A time for peace

“The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.”

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost


A friend of mine died last week-end. Finding her was oh so hard, but she’s at peace and her trusty dog stayed by her side until help arrived. As the details are dealt with, and no one’s business but hers alone, it’s time to celebrate the woman she was.

Vanessa Packman was known by many in our small community and beyond. She was active in several groups, most of which supported animal welfare, and the celebration of what was good about our community.

But more than being the consummate volunteer and community supporter, Vanessa was a whimsical soul. She saw beauty and hope around many corners and dreamed of a better world for all, especially our animal friends.

Last year, for her 50th birthday celebration, her friends got together to host a surprise “Alice in Wonderland” themed garden party. Vanessa was most definitely surprised.

Vanessa arriving at her party

She quickly joined into the spirit of the occasion, donning a special gown just for the occasion.

‘Nessa in Wonderland

A buffet meal suitable to a garden tea party was presented along with the requisite cake and most thoughtful gifts.  As queen for the day, Vanessa reigned over the assembled group with aplomb. Her “Lady in Waiting”, KC, was never far from her side (and the food).

“Lady in Waiting”, KC

Whatever else was going on in her life, Vanessa always had time to talk to her friends, share the bounty of her garden, and ask after others’ families and wellbeing. Those who knew and cherished her will miss her bright smile and never-ending ideas for the betterment of all.

Cheers and “pinky up” my friend. Rest in Peace.

Vanessa and I at her garden party.



This entry was posted in BLOG, caring, New Brunswick, seasons and tagged , , , .


  1. Linda Mary Kerwin January 23, 2018 at 8:01 pm #

    Oh my heavens Ceci. I am so sorry for your loss. I can’t even imagine experiencing the tragic death of your friend, let alone finding her deceased , with her faithful and loyal companion beside her body.
    She sounded like a terrific lady, who was extremely creative, and her passion in making this a better
    place for humans and especially animals to live. Anyone who loved animals as much as she did, would exist in my world.
    Ceci, as only you can do, is to write an amazing tribute and story of happier times.
    God Bless You Ceci. I hope her dog is doing OK.

  2. Deborah Carr January 18, 2018 at 2:49 pm #

    Ceci, I am so very sorry about your friend, Vanessa. She sounds like my kinda gal. What a beautiful tribute and images you’ve shared in her memory.

  3. Glen McGuire January 17, 2018 at 5:58 pm #

    Vanessa was my friend. We worked together for many years with the NB SPCA. She ws the most positive, upbeat, caring soul. She will be well remembered by the countless people and animals she touched.

  4. Glen McGuire January 17, 2018 at 5:54 pm #

    Vanessa was my friend. We worked together with the NB SPCA for many years. She was shining soul-always positive and always loving. She will be missed.

  5. Charlene MacKenzie January 17, 2018 at 10:47 am #

    This was certainly a shock. I’m so sorry to hear of her sudden passing. Yes, “whimsical soul” is the perfect description of her. She was a fierce advocate of her community and a collector and promoter of history and lore. She was “good people” and will be missed.

  6. Sue mcfarland January 17, 2018 at 5:38 am #

    Iā€™m so sorry to hear this. Vanessa was such a kind soul. Gone too soon. šŸ’”

  7. Steve Boyko January 17, 2018 at 1:24 am #

    So sorry to hear about Vanessa. It’s been years since I’ve seen her but she was one of the good ones.. a very kind, cheerful and *good* person.

  8. Angela January 16, 2018 at 9:24 pm #

    To say good bye so soon to such a wonderful being. I shall miss her smile whenever our paths have crossed.

  9. Nancy McAlinden January 16, 2018 at 9:10 pm #

    My condolences on your loss, Ceci. Your friend was lucky to have such a friend in you, who cherished her gifts and celebrated her character.

  10. Nancy January 16, 2018 at 7:22 pm #

    It was a great and very heart felt tribute. Vanessa will be sadly missed

  11. Mary January 16, 2018 at 5:10 pm #

    And she certainly loved a good pun! Even though I never met her face to face….we connected on Facebook with a similar sense of humour…and her messages brightened many a day. I will miss that!

  12. Helen joyce January 16, 2018 at 4:57 pm #

    So sorry for the loss of your friend Ceci. She looked like a beautiful and loving person. Hugs for you my friend.

  13. Helen joyce January 16, 2018 at 4:55 pm #

    So sorry for the loss of your friend Ceci. She looked and sounded like a beautiful soul. Hugs for you friend.

  14. Judi Stiles January 16, 2018 at 4:49 pm #

    A very very sad end to a lovely life. But perhaps she would prefer an unexpected death at home to having to go to a hospital. RIP Vanessa.

  15. Beth Green January 16, 2018 at 4:42 pm #

    A shining light gone out too soon. RIP

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