We held a private service for Margot yesterday at Mortlake Crematorium.
We are most grateful to Reverend Dorothy Moore Brooks, the Chaplain from Great Ormond Street Hospital who kindly agreed to lead the service and also to Bianca Effemey from the charity Momentum for all her fantastic help with the funeral arrangements & helping to make everything go so smoothly.
Yesterday was a beautiful tribute to Margot; The Bespoke Choir (a gospel choir) sang and after the welcome and prior to the Committal and Blessing, there were three readings:
The Starfish – read by Nadia Martini
The Face of Hope – read by Ed Chalmers and
“I love you Blue Kangaroo”, a book by Emma Chichester Clark – read by Emma Mills, Abi Donovan and Gretchen Drobnyk.
Vicki and I gave the following eulogies:
Margot was beautiful on the inside and out.
She was generous and thoughtful. Brave and considerate. Clever and funny. Cheeky and assertive.
She was a joy to have in our life.
I was so proud of her.
She was the little girl I had always wanted.
I had plans for Margot and I.
Things that I was looking forward to us doing together. Like buying shoes and her trying on my wedding dress…
Teaching her family recipes and how to use my sewing machine.
I feel distraught that I can’t have my daughter. And I will never get to do those simple things with her.
I feel robbed.
It’s so unfair.
I loved Margot with all my heart and I will miss her terribly.
We are saying goodbye to Margot today. But she continues to make me proud and my love for her will never diminish.
I will hold Margot in my heart forever.
by Victoria Martini, Margot’s mother
Thank you Dorothy and thank you all for being here with us today.
For me, Vicki summed it up last year when she described Margot as “the little girl we always dreamed of”.
I had a dream about Margot one night last week. It was beautiful. In my dream, she was in great form; she was well and full of energy & life – much as she actually was during her best weeks. It reminded me of how Margot loved life and how much she wanted to live ! The dream felt so real and I didn’t want it to end.
Of course, we all miss her so much.
On the morning after Margot died, Oscar said that he wished he could FaceTime Margot in heaven.
Oscar also said his own prayer after Margot died, which broadly went along the lines of: “Dear Margot, I’m sorry that I irritated you. Amen”.
Rufus, who once again is our youngest, is nevertheless able to tell us how angry he is with cancer and how sad he is that Margot has died.
Our whole family feels the same way Rufus.
We are heartbroken.
Margot was such a perfect, wonderful blessing; she enriched all of our lives.
And yet, I feel that Margot is still with us.
Last week, I went to spend some time at the Shooting Stars Hospice, which is where Margot’s body was resting, prior to coming here today.
I can tell you, Margot looks beautiful and very much at peace. She is wearing her white tutu and is wrapped in her favourite blankets. Her book: “I love you, Blue Kangaroo” is with her – in the last few weeks, she insisted on it being read to her before bedtime and she wouldn’t sleep without it being by her side. Whenever I read Margot that book and the main character said the words “I love you Blue Kangaroo”, I used to read the I love you part and Margot would finish the sentence.
Vicki had put some home comforts in the room at the hospice including a pink digital radio which she left on; it’s the same radio we had with us in Margot’s room during the weeks and months we were at Great Ormond Street Hospital. It’s the radio we used to sing and dance to.
I had only been by Margot’s bedside for a couple of minutes, frankly just long enough for me to wonder what I was doing there, when a song started to play on the radio – it was the Ellie Goulding song: “how long will I love you”. It’s the song that will forever be known as ‘Margot’s song’. And I felt, at that moment, Margot was reaching out to me from wherever she is and was letting me know that she’s OK.
I feel you Margot.
And I know that Margot will always stay with us. In our hearts and in our memories. And hopefully she will regularly grace us in our dreams.
By the time Margot was diagnosed with leukaemia, her character & personality was already shining through. It sounds ridiculous to say it, but until diagnosis, we didn’t know she was that unwell – Margot’s strength and sheer will to ‘get on’ and live her life didn’t allow the disease to become obvious, until it was at a very advanced stage.
That’s something the doctors and nurses remarked upon repeatedly & often when examining Margot – her general demeanor & well being didn’t ever match with her ‘numbers’.
Margot’s personality & aura was such that she quickly formed bonds with people, literally on sight and at first hello and there are many instances I can think of where Margot’s relationships with the doctors and nurses went beyond the professional : doctor / patient or carer / patient relationship.
So it’s easy for us to understand how she was loved so much and by so many.
I think we were fortunate that Margot was old enough and sufficiently aware to know that she was loved. It was clear that she felt the love from those around her ; and she was also able to express her love and affection for others.
So we take some comfort that when Margot finally passed away, she did so peacefully and knowing that she was loved and not alone.
It was Dr Seuss who said: “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened”.
This is how we wish to remember our daughter and also how we would like others to feel about Margot, her journey, the incredible impact she had on people whilst she was with us and the legacy she leaves behind.
This is after all a celebration of her life.
Margot lit a flame in us and in so many others, none more so than the people that rallied around during the darkest days. It was these same people, you, that helped us find purpose and at times, perspective, even when going through something as unthinkable as losing a child. We’ve taken to calling & referring to these wonderful people as: Team Margot.
In her short life on earth, Margot made an impression – one that isn’t measurable by the time she was with us, but instead by the positive impact her inspiration has given & will continue to give to others; other daughters, sons, mums and dads, other families, friends & complete strangers – we can all feel so very proud of her for that.
Margot’s appeal for a donor and the subsequent Team Margot initiatives already mean that the lives of more than 500 people will be saved, or at least – because we know that there are no guarantees – they will have what we are so grateful for having enjoyed: extended time with the family & with loved ones – a priceless gift.
It’s our intention to keep Margot’s energy alive and to harness the inspiration she brought to so many people all over the world, for the good of others in need.
We hope that our continued efforts in Margot’s name will assist in further raising global awareness about the need for more stem cell donor recruits, and encourage greater understanding about what’s involved and just how easy it really is to save a life.
We love you Margot.
May Almighty God rest her soul in peace.
by Yaser Martini, Margot’s father
Thank you for all your love and support.
5 November 2014
Husband to Vicki and father to Oscar (2007), Rufus (2008), Digby (2015), Humphrey (2017) & Margot (2012-2014)
Team Margot’s mission
To help save and improve lives by educating, inspiring and motivating people, especially from ethnically diverse communities, to register as blood, organ, stem cell and bone marrow donors and to provide a range of support to families caring for child cancer patients.
Team Margot also provides secretariat support to the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Ethnicity Transplantation and Transfusion.