillian, Pat & Phillipa there with me tonight.

We have been friends for over 20 years.

The grandparents of the home educating group in our region!

Graham & Shoshannah took photos – I think the antics were worse than trying to capture kids!!

They took so many photos that Jillian was smiling too long and had to sort out her face laughing

I really love and appreciate these guys.

There is a huge hole in these photos though – an uneven number.

Timmy is not there sad
I can barely think of the prospects of being alone for the rest of my life right now – it is just far too huge.

My dearest friends Phillipa & Pat – we have been through so much together.

And Ross & Andrea – what would I possibly do without you two??

Your caring hearts and practical help over these days has been immense.

I love you both and am going to really miss you on Saturday – but know you need to be where you are and we will catch up next week xxxxx


My darling Jesika and her Evan were there so there was loads of hugs and cuddles all round.

Hard times for us all.

Many tears and grief shared.


Chrissy delivered dinner.

The home ed mothers have rostered dinners for us which is amazing.

I was so incredibly tired I just lay down on the bed and cuddled Cat while we talked.

Was told of a wonderful photo tribute that Christian had put on Facebook for Tim.

Called him up and asked if he could enlarge it if we sent more photos, to use at the service.

He is going to do that and he is also flying down to be with us.

Sally came back and she went with Colin to practice the music for the service.

Nathan decided to go stay with Yari for the night so he headed off after dinner.

Once it got dark David brought the brazier out and Azzan toasted marshmellows.

I was so weary my body was aching and I couldn;t stand straight.

I sat on the couch and had a cup of camomile tea and cuddled up with Marah & Phoebe.

My two special ‘daughters’.

They made a list of the things needing to be done tomorrow and are going to take Azzan & Shoshannah with them.


Finally loaded Jesika & Evan and their gear into the Terrano, along with Christine & Azzan and we headed back to Ross & Andrea’s.

Bri & Nick drove in soon after and unloaded all the timber.

Bri is building her Dad’s coffin in Ross’s garage tomorrow.

They have gone to David & Sasha’s.

We are all in bed and I am seriously needing to shut this computer off and go to sleep.


I just want to say though that I am totally overwhelmed by all the messages of love and support that have been flowing in from all over the world.

My Timmy was such a special and much loved man.

He was so incredibly humble though that he would be wondering what on earth all the fuss is about!







Tuesday 19th February

Once I fell into bed sometime after 2am I tossed and turned.

I couldn’t sleep.

My stomach was twisted in knots, I couldn’t get warm or comfortable.

There was such a huge void in my bed and my heart.

I eventually cried myself to sleep and was woken by the alarm at 5am.

Shoshannah came to hug me.

She had had a similar night.

I showered and woke the kids up and asked them to pack extra clothes as we would not be returning home for a while.

I am not sure when I took this photo of Mahalia’s fingernail painting – it is her hobby and she is always coming up with pretty paintings to show me.

But somehow her happy fingernails help to throw some light into a dark morning.

We could see Tardis was already at the wharf as we packed the Terrano.

Mahalia went down to ask Noel to come up.

We talked and hugged and he assured me of his support and that I was not to worry about the boat or business, he would take care of it all.

Then the kids and I piled into the Terrano and left home at 6am.

Seb walked up the hill to meet us and hopped in the back and hugged Mahalia & Azzan as we headed out.

We drove on and as we got closer to where we had been told the accident had happened, we slowed to find it.

It was very obvious plus a large white arrow was painted on the bank marking the spot.

We could see plainly where the Safari had gone over the bank.

There was plenty of room but in saying that it was the narrowest spot in the road at that point.

But the mower had just cut the verge and as he has driven around the mower the soft ground under the back wheel has given way and there was only one way it could go sad

It was a sad sobering time for us as we stood and contemplated what had happened.

It was such a steep narrow gut with so much undergrowth, we could not see the vehicle.

It was apparently about 160m below us.

We detoured down to Te Towoka and left Seb there.

Harry & Liz have lent him their truck as we don’t have enough vehicle seats now.

He drove home and then he and Anson came back and went down the hill to find the Safari.

He has shown me photos they took.

It is almost unrecognizable.

it has slipped, rolled and then bounced and Timmy was thrown out and landed about 20m away.

Later in the day when Seb, Phoebe, Anson, Marah, Cat & Leann drove out they saw the Serious Crash Unit guys there so they stopped to talk.

Once they realised who the kids were they couldn’t have been more understanding and helpful.

They assured us that it would have happened incredibly fast and Tim would have died immediately.

It doesn’t help the pain but it does help to know he didn’t suffer before the beating his poor poor head and body endured.

The children and I drove on.

The morning fog over Hallam Cove was so beautiful.

It gave me a sense of a new dawning and God’s blessing in amongst the dark dark days.

When I got to town I straight away found Nathan, he was at work.

We hugged – tight.

Then I went to the Police Station as I had no idea where Tim was or what to do.

Once I described to Constable Nathaniel the horrendous manner in which I found out about Tim’s death he couldn’t do enough for me.

I left him to make phone calls to find out where and what and how, and I took the children into the city centre.

They needed to do some normal stuff and Katherine was walking to meet them.

Shoshannah & Azzan met her at Colombus Cafe and Mahalia & I got a Starbucks frappaccino – I was seriously in need of some caffeine and sugar by this point!

Then I dropped Mahalia off at MINX Hair.

I had booked her a special hours treatment there.

Then I went back to the police station.

Philipa soon arrived to support me.

We eventually were passed on to Constable Sharon who took us and the Victim Support guy to the hospital.

