A Tribute to Ann Butler

Posted By Debs Magee

From the Captain & Crew of the Dubai Sea Dragons Dragon Boat Club - Dubai

We held a Memorial Paddle for Ann Butler, our crewmember who recently lost her fight with breast cancer.  We paddled our dragon boat in a "missing woman" formation with flowers sitting on her seat…

We read her eulogy and a poem, then scattered the ocean with flowers and frangipani leis.  We paddled in a circle around the flowers in tribute to Ann, and her wonderful spirit - she is dearly missed.

Our Eulogy to Ann

ann_butler_small.jpgI'd like to say a few words about our dear friend Ann - on behalf of all her close friends, and her paddle friends the Dubai Sea Dragons.

We knew Ann as a Tickled Pink Paddler, competing overseas and winning a silver medal, but as she said to me she was more than being a survivor, she was more than the disease! So she proudly joined us and became a Sea Dragon, and she was a fabulous Dragon Boat Paddler at that! Often at the front of the boat, giving it her best.

When we heard the news of Ann’s death, it seemed as if a sparkle had left the earth, and the world seemed a little less colorful.  As we all knew this beautiful woman, with her interminable spirit, and great sense of life, it is a sad time for us, but a sweet time to recall and remember her well.

Her Memory Still Shines

We knew her as a non-judgmental person, who accepted people largely for what they were and for who they were.

She was fun, and without prejudice. Her many friendships crossed the barriers of social position and educational background. Her spirit, her generosity, and her warmth reached through barriers of race and culture. They reached through the barriers of age and generation as well – she was truly a loved woman.

Whilst Ann was alive, she never stopped grabbing onto life with all her might, with two hands – shaking her fists and defying it to take it all away!   All the time trying to make us feel good, whilst battling for her life – this was something so intensely poignant and painful that nothing and no one, it seems, could ease it for very long. And our hearts and understanding go out to Paul and the family for this.

Her quirky quips at life were her driving force – her life force. Her beautiful smile was her shield.

Although we all wanted her to survive longer than she had, it seemed to be part of what made Ann, Ann — a battler, unique, irresistible and completely irreplaceable.

Her death has stunned, bewildered and agonized those of us who were close to her.

Gone, But Not Forgotten

I will miss her terribly, we all will. Some things are just too difficult to accept all at once—we try to manage our acceptance of it, to receive it gradually, and in smaller parcels of grief and loss.

We wish so much for it to have been otherwise, but sooner or later we need to come to terms with her passing, and accord to her the great measure of dignity she deserves. While Ann gave much to us, I think we need to remember also the happiness our various friendships gave to her.

In the strange and hollow days since she died some of us find it helps us to remember the times we shared with her, the things we did and enjoyed together, and to be eternally grateful for that.

So our dear sweet Ann, our very special Ann, lovely Ann, fantastic Ann, your friends bid you farewell this afternoon – in spirit - not in loss of beautiful memories.

We are all the more blessed for knowing you and for having you touch our lives.  “May these flowers, as they are sprinkled upon the water and as they land upon the shore remind us all of our days and memories with our dear sweet Ann.


Debs Magee & Crew, Dubai Sea Dragons