Pippa Rea

Pippa's Journey with a Brain Tumour

Farewell to our Beautiful Pippa

Pippa's Sunset

I knew exactly how I wanted to farewell Pippa……something perfectly Pippa and very much reflecting life.

We started in Warrnambool’s tranquil botanical gardens in the afternoon sunshine surrounded by birds, flowers, trees and ducks.  We walked across the little stone bridge that Pippa had run over, fed ducks from and poked her head through many times.  A huge crowd graced the sloping grassy hill.  There were so many people, yet by the many messages I had received, I also knew there were so many who were unable to attend.

Children collected a bookmark as a keepsake to remember Pippa by.

Pippa herself was brought to life on the large screen in videos and photos – singing, dancing, drumming, running, cartwheeling, smiling………..always smiling.

I wanted people, particularly children,  to be able to look at Pippa’s casket and rather than thinking about what was on the inside, wonder at what was on the outside……

a collection of her drawings…….


Once again, my boys took my breath away and I had to draw on all my strength not to cry as they each stood at the microphone to read the Eulogies they had written for Pippa:

James’ Eulogy……….

Pippa is my best friend.

There are many things I love doing with Pippa.  Things like piggy backs, plenty of adventures and very recently, swimming in the pool and walking to and from school in the chair with Pippa.  Pippa has given all of us lots of wisdom and advice.  As a family we have done so much.  There are thousands of things to say about Pippa.

I would really like to thank all of the people and friends. that supported me and my family.  There are just too many people to mention but I would particularly like to say thanks to Darcy, Harvey, Ryan, Jack, Harry and Lucas for always being there to support me.

Even though Pippa is not here anymore, she will always be with us.

Patrick’s Eulogy……..

I’ll never forget how much Pippa has helped me throughout my life.  She is the most kind, helpful, caring, and generous person I’ll ever meet.  We shared so many great memories together from going to Paris to snorkelling in the Great Barrier Reef.  I would also like to thank all of my family and friends for their support and help throughout this journey.  

I’ll miss you Pippa.

Pippa’s Heaven…….(my Eulogy)

Pippas Heaven

One day Pippa had the opportunity to draw her picture of heaven and then when she was finished she wanted to explain it to me………

Pippa’s heaven is beautiful. It is full of life. It has stars, music, birds, flowers, water, puppy dogs and bunny rabbits. It has a big yellow castle where she will live. It sits on top of the clouds.I asked Pippa if that was the staircase to heaven. She said, “no mummy, that is a ladder so you can climb up and visit me.”  She wrote a list of other names who could also climb the ladder to visit her but she ran out of room on the piece of paper so she wrote……and lots more people.

 I asked Pippa about the rain.

“It’s not rain mummy, it’s drops of water.”

“When you feel drops of water on your face you will know I want you to come and visit me for a while.”

In these last few months Pippa has asked me to read her the Enchanted Wood and the Far Away Tree.

It has helped calm her and has resonated and extended these thoughts of Heaven.

To her, heaven is like the Far Away Tree.

Full of magic and wonder……


We have been lucky to have the time we did to share so many special memories with Pippa before saying goodbye……..

Time when she was perfectly well and able to enjoy everything……

Holidays, dreams, friends, family..…… Memories……

Over the years we have marveled at her skills in sport,

and now more recently, her maths and games of both strategy and luck.

Her mind, memory and cheeky spirit remained with her until the very end.


Pippa’s determination and “can do attitude” never faulted. On Sunday she typed on her ipad……….

“Remember what we said last time? When we go to the beach again we could try a nippers board. Well, today I am feeling good.”

 We went to the beach to use the beach wheel chair.  I knew a nippers board wouldn’t be possible.

I told her, “Pippa darling, Marli, Rebel, Mark and Jason are all not at the Surf Club today so really I can’t think of anyone else to help you try a nippers board.”

 We got to the beach and John Cook came up to us.  I said, “Pippa, this is John. I know John. We can trust him to lift you safely into the beach chair.”

 Pippa’s eyes lit up and she said, “Great! He can help me on the nippers board too!”

Boy she was tough! 

We suggested she see how the water feels – maybe it might be too cold on her tummy.

John pushed her into the water so her toes could get wet……..

Like that was going to cut it!

 She signaled to go out further and further……..staying in and waiting to get used to the freezing water.  Covered in goose bumps we got dumped by a wave and eventually went back in. It was a bit too cold to try a nippers board.

