Wednesday 26 October 2011

Jo McGowran - Rest In peace

Dear bloggers

This is the post I didn't want to write and it is the post you did not want to be reading.

Jo fell asleep on Thursday 20th October and moved gracefully towards peace over Friday and Saturday before passing over at 5:30am on the 23rd October 2011.
To all her friends and colleagues thank you for the love you gave to jo over the years. Jo's mum, Jean, her son Peter and I have been comforted by all the warm and generous support offered to us over the last few days.

When the end came for Jo it cam very quickly. Following another stay in hospital at the start of October Jo was determined to have her 47th birthday at the Trafford Centre in Manchester indulging in her favourite past time, shopping. We spent all day there and Jo completed most of her Christmas shopping and had a great time. This was the 12th October and after the surgery of last year this was the birthday the medical professional told her she would not celebrate. The following day Jo was tired and on Friday became ill. Over the weekend Jo deteriorated and by Thursday 20th Jo fell asleep. Jo regained consciousness so that Pete and her could have one final conversation and on the Friday when one of her closest friends came to see her. After that Jo was at peace and pain free. At 5:30am on 23rd October Jo passed over.

We will be having a funeral service on Monday 31st October at 11:00 held at the Church that Jo loved so much, St. Mary's Church Windermere. There will be a private family burial after the service at the Glebe Cemetery in Bowness-on-Windermere followed by a funeral reception at the Burnside Hotel in Bowness. Jo will now be placed next to her beloved father, Peter Dyson, I've been able to secure the plot next to her Dad. Jo never got over the passing of her dad.

All the details of the service are posted on Jo's facebook page as an event. I also placed a notice on her facebook page on Sunday to inform the world of her passing and we have been overwhelmed by the number and heartfelt nature of the tributes that have been left.

It is my intention of collating all the wonderful tributes to Jo and publish them in a book to give to her mum and Pete and closets family and friends. I then plan to publish the tributes on this blog as a final posting that can be added to.

The blogosphere and her flock of followers were hugely important to Jo and I want to reward you all for all the love, happiness and support you offered to Jo over the years. Hence the final post will be a collection of tributes to Jo.

Jo felt her purpose in life was to be a light to others. The tributes received absolutely confirm that this purpose had been achieved. Jo's purpose now is to be the fuel that burns in lots of lights around the world. The blog community that you share is full of shining lights, now allow Jo's light to help your light burn brighter and carry on her work.

directions to the church can be found at the following website:
and entering the postcode LA23 1BA.

Directions to the Burnside Hotel can be found at the following website:

Can I ask that if you plan to attend please either RSVP on Jo's facebook page or email me at

Flowers only from family members please. Can I ask that instead of flowers you may consider making a donation to either St. John's Hospice (Lancaster) or to St. Mary's Church Windermere.

Please send any donations via the funeral directors, Edmondson Longmire Funeral Services, 3 Oak Street, Windermere, Cumbria LA23 1BH, 015394 43427.

True to form Jo had a special request about her funeral service. let's make it as joyous a celebration of her life as possible. We will be adopting a tone to match this. As part of Jo's request please feel free to add a splash of colour to your clothing, and of course being Jo, if possible make that colour YELLOW. All this means is to add a little bit of colour, i.e. a tie, a handkerchief, a scarf etc. No need to be fully decked out in yellow. Of course, if you prefer to retain a more traditional approach we will totally respect your wishes. Jo's major regret was that she would not be there and would be denied the opportunity to give a speech. I'm sure Jo will be talking to us all on the day!

Already we are hearing that where friends cannot attend they are determined to be wearing something yellow on Monday as a tribute to Jo.


Other Half


Busy Bee Suz said...

Thank you so much for adding this to Jo's blog. This is how I met Jo...and we became facebook friends later on.
I have always held a special place in my heart for Jo....she and I live on different sides of this world and yet, we always had something in common. She was quick witted and light hearted.
She usually always (in a comment on my blog) asked me to send some Florida sunshine to her. Funny thing, she was always making me feel sunny.
My best to you both, her special men. She adored you both and it was evident to all of us.
Take care,

A Brit in Tennessee said...

My heart is indeed heavy reading this post, it never crossed my mind that Jo would not emerge triumphant over her medical issues.
My sincere thoughts and prayers are with you and her family, she will be missed with a passion.
Godspeed my friend Jo.
~Jo (Josephine)

Expat mum said...

Ah P, tears again. Let me know what I can do to help with the blog post.
Leave this up for a while because I know readers are going to want to stroll through some of her wonderful previous posts.
Love to all,

Anonymous said...

I only found this blog through another today. I want to say to your family how sorry I am to read about the loss of your wife and mother

C.J. said...

I did not not know Jo or have the joy of reading her blog however, I will be wearing yellow on the 31st. I am and american and live in NY but my heart will be with all of you. God bless and take good care of one another.


Gberger said...

Dear Pete & Other Half,
Thank you for this generous gift of telling us about Jo's last days here...typical that she was shopping for others. She was always a great, kind encourager and a giver. Please accept my heartfelt condolences - I wish I could attend her service to express my deep respect and affection for your precious wife and mother. Please also hug her mom for me - this must be a hard time for her, as well. I am so grateful to have been a blogging friend of Jo's. God bless you and comfort your hearts now and always.

Sami said...

So sorry to hear the news about Jo, may she rest in peace.

Nota Bene said...

I'm so sorry to read this..all my sympathy to you all. Jo had such energy and enthusiasm for everything she did, and it shone through everytime she wrote. I am sure that wherever she has gone she will be as energetic and fun, and I don't doubt she will be looking down on you all smiling at her wonderful family.

Maggie May said...

