Go your own Way

This will be the last post on Brenda’s Blog. As some of you may know we planned as usual to make our trip to our home in Nova Scotia. Ten days before we were due to leave Brenda was admitted to the Hampshire Clinic for the treatment of an infection. We got her well enough to make the trip, packed up our seventeen day’s worth of TPN and made the trip across the Atlantic.

It was great to see Brenda’s Mom and our friends in our little community of Hubbards. During the week Brenda handled the final stages of the appointment for a new Chair for the England and Wales Cricket Board. How could it be a holiday without a phone clamped to the side of her head. That settled, we relaxed into a pattern of meeting up with friends and a trip to Halifax to see cousins with aid of a wheelchair. Midway through the second week I became anxious about a change in Brenda’s behaviour. A call to England suggested that it might be a problem with her kidneys. Her condition continued to deteriorate and by the time we made the return trip home she was pretty confused, shaky and frankly hard work.

A plan was put in place for me to whisk her down to Basingstoke and we were there by Monday lunchtime. A scan revealed the problem with her kidneys, and I received the shocking news that this was likely to be the terminal episode in the sad saga of her cancer. Teddy arrived from Oxford and spent the night with her in what was to be a marathon stint of ten consecutive nights.

On Tuesday we left Basingstoke and Brenda was admitted to the Hospice in the Weald for end-of-life care. When we arrived, she was at a low ebb. Thirty minutes into her stay she had a haemorrhage. With that staunched, a fairly shell-shocked Doctor informed us that it was likely that Brenda would lapse into a coma and probably take her leave within twenty-four hours.

So began a twelve-day stint of round the clock visits. Teddy taking the nights and the rest of us filling the days. A change of medication was prescribed instead of the oral morphine that had been the mainstay of her being able to function.  Two days later it seemed that Brenda’s kidneys had slowly cleared the poisons that were clouding her mind. What a joy it was that she returned to us. 

Whilst the staff kept Brenda pain free, the constant output from wounds in her abdomen were the main cause for concern in keeping her comfortable. Time after time the dressings would fail, the changing of them causing her pain and distress. These wounds have been with us for a year and very few people would have been aware that when she made it up to London it was with a patchwork of wound bags. 

At this stage Brenda’s old University friend Jeanette, aka ‘The Bomber’ arrived from Ontario to add to our number. It was a great fillip, and I shall be eternally grateful to her for this initiative.  

The time passed and we maintained our vigil. Then yesterday there was gear shift. A doctor told me that we were back to the day one scenario and that time was most likely to be short. Teddy and India both had some alone time with Brenda and Bonzo was able to snuggle up to her feet. 

Jeanette volunteered to take the night shift and I left Brenda with a kiss. At about ten to three I got a call from Jeanette to say Brenda was ailing and that time was short. I jumped in the car but, arrived shortly after Brenda had passed.

Jeanette and I spent some time with Brenda and she explained that the nurse had urged her to keep talking to Brenda as the end approached. ‘I talked to her about paddling in your Cove in Nova Scotia saying that we were all there including Bonzo swimming in the water.’ With this image in her mind, she took her leave.

After a teary morning we have been mooching about texting and messaging friends and relatives. I opened my Facebook and the image at the top of this post popped up on my feed. You keep paddling Brenda. Thank you for our life together and the impact you have made on this world. 

Brenda Trenowden 15th July 1967 – 29th August 2022

58 thoughts on “Go your own Way

  1. Oh my, oh my. I’m so heartbroken to read this post Trent and thank you for sharing this sad news with Brenda’s extensive community of beloved friends and fellow professionals. No words: but the phenomen that is Brenda will ensure and be with us all forever. Sending love and heartfelt wishes to you and your wk feeding family. Much Love Sarah ❤️

    Like

  2. sending our love xxxx
    what an inspiration Brenda has been. We never met her-I know Mummy did, but we feel we knew her through her blog.
    Our admiration for you, her family-what backup she had.
    Be kind to yourselves.
    Dave & Jenny xxxx❤