 But it wasn’t too cold for ice cream.  We went to the kiosk and with that same determination Pippa insisted the wheel chair be removed and she not only stood, but walked along the freezer to choose an ice cream…….by herself.


Pippa was very frank and always said exactly what she thought but with just the right amount of sweetness and a special touch of spark ……..

 One day a year or so ago we were sitting in my Auntie’s kitchen. Pippa looked at Camille and said,

“You’re pretty old.  How old are you?”

Camille laughed and replied, 83

Pippa said, “Yes, I thought so.  You must be just about ready to die!  I know that because most people die in their 80s so you’ll probably die soon.”

Pippa was always helping others or making them feel better about themselves………

Whether it was sorting out disagreements in the playground at school, helping shy children settle into school, encouraging someone to try something new and not be frightened, or helping out a stranger……She always had an understanding of what others needed and how they were feeling.

 Pippa looked after her friends. If you were ever invited over for cooking it was probably because she thought you needed a little extra love.  On Tuesday she told me she wasn’t feeling well enough to go and watch Patrick running in the district athletics. Instead she cooked cupcakes and arranged them beautifully on her cup cake stand for him so he knew she had been thinking of him.

I want to share a card that I received this week. When I opened it I jumped for joy and immediately thought how much Pippa would love to know that Sara her old neighbour was thinking of her………….

Dear Virginia, James & Patrick………

Sincere condolences over the loss of Pippa who was such a bright spark.

She filled so many people with such joy, and I feel lucky to have shared a little piece of her life. I will always remember her happiness, sense of adventure and, mostly, her frank and unreserved honesty.  She shared many pearlers that left me in stitches, but I think my favourite was when she said to me,  “Sometimes my mum sends me over to ask for parsley or tomatoes from your garden. But your aren’t here very much, so I just take them anyway”  Remembering that still makes me laugh!

I will miss my little garden helper, and the ladder her brothers lovingly made for her to visit her neighbours.

Thinking of you all at this time,

Sara, Amy and Hayley, your former neighbours from over the fence.


Pippa was charming, intelligent, a spark, full of happiness, energy and spirit.

She had an aura that captured everyone. She used to say to me, “Mum, no matter where we are when I walk down a street people look at me and smile……….”

Her beautiful blue eyes that drew everyone in remained full of life until the very end.


Pippa knows how much she is loved and by how many people.

Pippa has especially felt the love of her brothers James and Patrick – The best brothers in the world.

They have loved, cared for and protected her not just this past 21 months, but for 11 years.

Pippa made every day count and James and Patrick have been part of every single day.


Pippa knows everyone will be sad. And she knows everyone will be sad for a long time.

It’s OK to be sad, she said.  It’s OK to have Sad Feelings and Happy Memories.


We all have so much and so many different ways to remember Pippa.

 We will all remember her long hair,

We will all remember her sparkling blue eyes,

We will all remember her cheeky smile…….


Pippa, so full of life…….

A Perfect, Angelic Doll inside and outside


Sad Feelings and Happy Memories


Pippa, my poppet, my darling, my soul mate, my sunshine, my sparkle, my light, my sweetheart………

 You will always and forever be with me.

You will live on inside me forever.

You will always be “Legs Eleven”


Pippa, no one will ever……………….love you as much as I do

We finished with blessings and everyone then closed their eyes and listened to the sound of the meditative singing bowl which Pippa loved to relax to at the end of her yoga meditations with Patricia.

It was a sad but beautiful day.  The sun came out as we entered across the bridge, birds chattered and squawked above in the tree tops, ducks swam on the pond behind the stage, a helicopter flew overhead as I read my Eulogy and a gust of wind swept through as Pippa’s casket was lifted to depart the gardens.

We farewelled Pippa at the bridge whilst listening to a passage from the Far Away Tree.  I watched her butterfly painting on the end of her casket go perfectly over the magical little stone bridge and disappear canopied by the weeping willow trees

Our final farewell for Pippa was placing frangipanis in the beach off the jetty………

The moon came out from behind the cloud at exactly the same time James, Patrick and I stood at the end and threw ours in together…….

A perfectly beautiful finale for a perfectly beautiful girl…………

“Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Some people move our souls to dance. They awaken us to a new understanding with the passing whisper of their wisdom. Some people make the sky more beautiful to gaze upon. They stay in our lives for awhile, leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never, ever the same.”

-Flavia Weedn

Thank You to every single person who came (and also to those who couldn’t) to support James, Patrick and me yesterday in our perfectly beautiful tribute to Pippa, the wondrous life life that she had and the truly amazing person that she is.


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