I was really, really upset to hear that Jo had died as she was one of the people who inspired me to face my own cancer and to fight it.
She was given the extra year because of the operation and I feel that you must all have felt it very worthwhile even though it was an ordeal at the time. This has also given me the feeling to press on with any thing that I might have to face in the near future.

I just want to offer my sincerest condolences to all the family. I know she will be badly missed by you all but also by friends and bloggers who had got to know her through writing.

It is good to know that Jo was able to have her Birthday and do some shopping before she got to ill and I am relieved to hear that she died peacefully surrounded by those she loved most.
Thank you for letting us know that.

Nuts in May

LYN said...

I've been checking back here on and off and when there were no new posts I was worried..
R.I.P Jo..we never met but you moved me beyond words...
Thank you for the last post..
God Speed..

Clippy Mat said...

Dear Jo:
What I liked about you was your courage and fierce determination. It shone through. You enjoyed a laugh and you loved to make other people feel good. We were fellow Geordies and had a lot in common.

When I posted about your illness on my blog I never really thought that you wouldn't make it.

Your life touched mine and I won't forget you. I know you loved your family, that came shining through in everything you wrote. I think you will have left them some of your courage to get through. I know you will have left them your love.
God Speed Hinny,
God Bless and Rest in Peace.
Pat :-)

Trish said...

I found Jo's blog via my cousin, Toni (Expat Mum), and it was always lovely to read about a fellow Geordie, living in such a beautiful part of the country.
I am also the mother of a young teenage son so felt a connection with Jo. I prayed she would pull through this, but unfortunately it was not to be. I am so sorry.
I will think about Jo on Monday and send my love and condolences to you all.
Trish x

Renie Burghardt said...

I am so very sorry for your loss. My condolances and prayers for you and her handsome son, Pete. May she rest in peace.

I will miss you, Jo! xox

About Last Weekend said...

Jo's blog was one of the first I came to a year and a half ago when I started blogging. I lived a world away from her in Oakland, CA, but I was always refreshed and inspired by her honesty, sense of calm and humour.

Anonymous said...

Jo was a light to many , she will continue to shine brightly in many hearts

Sage said...

So sorry to hear the news, Jo was always very upbeat, although honest, about her future and I was one of many silent people willing her dreams to come true.. sadly it was not to be... my heartfelt sympathy to the family, I will be wearing Yellow in her honour on Monday and saying a prayer for her...

ChiTown Girl said...

I was so saddened to read about Jo's passing. My deepest condolences to your family.

Jo always left me the funniest/sweetest comments over at my blog. She will be so missed.

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful lady that loved her family to bits. I am a stranger living in Australia, on the same path with this awful disease. My tears are for a real cracker that the world has lost too soon.
kind regards
Sarah x

Grumpy Old Ken said...

2nd attempt
(I am struggling to master the technicality involved in sending this message of condolence. Ironically Jo would be amused. I remember her thoughts when she first acquired an Apple Mac.)

I never met Jo but in a way I didn't need to. A lovely, humorous, lively lady whos love of life and her family shone through in everything she wrote.Us 'old uns' don't know everything, you know, Jo taught me things about life and how to live that will stay in my mind. Time will lesson the pain. Good memories of Jo will stay with you all forever. My thoughts are with you all.

Carolyn Trafford Art said...

Jo you were inspirational and your blog will be read for years to come. What better legacy.

So sorry to hear this news - my thoughts are with you at this difficult time.

Hadriana's Treasures said...

Thank you for letting us know about Jo's final days and moments. It is a comfort to know that she passed away peacefully and without pain.

I never met Jo but I've exchanged many conversations here, on my blog and by e-mail. She was a lovely, lovely person and she was always very supportive of what we are trying to achieve.

I could tell that she was much loved by her family and her friends. I'd always hoped that we would meet up for a coffee somewhere on the A69 or in Cumbria (which is next door for us)...I had always thought that she would recover fully from the operation and that we would have some time together to get to know one another better. Sadly this is now not to be...

I'll be thinking of you all in church right now. One day I hope to see where Jo is buried, beside her very much loved Dad, to leave some beautiful, bright yellow flowers in honour of a very special lady. She was an inspiration to us all!

Take care. Huge hugs from Catherine/Hadriana xx xx

Unknown said...

I was only thinking about Jo last week, that we hadn't heard from her for a while... Maybe she was giving me a nudge to get on her blog.

Jo was an inspiration, I compared her to my Mum who lived her last couple of years to the full too. People like Jo leave a little of herself with everyone she knows.

Thank you for being part of my life.

Sincere condolences to the family.


Gberger said...

Thinking of you today, Jo and family. When you make the posting of tributes, dare I ask that you include the program from Jo's service, for those of us who couldn't be there, and as many photos of her life as possible? I don't mean to ask too much or to burden you, but it would be such a comfort and a pleasure to be able to come back and "visit" Jo here. God bless you and comfort you all!

Anonymous said...

Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.

Jo really was a shining light and an inspiration to everyone. Jo emitted a warmth, energy and generosity that I have only rarely encountered before, and my one regret would be that I was unable to know her better.

Jo & Other Half - you inspired me to set up my business and for that I will always be grateful.

You may be gone dear Jo, but you will never ever be forgotten.

God Bless
Sandra & Trevor xxx

Pam said...

Thank you for adding this to her blog and letting us all know. She was such a nice person, such a funny and insightful blogger and she loved her family so much. Love to you all. x

Anonymous said...

I didn't know Jo beyond this blog - but her witty posts were always enjoyable. When she became ill I was inspired by her continued sense of humour and her desire to make the most out of life for her 'other half' and for her son. I'm so sorry to hear about her passing. It was a privilege to share an insight into her character and I will pray for her and for her family.