    Like

  3. Dear Trent, India & Teddy,
    I am utterly devastated to hear about the passing of my dear friend, mentor and heroine.
    Your mother was a remarkable human being – a wise soul who touched so many people. I can’t imagine the pain you must all be in right now….know that your mother lives on in both of you (Teddy and India).
    Brenda and I share the same birthday….I will miss her so very much….sending you all much love and hugs and licks from our Cavapoo Teddy. xxx

    Like

  4. I’m deeply saddened To hear this Trend, and my prayers and thoughts to you and your family. Brenda remains forever in our heart and hope she rests in peace 🙏❤️ She is an inspiration to many and that is immortal!

    Like

  5. Trend I am reading this in tears and need some of Brenda’s classy handkerchiefs. I am so sorry for your loss and know how hard you have all fought to keep Brenda alive & pain free. She was a terrific lady and an inspiration to so many. I am so glad you managed,what turned out to be Brenda’s final trip to your Nova Scotia home and whilst I am very sad today, the only consolation I can think of, is that Brenda is no longer suffering. It has been such a long battle and one she fought valiantly. You are in my thoughts and prayers

    Like

  6. Trend you have being an incredible partner to Brenda through the best and worst of times She knew how much she was loved. If there is anything I can do to help your family in Canada I will, I am here for you.
    I am going for a paddle in Brenda’s memory.

    Like

  7. Dear Trend, as always you’ve done dear Brenda proud. Thank you for sharing and it’s heartwarming to know Brenda had her treasured family with her in the the hospice. Brenda has inspired so many by sharing her ongoing battle and we’ll remember her with love and affection as a true fighter. Our love is with you all- Diana, Luis, Seb & Mimi xx

    Like

  8. Brenda was a force of nature – truly inspirational – yet so personal and warm. So saddened we have all lost her as a friend, leader, inspirer – and for her wonderful supportive family. Trend – she did what she did because she had you behind her – so loving, supportive and a true partner. Deepest condolences to you Teddy and India – both of whom carry on so many of Brenda’s magical qualities.

    Like

  9. Brenda’s life was a life well lived, bringing joy, warmth, purpose and humanity to all lucky enough to know her. She inspired us all, and will be recounted in memorable stories forever. When a charitable trust is established in her name, it will go on to do great things as well. RIP, Brenda, and thanks for not backing down, ever.

    Like

  10. No idea how to put into words what I want to say. I’m so sorry for your loss – but what an inspirational blog this has been. Brenda clearly fought right to the end and I’m so glad you had a period with her when she was lucid. Sending you all much love and prayers. Xxxx

    Like

  11. Will miss you Brenda. Thank you for the impact you made in my life; I’m grateful for it all. Sending you all tonnes of love – Trend, Teddy, India, Bonzo & Mama Hebb. Xxx

    Like

  12. Brenda was one of the most brilliant, funny, compassionate people I have ever had the pleasure to work with. She will leave an indelible mark on very many people, and I shall never forget how kind she was to me, those crazy glasses, and wonderful smile. I’ll be raising a paddle for you next time I’m out on the sea. With love.

    Like

  13. I am so sad to read this. And amazed at her and all of your strength of spirit throughout this. It was only 4 weeks ago, just before your trip to Nova Scotia, that she and I were trying to set up a call (to discuss something work related). In Brenda style trying to make it work at a time when, with hindsight, she was not doing so well. I am grateful for having gotten to know her some 7 years ago through our shared passion for diversity. Her optimism, strength of character were inspiring; as was her devotion to her family who I got to know through reading these blogs. You gave her so much joy and support. Trend, India, Teddy wishing you strength; RIP Brenda. Thank you for your friendship.

    Like

  14. Dear Mark, Teddie and India
    My love and condolences. I cannot imagine the pain you are are all going through. Please know you are in my love and prayers. Kate

    Like

  15. How we will miss her indomitable spirit and her wicked sense of fun. The 80s music scene with its disco moves will forever be linked to our Dancing Queen of a Superwoman. Mark, Ted, and India, Brenda did so much within her short span and her family was her greatest achievement. Your care and love of her was inspiring. We are heartbroken.

