Madam, – Saturday’s Irish Times never fails to challenge us to “Think Anew” especially when reading the page dedicated to people departed. July 17th was no exception. These days one could be forgiven for thinking that older people are a problem to be solved, the cause of our current state and blocking progress. The life of Daisy Burgess clearly challenges that myth.
We had contact with Daisy for a number of years when she visited us in Trust.
While it is not our policy to pry, we heard something of her interesting life, her distinctive accent and lovely hair clearly identified her as being different. Daisy last visited us about 15-20 years ago. She was one of three extraordinary women known to us over the years who lived out their last years in St Mary’s Hospital, cared for with exceptional kindness by the staff there. All three women refused to fit definitions drawn up by experts, all challenged and inspired in equal measure.
In our rush to achieve success and “force” people to conform – all in the name of progress, especially in the field of homelessness, we are rapidly losing or ignoring the wisdom so essential for debate and progress. We need to reflect on and debate these issues to allow people to question, challenge and wonder at the world we live in, where all have a contribution to make.
Incidentally, when Daisy visited us in Trust, usually for a bath, she always declined tea or coffee, preferring instead a piece of fruit. We never had avocado skins to put in the bath for her to soak in, so she always brought her own. – Yours, etc,