Graham & Sally met us there.

Graham & I just hugged and cried.

Then we were taken through the maze of hospital corridors and eventually were at the door of the mortuary.

Another senior police officer met us there and made sure I understood that Tim had suffered some very severe head injuries.

When I walked into the room I actually thought it was someone else and that we were going on to another room to see him

But then I realised that it was my Timmy.

His poor poor face was so battered and bruised and swollen.

He had taken such a severe hammering.

I was so grateful to hear from the coroner later that he had broken a cervical and thoracic vertebrae which would have killed him instantly.

I just help him and cried and cried and cried.

I didn’t want to leave him.

Everyone was so good and just let me have the time I needed, but it still wasn’t enough.

It will never be enough.

This hand will never hold mine again.

This precious hand, which loved me so much and so often.

These tough hardworking precious precious feet which withstood so much and went so many places with me are now resting with His Lord.

When I could bring myself to leave. I then had to fill out the formal ID form.

What broke my heart was when I had to write down how long I had known him.

How long??
For a lifetime!

And that was just not enough sad

We went back to the Police station and had time with the Victim Support guy and just talked and made plans as much as I could.

Graham whizzed out to the airport at 1pm and picked up Christine.
We spent more time just sitting and being together.

Then I realised I was absolutely starving, and we didn’t need to be there anymore, so we decided it was time to go.

Graham went and hung out with Nathan – they had 3 very special hours together.

Sally, Christine, Phillipa & I went to Crusoe’s.

I needed to go somewhere I knew to people who would support and love me.

Not some cold sterile cafe.

Sally took a list of jobs that I needed to have done and went off to do a couple before meeting us there.

Anat & Rami opened their arms and hearts to us and fed us with love and food.

Rami made me this amazing chicken sandwich and especially made me his onion rings which he knows I love.

Sally made short work of her steak sandwich and Christine thoroughly enjoyed the fresh smoked salmon salad.

Then to continue the loving Rami brought out this platter of Black Forest cake and Baklava.

We couldn’t eat much but the small amount we did was delicious.

The day was disappearing so we had to move on.

Philipa had a meeting in Richmond and Sally needed to go home.

Graham met me at the insurance office.

I was so glad I had made the time to meet up with Alan.

He was so helpful and supportive and helped to clarify some practicalities and worked with me and the lawyer and Coroners office.

I had a call from the Coroner in Auckland with their immediate findings.

There will be more to come.

Graham & Christine then took the harp and went to meet Mahalia at her lesson.

I went to Starbucks and visited a chemist for some sleeping stuff.

Went up to Winningtons to get kids.

Bri & Phillipa were there.

Some very serious hugging time heart

We all went back to David & Sasha’s and congregated there for a family bbq dinner.

I couldn’t face everyone immediately so David took me for a walk around the block.

We talked and cried together.

Then it was time to go hug Cat – my poor wounded daughter with her arm in a sling.

We had a lovely evening together – despite the biting insects!

Sitting around the brazier was calming and therapeutic as we all talked.

Eventually we had to leave as it was after 10pm and the glass coach was about to turn into a pumpkin.

Ross & Andrea had already taken Azzan & Christine home and they were sound asleep when I arrived.

I showered and then sat up and read all the wonderful messages and tributes to my special darling that have been pouring in all day.

I cannot thank my friends and family from all over the globe for all your love and support right now.

It means so much.

I have typed this with tears pouring down my face.

I need to keep blogging.

Timmy always said I could write well and it is the one way I can express myself and communicate with you all.

It is also my journal.

I hope one day in the future I can read back and the tears will not be so many and the wonderful memories will have clouded the pain of today.

Monday 18th February – the worst day of my life.

A cloudy overcast sky this morning

While Tim waited for Sebastian to arrive he got ready for his town trip.

Then he and Azzan went down to the wharf to condition mussel ropes.

This is the last photo I have of my Timmy.

And he is doing what he loved.

Working with his kids.

After this he and Seb went out to do some mussel work for a few hours.

The girls processed 2 bins of tomatoes.

Then they spent the rest of their working day in the garden.

Anson was mustering most of the day.

Tim arrived back at lunch time and packed up the Safari and took Seb & Phoebe back home and then headed off to town around 2:30pm.

We had a date to meet in town at 2pm tomorrow.

I was really tired so had a wee rest before Anson & Marah popped in for a visit.

We had an early dinner and got cleaned up.

I was just about to start packing my stuff for town as we are leaving early tomorrow when I got a text from Anson saying he had just heard there had been an accident on our road.

I immediately started making phone calls and couldn’t locate Tim anywhere he was supposed to have been.

After a very long call to the police and then finding out I was talking to Wellngton Police and they didn’t have a clue where we were they finally put me on to a Blenheim sergent who knew exactly who I was and confirmed my worst nightmare.

He had been trying to locate a neighbour to come tell me but as our neighbours are about an hour away they hadnt arrived yet.

He didn’t want to tell me over the phone stunned

I was furious, angry, upset, hurt, hysterical……

It took 6 hours for me to find out and that was through the newspaper.

My Timmy is dead.

I can barely see the keys to type

I can’t stop crying.

I don’t know what I am going to do without him

I am so devastated.

Anson & Marah and Seb & Phoebe came straight round and started phoning the kids.

It is the worst news to have to tell your children.

Liz, Harry & Jude all arrived – it was really good to have their loving support.

The three young ones have been beside themselves all night.

They are now sleeping thankfully and the boys and partners have gone home.

I now have to rethink the morning and repack my bags as I will have to be in town for more than the two planned days.