    Like

    1. Thank you so much for letting us, the wider circle of those who loved Brenda, know of her death so swiftly and so eloquently. Sending great love, respect and strength to you

      Like

  16. Dear Trend and family,

    I have such wonderful memories of Brenda- from great times meeting her first as a client, to becoming a friend, to gallivanting to Wimbledon with you both.

    Brenda was an absolute inspiration, a brilliant leader, a great mentor, lots of fun and a loyal friend.

    Definitely a less bright world without her.

    With deepest sympathy,
    Fiona

    Like

  17. I am deeply saddened to read this terrible news. Brenda and I worked together on gender diversity, me leading research at Credit Suisse, Brenda heading the 30% Club. We both walked the same health journey. If her funeral is open to friends and colleagues, I would really like to join you and celebrate the wonderful Brenda. You and she are very much in my thoughts. Julia

    Like

  18. I’m so sorry to hear this very sad news. Brenda was an incredible woman and inspired so many throughout her life. Brenda’s eyes and smile would light up a room and make us all smile. May she now rest in peace. My sincerest condolences to Mark, Teddy and India.

    Like

    1. Dear Trend & Family,

      I’m very saddened by this news. Brenda was such an inspiration to us all. She made so many great contributions to make the world a better, more equal place for women and did so with incredible panache, bravery and an infectious laugh. Not to mention fierce intelligence & resilience, even through her illness. Her legacy lives on and we are so privileged to have known her. Best,
      Ann

      Like

  19. Brenda was brave through all this battle. She made the world a better place for me and everyone who new her and loved her.
    My thoughts are with you
    Tren,Teddy,India, Dianne and family

    Like

  20. Thank you for writing this beautiful and fitting tribute to the most wonderful woman. All of us at PwC were blessed to be in Brenda’s orbit for the time we had her. Her unique moral fibre, passion and brilliance brought out the best in everyone around her. It was a sincere privilege to know her. Thinking of you all at this hard time. Sending lots of love.

    Like

  21. Trent, India and Teddy,

    I’m so very sorry to hear about your enormous loss. Words are not enough but I will try – my thoughts and prayers are with you all at this extremely sad time. She adored you her wonderful family.

    Brenda to me, a force of nature (she told me I was too), an incredible support to 30% club in Ireland, extra ordinary passion for diversity at all levels, wickedly funny, eloquent, she could make going to shops sound interesting, a wonderful laugh with those sparkly eyes, a great mentor and friend. As you say, go your own way Brenda, paddle in Nova Scotia. You made some impact, you will be hugely missed.

    Like

  22. Very sad to hear this news Mark. All of her team and friends at work in WS&C thoughts and prayers with Brenda, you and your family. Paul

    Like

  23. Such a huge loss for you all. You are in my thoughts. Brenda was an inspiration and her motivation to make the world more inclusive will live on. I met her through work and we just hit it off. To my fellow member of the sisterhood sweatshirt group, I will miss the wisdom and the laughter xx

    Like

  24. Dear Mark, India, Teddy (and Bonzo), there are very few people on this planet who immediately make an impact on you when you meet them. Brenda is one of them. She touched the heart of all with her kindness, humour, intelligence and her immense courage. Whilst this day is tragically sad, there is also the relief that she is no longer suffering. Brenda remains forever in our memories and our hearts and she continues to live through all of you. She continues to grace our world and so are you.

    Much love and big hugs to you all.

