With great sadness I have to tell you all that Elaine died at home this morning at 2.20am.

Her daughter Kate and I were with her, and she died very peacefully from liver failure.

She was in no pain but had stopped being able to communicate with us on Saturday.

As her friends learn of her death, we are receiving cards and emails. This is from one and is typical: “her writings, her ability, her infectious humour and her kindness – she leaves a legacy of wonderful memories.”

I will post funeral details as soon as we have them arranged. And we are thinking about a memorial page for friends to post comments

Thanks to everyone for all their support. I knew it was coming but I am missing her with such a passion.

We were together for 26 years and the closest of kindred spirits.

67 thoughts on “Farewell

  1. Amy

    I’m so sorry to hear this. I never met Elaine personally but had many email conversations with her regarding Sylvia Plath, and I think she did an amazing job moderating the online Plath forum. We will all miss her terribly over there.

  2. Colm

    I was so so sad to hear the news. Elaine had such strength and courage, she was a real inspiration to so many people, so full of warmth and humour.

    She will live on in people’s hearts as a beacon of what life is all about.

    RIP Elaine. Love to Chris, Kate and Morgan.

  3. Dee (Arched Eyebrow)

    Elaine….I KNOW you are with us in spirit darling.

    It may be insensitive to post it here, but in the early hours of Monday I woke from a dream in my hospital bed screaming “OH NO Elaine!” The nurses said I was shouting her name.

    I am now home, and my daughter has helped me to the PC and the website….so I could confirm that Elaine had left us. An incredible warm, creamy yellow, intensely bright light followed a second of pitch blackness….in which I knew Elaine’s earthly light had gone out. I don’t claim to be a mystic, a psychic…or anything…I am shocked that this happened to me….and certainly wouldn’t post it here if it were not the truth.

    It has been my privilege and pleasure to have known you Elaine, albeit online, and I thank you for the times we shared, the discussions we had, the bond we discovered, in our lives, family and teaching experiences. You were an incredible woman…a brave, clever, warm, feisty soul. It’s a cliche, but the world really is a colder place without you. More than ever, I know your spirit lives on, and you’ll not be forgotten by those whose lives you touched.

    Chris, Morgan and Kate…..Elaine gave us glimpses of your lives too…(she wrote so well ) so I feel I almost ‘know’ you as a family. She loved you so much. I am thinking of you all and sending much love in what must be an incredibly sad and painful time for you.

    She has gone on, into that bright light…I am relieved her pain has ended….but like so many, I miss her and know I’ll never forget her.

    Thanks for the memories Elaine. Your spirit lives on.

    Much love to you all.


  4. oldfriend

    Elaine and I shared a past in Manchester as well as a present in Hebden Bridge.We met at St Johns College when we were both studying for A levels and she held a post on the student union committee. This was in 1969 . I was quite in awe of her , she was so feisty and already had a political sensitivity and maturity I was yet to develop. She was 17 at the time. Looking typical of her generation she had long curly hair , round John Lennon glasses, kaftans ,and , very alluringly, tendencies towards communism – she was the business as far as I was concerned.

    Some years later I came to live in Hebden Bridge and it was Elaine who spotted me before I her, she having an unbelievable memory for detail, remembering me and our past and reminding me just why I had been in awe of her at the time. We subsequently shared some happy times, reminiscing about our shared friends and experiences in our youth and at college, but mainly our conversations were about putting the world to rights and keeping to our values in doing so. Elaine was always committed to those values .Ever prescient ,one of the last conversations I had with Elaine was about asbos and young people and if they worked or not , both of us agreeing that there had to be another way. Assertively as ever Elaine suggested that National Service for young men 17-19 should be reinstated- we disagreed but I didn’t have any better suggestion myself. And really that was what I loved about her- Elaine would always go out on a limb and say what she believed no matter how contraversial that would turn out to be [both political parties have recently suggested the same]. I wasn’t suprised when she started keeping her blog about her experiences of her illness- it was just so typical really.

