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In Memory of Bernadette Gorman

Bernadette Brigid Gorman

Bernadette was a loving Daughter, Sister, Aunt and Friend who will be sorely missed. She loved all the connections with cousins and family in her younger years. Her love for her brothers Gervais and Tony, whom she was very close to, has kept their memories going since they passed. Bernadette would often talk fondly of them all being together with their mother, Frances, and experiences they had together growing up and in the years they spent together as adults in Woodlands. Bernadette was devastated by the loss of her father, Jack. She would talk of him daily and missed him just as much in later life as when he first passed. When her brother Tony passed, Bernadette missed him greatly and it was another loss which she never got over. Frances cared for Bernadette for nearly 50 years single handily to the age of 92, with little support, despite her own failing health. To stay together, they had a system which worked for them, of helping each other with day-to-day living. Bernadette would peel the vegetable and set the fire, with pride in her role of having helped her mother. Although they had their moments, Frances’s love for Bernadette was never wavering and she always did her best for her. Bernadette loved her mother Frances dearly, always concerned and thinking of her when they were apart, however brief the separation, always keen to return home to her and woodlands. Bernadette really appreciated every little thing her mother did for her, from the meals she cooked for her, the endless supply of cigarettes and the trips out. In the last few years, they struggled to be apart from each other, such was the bond of love and care between them.

Bernadette has always loved music and showed a passion for the latest trends. Woodlands has been filled with the sounds of Hot Chocolate and Gareth Gates for many years. Bernadette was Gareth Gates’s number 1 fan and was delighted to receive a video message from him at Christmas. Bernadette was a talented seamstress and dress maker. Her love of fashion and generous nature took her to the shops at Craigavon at every opportunity, buying not only the latest trends of Dungarees, ring watches and leather jackets, but presents for all the children she knew. Bernadette loved spending time with babies and children, never happier than when pushing a pram. Bernadette would always make sure to get Easter eggs, Christmas presents and treats for all the little ones she knew. Bernadette was generous, thoughtful and kind to everyone, always asking if other people were happy and well. Even in the last weeks and hours of her life she was thinking about other people. She had the biggest heart.

Bernadette was a bright and beautiful child. As an adult, Bernadette had a great sense of humour, was warm and kind. She had the ability to find humour in many situations and could leave everyone in the room in stitches with laughter. Her memory was never wavering, with the ability to recall most experiences and occasions, as well as the local history of all the places she knew round about in Gilford, Craigavon, Lurgan and Banbridge, from the jobs she had, people she met and trips to England to visit her brothers and sisters.

Bernadette worked from 16 until she became unwell in her early twenties, working in a variety of places, in Basseys and sewing at the Summerviles Factory in Portadown, as well as Charlie Monaghan’s office in Lurgan where she worked as a wages clerk. Bernadette enjoyed working, meeting new people and going out to the dance halls. Later, even though her mental health was poor she worked with her mother in the clothing shop that they had, Franettes in Banbridge. Based on their joint love of fashion the shop provided Bernadette with a role, when she had become too ill to work independently.

Despite many years struggling and suffering terribly with her mental health, Bernadette has spent the last few years well, happily enjoying trips out, sitting up watching old movies late into the night, sitting out the back enjoying a cigarette and holidays with the wonderful carers who have become part of her family life. Bernadette’s favourite holiday was to Cong with Jackie and Lorraine, visiting the John Wayne statue which reminded her so much of her father. The Carers have come into Bernadette’s life as her mother’s health has declined, providing love and support to Bernadette. They have lifted her up and brought Bernadette happiness through their acts of kindness, by inviting her into their homes and their families. Jackie became a surrogate parent to Bernadette providing her with security, comfort and love, as well as taking Bernadette into her family involving Bernadette with her children and grandchildren. During covid Jackie took Bernadette to nearly every hospital appointment, providing comfort, support and reassurance.
Bernadette enjoyed going to Bernie’s home for Sunday roast diner and she loved Bernie’s naughty sense of humour and would laugh at almost everything she said.
Bernadette loved Paula doing her hair which she tonged into perfect curls, making her feel beautiful. She got to know Paula’s children and enjoyed the time she spent with them especially Christmas Day watching them with their presents.
Bernadette enjoyed hearing all about Rachael’s family. Rachael brought fun into Bernadette’s life with endless jokes and singalongs to hot chocolate.
Bernadette loved Julie’s cooking and looked forward to the special times they had together after Frances had gone to bed, watching Vera, chatting and smoking on the back step. In Bernadette’s last moments she would have been comforted to know Julie was with her and held her in her arms until she passed away.
Bernadette greatly appreciated the times she spent with the Carers and their families, and all that they did for her, talking fondly of all the laughter and fun that they brought into her life.

With the passing of Bernadette, she will be greatly missed by those who loved her. The world is a better place for her having been in it and in our lives.

 

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