    Like

  25. I, like many of us, will know how Brenda changed our lives for the better. Brenda lived a dozen lives during her time. Too short, but what an impact she made. The Trenowden’s are a very special family and we love you all. Sending hugs and love, Lucinda, Max, Will and Zed xxxxxxxxx

    Like

  26. This was heartbreaking to read. Benda is a woman who achieved so much in the years she lived and made a difference and steered change. She touched the lives of everyone she met including mine .I only met Brenda a couple of times – the first time was to make a BBC radio 4 prog about women in the city but then our frienship continued.She steered and helped my son with work experience and continued to help and advice whenever I needed a contact or to pick her brain .Always,always she replied even when going through her many bouts of treatment.I personally don’t know you Teddy, India but she was so proud of you both ( as we often chatted about our children). Brenda, you shinning beautiful star keep glowing and shinning 🌟.

    Like

  27. I’m so sorry for your loss. I came across this blog when I became a newly admitted member to the PMP club, being operated on by the same surgeon as Brenda and in the same clinic in November 2020. Her zest for life (and good musical taste) shone threw in her blog. My PMP survivor story continues with watch and wait currently on the menu. I intend to live my life to the full just like Brenda did but you can forget about me ever standing up on a paddle board – I’m on my knees or in the sea!

    Like

  28. Dear family and friends, how passing of someone you never met in person can be so devastating. Brenda and I started to work together a few years ago and we really had something going. With her passion and eloquence she created a movement that felt unstoppable. Now you have passed my dear Brenda. Thank you so much for your inspiration and energy. We will go on with you in our hearts.

    Like

  29. Trend, Teddy and India, I am heart broken for your loss. Brenda accomplished so much in her short lifetime. She never backed down, always saw the positive side of life and family was so important to her.. I treasure my fond memories spending Christmas in England with the Trenowdens and Nana Short. Christmas morning Teddy was so excited to find Santa left some show under the Christmas tree. (If I remember correctly in was white baking flour) but his smile went from ear to ear. India just couldn’t get those presents opened fast enough. The days ahead will be very trying for all of you. Hold on to the memories.

    Like

  30. I am so incredibly heart broken for your loss and for all of us. Brenda was a force to be reckoned with and I treasure the time I was able to spend with Brenda, learning from her and being inspired by her! There isn’t a day that will go by where her impact at PwC in the Inclusion & Diversity team will not be felt and we will be working hard to realize her vision. Truly praying for strength and patience for your family in this incredibly difficult time and so thankful for you taking the time to share her spirit with us.

    Like

  31. Dear Family of Brenda’s,
    I am so very sorry to hear of Brenda’s passing. I have followed her journey over the years. The world has lost a beautiful soul but gained an beautiful angel.
    I didn’t know you but Brenda’s (Diane & Barry Hebb) family lived across the street from us. Diane’s sister, Joyce, married my uncle and I was Brenda, Gregory and Barry B’s babysitter.
    Much love, Christine Algee-Mason ❤️

    Like

  32. I’m very sorry for your loss. Brenda inspired many with her grace, tenacity and strength of conviction and her legacy lives on through the people she has inspired, motivated and mentored. Thank you for sharing this post. RIP Brenda.

    Like

  33. Dear Mark,Teddy,India. It’s was a beautiful day at Deep Cove and the stars shine bright tonight for Brenda. We will miss seeing Brenda so much at the cove kayaking, paddle boarding or on her bicycle. We feel so blessed to have known Brenda and It’s just won’t be the same without her. Sending much love and strength to you all and Brenda’s mum Diane . ✨❤️

    Like

  34. Heaven has been waiting for this Angel for a long time 💙 Brenda has left such a lasting legacy for so many and her family, Teddy, Trend and India should feel proud of the amazing legacy she has left behind . Even in her weakest moments she always thought of others .
    Our special song to dance to during our calls was I’m going all the way , by Sounds of Blackness’ Only Brenda could get away with her Wonder Woman leggings and
    Chanel pearls. RIP our beautiful Angel
    Xxxx

    Like

  35. Tren, Teddy and India. Am so sorry to read this and hear about your loss. It is so sad for all of us who knew and worked with her. Brenda was a superhero – such a role model, a giver of energy and inspiration. What amazing support you all gave her throughout this and I really appreciated the music themed updates. Alastair

    Like

  36. Trend, Teddy and India, I am very sorry for your loss. Brenda was an amazing person who with her passion and energy achieved so much change. She will be greatly missed.