    Thank you Elaine for all those years. I have great memories of you . Peace.

  5. Tafkam

    Would that we could all see such words of appreciation upon our own passing. Testament indeed to the power of the words she shared with so many, moreso than surely she ever realised.
    I didn’t know ElaineC as a woman burdened with terrible illness. I only met her once in Manchester, where she was a humorous and entertaining intellect. I became aware of the cancer, but never followed the story closely. And so for me, it is the loss of that vibrant and entertaining woman that I will recall, nothing more or less.
    And from what I read now, it is clear that her family were a credit to her, as was she to them.
    Best of Wishes

  6. Tigerlily

    Just wanted to say how sorry I am to hear about Elaine. She was a lovely lady and has given me some great advice thoughout the years on TES. My sincere condolences to all her family and friends.
    Rest in peace Elaine.

  7. stinkerbell

    Oh Elaine

    I will miss knowing you and the words of support you somehow had strength to give me.

    You see, we were in touch over the past year and a half via email. That contact meant a lot to me.

    I am thinking of you and hoping you find comfort in the thought that she touched so many.

    Much love

  8. Viv Steadman (Stedders)

    Hi to all that knew and loved Elaine,

    I haven’t seen anyone else make the comparison, but although they achieved in different ways in the face of adversity, I don’t think it is an overstatement to say that Elaine could be put on a similar pedestal to Jane Tomlinson, who has also recently passed away after a major fight against cancer.

    Both women had amazing support from their families and a complete unwillingness to allow the disease to have control over them while they could help it.

    I enjoyed “knowing” Elaine. She was amazingly compassionate, extremely knowledgable about her subject, and quite a few other things too.

    Best wishes to Chris, Morgan and Kate. Anything like “the pain will recede as time goes by” is totally the wrong thing to say just now, even though in my experience it can sometimes be the case, so I’ll just send you all my best wishes and although I cannot attend Elaine’s funeral on Friday, I don’t think I’ll be the only one thinking of her frequently on Friday and afterwards.


  9. Trebizond (Julia)

    As a Tesser I always admired Elaine: she was, undoubtedly, a person whose intelligence, thorough understanding and wicked humour shone through always. Never afraid to fight her corner she did so with beautiful manners and kindness. I may have never met her in real life but I cannot think of another ‘online’ person whose passing would affect me the way Elaine’s has: she was an absolute privilege to converse with and the online and real world is a less bright place without her.

    To Chris, Morgan and Kate I send every kind wish and condolence at this heartbreaking news.

  10. Janey (MrH)

    ELaine – you were one of the most inspiring people I’ve ever ‘known’ (even though we never met!) – the world will be a duller place without you. God bless – rest well XXx

  11. Mrs H (Janey)

    To Chris, Kate and Morgan
    I’ve been following Elaine’s story for a while and I’m sure you already know what ahuge impact she has made on the lives of Tessers and Infet members. Her strength of character and sense of humour touched many many more people than ever contributed to her threads – for every person that actually ‘spoke’ to her there were probably at least 20 who read and followed her story but didn’t want to ‘intrude’. I truly hope that she knew what an inspiration she was/is.
    I hope you all know how proud she was of you- she loved you all dearly, and this was always clear- (even through the grumbles). You have been a strong, supportive family throughout the illness – and you’ve all been through so much yourselves. I just hope that you have the strength left between you to get through this. take care

    Jane x

  12. SarahM1

    Dear Chris, Morgan and Kate,
    A wonderful lady has left the lives of many people this week. There are many of us who never met her in real life, but will miss her intelligent wit and compassion. I have followed the story of her battle for a long time now, and yet could not believe that this was the end until today. She was very proud of all of you and loved you dearly. Take care of yourselves, and remember what a wonderful person she was to have touched so many lives.
    Sarah xxx

  13. Yu

    Dear Elaine and her family,

    I’m very sorry to hear of her loss. She was my teacher for a short time,
    but I have been affectionate to her. Her English was great, and I would like to be that good one day. I wish well to Morgan, who I heard is in Cambridge University, and to Chris and Kate. I don’t really know what to say because I’m very shocked. I am very sorry. My family sends their wishs to Elaine and her family.
    Please Rest In Peace,

    Yours sincerely,

  14. rosencrantzand (rosie)

    I am grateful for the bond that Elaine created through cyberspace – her energy, honesty and clarity have sustained me through difficult times. We shared a common loathing of the nonesensical beast that is the NHS and an undying gratitude to those who work in it to ease pain and suffering. My thoughts are with you all.

