The 20th of May marks three years since Robin’s tragic and untimely passing. For me, the entire family and for all the fans, this is an emotional time. Having the Headstone in place lends the sense of finality to the process even though we are emerging from the fog of the last three years. Like millions of people in mourning throughout the world, I too have learned that mourning comes in waves, sparked by a thought, a remembrance or the voice of the loved one. The feelings would be completely overwhelming were they to present themselves all at once. Going through the planning of Robin’s Headstone was an interesting and uplifting process in itself with a tremendous responsibility in knowing that this has to last for all eternity.
We thank the acclaimed stone-sculptor and scribe Martin Cook, a gold medal award winner and a brilliant hand-carver and calligrapher, who gave us a visual representation of Robin’s life in stone. Over 500 hours of carving gave us this beautiful work. We also thank Martin’s son Matthew who assisted with some of the unique lettering chosen by Martin. Matthew continues the family tradition in his father’s studio. The stone was brought to Thame on the afternoon of the 13th May. It was our wish to make the Memorial Stone special with an ancient Celtic rendition that reflects Robin’s birthright of these Isles. We conformed to the wishes of the Church in a representation that was spiritual but still retained the freedom of creativity.
We thank the Reverend Alan Garratt at St. Mary’s Church (Thame Saint Mary the Virgin Church) for his expert advice and for helping us put forward the request to carve on both sides of the Headstone, something which is not usual. We submitted the design and it was accepted, because it was artistic and the lyrics were of a spiritual nature, and also because of the unique position of the grave. The morning and evening sun bathes the stone with rare light.
The stone is Kilkenny Blue Marble, which is really a very hard limestone. Martin sourced it from a quarry in Ireland. We have several animal and bird statues of the same stone sculpted by the acclaimed sculptor Michael Cooper who thankfully introduced us to Martin Cook. These are displayed in the garden of The Prebendal and were especially loved by Robin. So we know he would approve of the chosen stone.
R-J and Megan’s son Max, (our first grandchild Maxwell-Robin) watched with me as his Grandfather’s stone was put in place. He was supposed to be having an afternoon nap in his pram but became wide awake when he saw the activity and all the tools being used to put the stone in place. He also desperately wished to play with the little angels, photos and toys placed on the grave by fans.
Later, we will have a special blessing ceremony for the Memorial Stone when the families are together in the UK. We are also going to re-do the carving of the letters on Andy’s little memorial stone as it has become rather weathered. It is nearby to Robin’s grave. Andy, of course, is at Forest Lawn in LA, but fans from Europe like to visit some little memorial to him here. I have asked Martin to help us with this.
Thank you for your good wishes and patience. We hope you love our special stone.
Much Love and Good Wishes from Dwina and the Gibb Clan.