    Like

  37. Trend

    Brenda sat me down and explained why it’s important to find a life partner. She pointed out that you were her rock and what an amazing team you are.

    I am utterly gutted by the news but glad to have met Brenda, you, and Teddy. What an inspirational family. I am one of so many people who completely changed my outlook in life because of her influence.

    Like

  38. It’s incredibly sad yet inspirational again to read her last blog. Sending my thoughts and love to you and the family. Our memories of her will stay with us forever.

    Like

  39. I am so sorry for your loss. Brenda made such a huge difference, and truly inspired everyone she met. Thank you for sharing her story, she really was a remarkable woman

    Like

  40. I am so very sorry for your loss, Brenda was so lovely and special. She will be incredibly missed by many.

    I worked for Brenda at Lloyds and have stayed in touch since she hired me in 2012.

    Love to your family during this very difficult time

    Sofia xx

    Sent from my iPhone

    Like

  41. Dear Trend, Teddy and India
    I am so sorry to hear of Brenda’s passing, she was an incredible woman and good friend and support to me over many years in our drive to improve the opportunities for women in business. Your love, support and care of Brenda in good and difficult times has been truly inspiring. My heart and thoughts are with you all.

    Like

  42. Trend, Teddy and India,

    I am so sorry for your loss. A phenomenal woman who I was fortunate to meet and work with. Brenda’s legacy lives on in many ways. I can safely say there’s an army of us who have learned so much from her and will take that into the work we continue to do each and everyday.

    A true inspiration who will be sorely missed🙏🏾.

    Thinking of you all at this difficult time and thank you for sharing with us at what I’m sure has been the most precious and difficult time for you all.

    R.I.E.P Brenda🕊

    Jas x

    Like

  43. I am so sad to hear this – I have no words but send love and compassion, Brenda was a wonderful role model and i so admired her- I am deeply deeply sorry for how raw and sad this is for you all xxx Sasha

    Like

  44. Trend, Teddy, India
    We’ve been thinking of you all the last couple of days and how tough it is for you. Whatever you know is coming, the pain is still hard and raw.
    What a lady ! Take comfort that Brenda made so much difference to so many and touched so many lives. AND she had great taste in music! The show must go on.
    Here whenever you need.
    Thinking of you all. X

    Like

  45. Oh, I am so sorry for you. Brenda was truly an inspiration. A beautiful woman both inside and out who has done so much for women and leadership while also being very kind and thoughtful. We were at Queen’s together (my husband Tom in her year and I was in the year below) and on the Queen’s Alumni board in London. Sending huge love to the family in this difficult time. It sounds like you surrounded her with so much love and care, I’m sure she felt it through everything. xx

    Like

  46. How utterly tragic and heartbreaking this is, my thoughts love and prayers go to all whose lives Brenda touched but especially to her amazing family.
    I only came to know Brenda at the beginning of this year, but wow, the immediate impact she had is so difficult to verbalise. We agreed that we when she was next in the office, we would dance to 80’s music to start the day off right – sadly we never got to do that, but I will do it on my own to honour our agreement. God Bless Brenda, it was truly an honour to know you.

    Like

  47. Trend, Teddy and India
    I’m so sorry for your loss. Brenda was a loved part of our work family. Passionate, brave, curious, kind, fierce, gentle and fascinating. I will miss her tremendously at work, and for all her support, guidance, humour and nouse outside of work too. Always there with a book recommendation, a podcast series I had to try, a funny story or a new perspective we needed to think through and sometimes just a hug and a glass of wine at the end of the day. However bad her day was, she always had time for other people. I felt truly honoured to know her. I can only imagine how much that loss must be felt by you, her beloved family. My thoughts and prayers are with you and Brenda. Take care.

    Like

Leave a Reply to sue2828 Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s