  15. Sarah

    Elaine gave me such useful advice, she didn’t need to, she didn’t know me, but she gave willingly of her time and wisdom. Her help and advice made a difference to us and I shall always remember her humour and strength in the face of what she had to deal with.

    With my love and sincere condolences to Chris, Morgan and Kate.

    frogger (Sarah) a fellow TES member

    Sleep well Elaine and thank you

  16. valleygirl

    You can see from the amount of tessers, that Elaine touched a lot of people on this site. The shock and sadness that is running through TES today shows how special she was. I came across Elaine a few times in my postings and she always seems a caring and wonderful woman, I will never forget the pride in her thread when it was A’level reult day.

    I’m so sorry for your loss.

  17. valleygirl

    You can see from the amount of tessers, that Elaine touched a lot of people on this site. The shock and sadness that is running through TES today shows how special she was. I came across Elaine a few times in my postings and she always seems a caring and wonderful woman, I will never forget the pride in her thread when it was A’level reult day.

    I’m so sorry for you loss.

  18. Chris Reason

    Oh my word, I am so sorry to read this news. I so enjoyed visiting Elaine and learning from her these last twelve months. My heart goes out to you, Chris.

  19. Claire(Vendredi)

    Elaine was a lovely lady who will always be remembered by the many people whose lives she touched.
    My sympathies and thoughts are with you..

  20. isla

    It is kind of amazing that someone you never met or even spoke to can still have an impact on your life – but that was Elaine. I witnessed not only her wit, humour and warmth on TES but also saw someone of immense courage, spirit and love deal with the illness she faced in a way I am not at all sure I could do myself. The impact of a life like this lives on. In you, her family, her children, on all those whose lives she touched and helped – even if she did not know it. What a legacy. In time, that may ease your pain and loss somewhat, though for now I know all that will seem real is the loss. Be kind, very very kind to yourselves, take all the time you need to grieve – and to celebrate where you can ( it is ok to laugh!) – and find ways to say your own goodbyes and come to a peace that will sustain you through the pain. You are in my thoughts.

  21. enigmatic

    I’m so sad and so sorry to hear about Elaine’s passing. She was a fantastically inspirational woman – kind, wise, funny, compassionate, with a love of life matched only by her love for her family. I feel so privileged to have been able to ‘know’ her a little through TES.

    I don’t have any words to express how I feel about the loss of her, or for the deep sympathy I have for Chris, Kate and Morgan. I know that she drew strength from her favourite literature and amongst that were the poems of Dylan Thomas. Her posting ‘Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night’ introduced me to him and for that I will always be profoundly grateful, but it is lines from another poem of his that springs to my mind at this time:

    Though they sink through the sea they shall rise again;
    Though lovers be lost love shall not;
    And death shall have no dominion.

    Death has no dominion over Elaine’s life because she will be remembered with love by so many for so long.

  22. flobbalobb

    Yet another tesser, she will indeed be sorely missed, we all thought we would never see this day, she fought so hard but made it look easy!

    A consulation is that she is now free from pain. Alas you all have another pain,so deep in your heart. Sometime you will remember the goodtimes and that pain will become less intense.

    Never met but conversed several times, a lovely lady!

  23. di Smith

    Cant’ add to all wonderful tributes to Elaine Chris – she is now at peace & will never be far from those she loved & who loved her – keep that with you in the dark days ahad. Love & peaceful prayers to you. Kate & Morgan XXXXXXX

  24. Joy(ilovesooty)

    My internet access has been down and only restored this morning, Chris, so have not been able to respond before now.

