Emma Family MND Motor Neuron Disease

Celebrating the Life of Emma Berry Goodman

Celebrating the Life of Emma Berry Goodman

18th April 1991 – 7th September 2008

Emma Berry Goodman
Emma Berry Goodman

I’d like to thank EVERYONE for all of their gestures of kindness and support.
It lifted my heart to see everyone at Emma’s service wearing bright colours as was her wish.
Many people have asked for a copy of the tributes that were read during the service so I have posted them here:

Read By Laura Winchester

Do not stand at my grave and weep;
I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there. I did not die.

Read by Denise Dair (from Rachel House) on behalf of Aimee Corbett

When Tomorrow Starts Without Me
When tomorrow starts without me, and I am not here to see,
If the sun should rise and find your eyes all filled with tears for me,
I know how much you love me as much as I love you,
And each time you think of me I know you’ll miss me too.
But when tomorrow starts without me please try to understand,
That Jesus came and called my name and took me by the hand.
He said my place is ready in heaven far above,
And that I have to leave behind all those I dearly love.
But as I turned to walk away a tear fell from my eye,
For all my life I’d always thought it wasn’t my time to die.
I had so much to live for and so much yet to do,
It seems almost impossible that I was leaving you.
I thought of all the yesterdays the good ones and the bad,
I thought of all the love we shared and all the fun we had.
If I could have stayed for just a little while,
I’d say goodbye and kiss you and maybe see you smile.
But then I fully realise that this could never be,
For emptiness and memories would take the place of me.
And when I thought of worldly things that I’d miss come tomorrow,
I thought of you and when I did my heart was filled with sorrow.
But when I walked through Heaven’s gate and felt so much at home,
As God looked down and smiled at me from his great golden throne.
He said “This is eternity, And all I’ve promised you,
Today your life on earth is past, but here it starts anew.”
“I promise no tomorrow but today will always last,
And since each day’s the same here there’s no longing for the past.”
So when tomorrow starts without me don’t think we’re far apart,
For every time you think of me I’m right here in your heart.

Read By Rev. Alastair McKillop on behalf of Emma’s grandparents

Miss me, but let me go
When I come to the end of the road
And the sun has set for me.
I want no tears in a gloom filled room.
Why cry for a soul set free?

Miss me a little but not too long
And not with your head bowed low.
Remember the love that we once shared.
Miss me but let me go.

For this is a journey we all must take,
And all must go alone.
It’s part of the greater plan
A step on the road to home.

When you are lonely and sick of heart
Go to the friends we know
And bury your sorrows in doing good works
Miss me but let me go.

Read By Ross Goodman.

When I first met Elaine, Emma and Sarah; Emma was 4 and Sarah was 1. Sarah was learning to walk. Emma was just a typical four year old and into her hair and make-up. At that time, I had long hair and Emma loved nothing more than practicing her plaits, pony-tails and putting bobbles in my hair. I’m not sure who was more traumatised, me for forgetting I had them in, or Emma when I got my hair cut off. She did get a “Girls Worldâ€? dolls head so that she could keep practicing her technique.
Emma always amazed me with the range of hobbies and interests that she had and the enthusiasm she had when she threw herself into them. When she was young she loved dancing, especially highland dancing. This was something she held close throughout and Emma and I went to the Edinburgh tattoo a few weeks ago. This meant that I was thrown into the deep end, having to do Emma’s clothes, hair and makeup. I did my best but apparently the clown look is not in just now so an emergency phone call to Lynne saved my bacon. I’m not too worried as Emma was a perfectionist; there was no way that she would go out if everything was not JUST right. I know my place; the toothbrush was my job but hair and make-up brushes were off limits.
I also managed to get her involved in some of my hobbies, photography became a very keen interest, which was just so appropriate for her. I taught her the technicalities of how to take a photo and then she taught me how to slow down, look after the little details and how a small change in the point of view can make a HUGE difference to a photo, as indeed it does to life in general. As always Emma excelled, in this, setting up her enterprise at school called “A Gift From The Heartâ€? where she exhibited and sold her work. And as is typical Emma, all the proceeds from this went to charity.
Emma was very strong willed; to the point of converting me to watching Big Brother every night for the last 90 odd days. She loved the program. She often thought that she would love to be in the program but did not like the thought of everyone watching her ….. Luckily she is now in the House Of Our Lord, there are no more trials, no public scrutiny and no evictions.
My one dream is that I can prepare my children to walk in my footsteps. I’ve changed my mind now and I want to walk in Emma’s footsteps. Everyone knows that words can’t capture the spirit of Emma but what an act to follow:
Humour (she was the only one to laugh at my jokes), Courage, Bravery, Confidence, Dignity and Pride but mostly FUN
She was SO strong willed and knew exactly what she wanted, she also told us how to make today perfect for her, hence the kilts, the bright colours and the music selections. Shortly we will hear a song from Braveheart, one of her favourite films and poignant for so many reasons. One quote from the film that always sums up Emma’s life is :
“Every man dies, not every man really livesâ€?
Please Please; be like Emma: always live your life, always see the best in everyone, always have a smile for everyone.
Thanks everyone for joining us today and helping us through this difficult time.

In The News


Hamilton Advertiser

8 replies on “Celebrating the Life of Emma Berry Goodman”

Hi Ross,

I came across your website this afternoon. It looks impressive — I didn’t realize you were into all this IT stuff.

Actually, I had been sitting in the office thinking about Emma and contemplating the meaning of life and what it’s all about, and I decided to do a google search for motor neurone disease, etc., which led me to your site. You’ve done a really nice tribute to her — that’s a nice thing to have been able to do.

Mairi and I were deeply saddened at Emma’s death. We were aware that the long-term outlook wasn’t good, and that she had been steadily deteriorating for a while, but we didn’t realize that things had got to such a serious stage yet, so it came as quite a shock.

We had hoped that at least one of us would have been able to attend the funeral, but unfortunately we were in Spain this week and didn’t get home until 2pm yesterday afternoon, by which time the funeral had already taken place.

I hope you and the family are managing to cope all right. I think Mairi is planning to pop across and see Elaine sometime this weekend.

With best wishes,

David (from across the road at No. 53).

Hi Ross, Id just like to say well done to you and your family for staying soo strong at the funeral. I was, like everyone else, in floods of tears. I would just like you to know that Emma was the kindest and prettiest girl i had ever met. And she will not be forgotten. I attended the funeral in my Girls Brigad polo shirt in order to be there as an old friend of Emma, and also to help support Sarah, being a member of my Girls Brigade company. I would just like to say that I am always here for Sarah if she ever needs to talk to me. She knows where i am on a Tuesday night x. Stay Strong, Emma’s watchin over you all, like the angel she is xx Lots of love Claire Walsh x

Hey Ross, I dropped you a mail at your address but not sure if you got it as my outbound mail has been playing up.

I was very saddened to hear your news, my family’s thoughts are very much with yours at the moment.

Take care and be strong 😉

Thanks all for your kind thoughts.

Claire, it really helps Sarah to just stick to her routine.
Andy, yes I got your mail, I checked it for the first time today.


Hi Ross. I’m the “other” Ross Goodman. I wanted to tell you how sorry I was to read this terribly sad news. My heart goes out to you and your family.

Hello Ross and family

Really saddened to hear about Emma.

I send you my love, prayers and thoughts at this time.

We will light a candle for Emma at Sunday Mass and keep her in our prayers.

I send you all my love

Claire x

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