    Elaine was a brave, inspiring, and compassionate woman with a keen intellect and a wonderful sense of humour. I feel privileged to have known her and feel a great sense of loss.

    She was so proud of her family and I’m so glad she lived to see Morgan’s achievements thus far.

    She loved you all so much. Chris, Kate and Morgan: hold onto that knowledge.

    My thoughts are with you all.


  25. Kate

    I have been reading Elaine’s story for a long time now. There are no words to express my empathy for you all. One of the most important things for you to know is that she asked people on TES to tell you she loved you and felt loved and supported at the end.

  26. Angelfish1

    Like so many others, I followed Elaine’s threads on the TES site. She was a truly amazing woman with such courage and concern for every person she came across. Her patience, understanding, intelligence and humour lasted right to the end. If we who did not know her will miss her, I can only imagine what it must be like for you, her family. All my thoughts and sympathies are with you,


  27. welshsunshine1

    I often read Elaine’s posts on the TES website and she brought a warmth and sense of humour to these posts, even when she was at her lowest ebb. Reading of Elaine’s death brought back painful memories, as I lost my own mother last year to the same disease. Take care of yourself and those around you, everyone at TES is thinking of you. RIP Elaine.

  28. jill r

    So sad to learn the news. My thoughts and prayers are with Chris, Kate and Morgan.

    I owe Elaine a great deal- she it was who picked up the previously unwanted manuscript of ‘Berringden Brow’ from the kitchen table, began to read it, and to laugh. What a wonderful opportunity she gave me.
    And then from being my editor she became a good friend.

    On;y a couple of weeks ago we spent an hour putting the ‘world to rights’ – I really had not intended to stay so long, but she wanted to talk…I shall miss her very much, as will all those whose lives she has touched.

  29. coxshaw

    Another Tesser here; I never knew Elaine personally but was inspired by her honesty and sense of humour during her journey.

    She often talked about her love for her family. Here are some words for Chris from Elaine’s ‘Just no end to it’ thread on TES:

    ‘I know I’ve had my moans & groans about MrC on the forum over the years. But I have to say that mostly he’s been amazing & now I feel very established in his love for me. I’ve done a lot of lashing out at him and my daughter especially. I tell him I love him but when I am gone if you all can please tell him about my love for him if you can.’

    My thoughts are with Elaine’s family and friends.

  30. Preschool

    Elaine touched many lives. I never met her but read her posts on TES and she became an inspiration for many. My thoughts are with you all at this sad time.

  31. sunflower

    Elaine touched us all on the TES so much, with her wise comments and stoicism through her illness. She talked about you, her family, so much and told us of her deep love for you all, and her pride at Morgan getting his Uni place, and she felt incredibly loved by you all.

    We TESsers will miss her so much. She was a very special, inspirational person. My thoughts & prayers are with you, Chris, Kate & Morgan.

  32. slieber24

    Elaine was there for me in my most desperate hour, only a couple of years ago. I wish I could have been there for her. She will be greatly missed by me, by us all.

    “Time is not what you think. Dying? Not the end of everything. We think it is. But what happens on earth is only the beginning.”

    (Mitch Albom, from “The Five People You Meet in Heaven”)

  33. celticqueen

    My thoughts are with you, Chris, Kate and Morgan.

    I shall sorely miss my emails with Elaine, our debates, our jokes, she has been a part of my life for so long.

    Nothing compared to what you must be going through and I know Elaine was so worried about leaving you.

    She was a very special person. We are all lucky that our lives were touched by her.

    RIP, dear Elaine xx

  34. SueV

    What an an amazing person- I have never met anyone like her for wit, humour, generosity of spirit and sheer love of life. She will stay in the hearts of thousands, that’s for sure.

    Sue V

  35. gillw

    Like many others, I never met Elaine but was privileged to know her through the TES forum over the last 5 years. Her wisdom and strength were an inspiration. She was so proud of her family and felt very loved and supported by them at the end of her too short life.

    A very special person who will be greatly missed.

  36. Shannagh

    Although Elaine was only my English teacher from January to July of this year she brought stories out of me that I did not know I could write. She will be missed by us all at Briteschool. I am so sorry for yours and our loss.

  37. Marion

    Chris, You have entered the bottomless pit of aching loneliness which is the loss of your dearest Elaine. No words any of us can utter will ease your pain of loss but perhaps these words which once helped me to struggle on might give you some comfort – She whom I loved and lost is no longer where she was before she is now wherever I am.

    I hope you feel her presence near to console and comfort you.

    She was one very special person and I regret so deeply that she didn’t live to come with me to Ennis and sit at the feet of Daniel O’Connell’s monument. I will miss her sorely.

  38. Bluebell Pixie

    As they say in ‘Joseph’

    ‘There’s one more Angel in heaven,
    there’s one more star in the sky…’

    Chris, Kate and Mogan, as a relative newcomer to TES, I did not know Elaine as well as others. However, over the months, I looked forward to her posts, her strength, positivity and love for her family, shone through even at her lowest times.

    Elaine was a remarkable woman and loved her family more than anything. Tonight be comforted with the thought that Elaine brought so much joy and comfort to so many peope, she will live on in the memories of all those who encountered her for many years to come.

    God Bless xx

  39. Bianca S (Angelil)

    Chris, Morgan and Kate:
    She loved you all and was so proud of you all. But I am sure you know that.
    We loved her too – even those of us who never met her. She encouraged us all and was always there with her observations, kindness and wit. In many ways we almost didn’t need to meet her as she was so very much ‘there’. She will be greatly missed.

  40. Taster

    Dear Chris and family,
    Elaine has touched my life and I counted her as a friend, an inspiration and the bravest person I had ever known.
    My thoughts are with you.

  41. seren_dipity

    I may never have met her but she became a friend who opened my mind to “new” music and poetry and whose kindness, intelligence, wit and strength shone through every travail.

    It was my great privilege that she shared with me, and all her other tes friends, the journey through her cancer. It has been an honour to know her.

    My thoughts are with you, Chris, and Morgan and Kate.

  42. Taster

    Dear Chris and family,
    I feel like I know you as over the years Elaine shared her thoughts and her journey with us.Elaine and I emailed and she read my writings and I read hers; I feel richer for knowing such a fine and inspiring person. Although we never met in real life Elaine was a very special person and I counted her as a friend.
    All of her TES family will be missing her so dreadfully as we read her words every day, she was truly courageous,touched with genius and humorous in the face of all her darkest moments.
    Please accept the love and wishes of a stranger who was enriched by knowing such a fine woman.

  43. Ally1979

    Im lost for words but i wanted to say how special Elaine was to all us Tessers and how much we will all miss her.
    Thoughts and prayers are with you all tonight.
    With much love

  44. LadySue

    Perhaps they are not
    stars in the sky,
    but rather openings
    where our loved ones
    shine down
    to let us know they
    are happy.

    Chris and family,

    Thinking and praying for you at this difficult time.

    Elaine was one of the most genuine people I have ever had the fortune of talking to. I really felt like I knew her even though we had never met. Her life was a lesson to us all.

    with love

  45. firecrest

    Elaine will be very sorely missed, she was an inspirational women to many people whom she never even met. She has touched the lives of many with her words and life’s challenges. Although it was expected it didn’t seem that it would be so soon.
    Elaine’s family, I hope you find strength to get through this difficult time, you are in my thoughts.
    Rest in Peace Elaine xxxx

  46. Daisy

    There is an extra star in the sky tonight….

    My thoughts with you and your family at this difficult time. Elaine has shared her journey so honestly with many, that even those like me who never met her, feel as though we know her. She will be greatly missed, but always loved.

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