A memorial to Emma Lindley

From Navlika, So Bright

Navlika sent this way back in April 2014 on a card to my parents. Mum transcribed it and asked that I upload it. So Bright (for Emma) Life requires death But did it need yours Quite so soon Dear child The black days abound And bind your soul To be racked Yet not always so […]


“Emma Forever! Always with love. Dad and Mumxx”

My Mum and Dad (Errollyn and Richard) are on a cycle trip that is the length of the UK. Dad has retired. The image comes with the message that is the title. “Emma Forever! Always with love. Dad and Mumxx”


From Hattie, “Come to me for fixing”

Originally sent through to me in November 2013, somehow avoided being dealt with until now. Thank you Hattie. Our friendship wasn’t always easy. There were times of great closeness and understanding, spontaneity and fun but times when we dissected things a bit too much. Emma was also someone who I relied on, a lot, too […]


From Alexia, Anya Emma

It has taken some time for me to revisit this website and to upload anything new to it. Today is the 15th of September; one year on from the day when Emma took her life. So I’m sitting here, in the very same chair that she breathed her last breath, and working through a few […]


From Mariam Attia, Always in my heart

Although the thought that Emma is no longer with us brings tears to my eyes, when memories of our time together come to mind, I smile. I met Emma in 2007 when we were both studying for our PhDs at The University of Manchester. Soon our relationship grew into a close friendship, and we spent […]


From Joe Hancock, About Emma

An alternative version of this missive was a list of all the things that I can remember about Emma and our very brief time spent getting to know one another. Instead I will comment upon that (unwritten) list: it is very long, full of intrigue and detail, wonder and intensity. Colours and sounds and spaces […]


From Patrick Jones, Equal

I knew Emma through working with her on Quaker Youth music and drama projects and supporting her when she had periods of illness. I was only too aware that for Emma life was both a desperate struggle as well as ecstatically wonderful. Being of a much older generation than Emma but to be treated as […]


From Joy Jones, An unusual cyclist dressed for the theatre

Like my husband Patrick I was very shaken to hear of Emma’s death some time after it had happened. Jeremy’s wonderful eulogy and the powerful memories and thoughts of so many of her friends on this site are such a tribute to her intensely lived life. The last time we saw Emma was at the […]


From Sue Devine, Singing for Larks

At Singing for Larks we move around a lot and we end up singing near to different people during the sessions. Emma had a really beautiful singing voice and I felt that it was a special treat to hear her voice as we passed or stood side by side. In some ways she will always […]


From Mum, Lament for Emma

When I was 8 years old, I had to memorise a poem to recite in class.  Anxiously, I searched the anthology for something that would be easy to learn. I didn’t care what it was about as long as it was short and broken into small chunks. The poem I found was ‘Break, break, break’, […]


From Jules Akrigg, A eulogy

Jules read this at Emma’s memorial on the 30th September 2013: I’m honoured to have been asked by Emma’s parents to say a few words today about Emma’s Oakbank days and a little about my friendship with her in general. I met Emma nineteen years ago at Oakbank School where she did her GSCSEs and […]


From Andrew Burke, Desserts and confession

I lived with Emma for a year while I did my PGCE at Bolton. I will never forget Emma’s big, smiley face as she opened the door and welcomed me inside; I phoned up a few minutes after leaving and said yes I would like to be your tenant. Emma and I would have some […]


From Matthew Holmes, Pearl and thoughts

A rendition of Pearl, a poem in middle English by an anonymous author, recorded in Beijing by Matthew. One of Emma’s favourite poems. A modernised version was read by Jeremy at Emma’s memorial event. Thoughts from Matthew: She was a warm loving girl who stole my heart with her killer smile in a crowded ski-lift […]


From Patrick Jones, Breaking barriers

I knew Emma through working with her on Quaker Youth music and drama projects and supporting her when she had periods of illness. I was only too aware that for Emma life was both a desperate struggle as well as ecstatically wonderful. Being of a much older generation than Emma but to be treated as […]


From Alison Walters

I met Emma through Faiths singing group which I joined when our friend Tori told me how much fun it was. Although I didn’t know Emma very well, from the moment I met her I thought how beautiful she was. She would always greet you with a smile and a hug and I could tell […]


From Jessie James, Breakfast with Emma

Although the Lindleys have been family friends for many years, I never saw much of Emma until she lived with my Mum in Leeds during 2011. As I was based in Bristol, I only came home for the odd weekend or when I was on a placement. We would spend evenings together, the three of […]


From Becky Goodrich, Without needing to say, celebration

I first met Emma through work. She was evaluating some of the theatre projects we were running with young people around mental health. Straight away you could see she was gentle, kind, creative, bright and intellectually challenging… I learnt a lot from Emma! Of course we stayed in touch… I was lucky enough to enjoy […]


From Tina Helfrich, Always smiling at the Quaker Youth Theatre

I only knew Emma for a short time when she was a member of the Quaker Youth Theatre. She was a joy to have on the projects – enthusiastic, friendly and always smiling. I hope our world goes somewhere after our earthly life because I would like to meet her again. Peace to you Emma […]


From Sam Jeffers, Emma Lindley asked questions

Emma Lindley asked questions. Emma looked right at you as she asked questions. Emma looked into you as she asked questions. Then Emma asked more questions. Emma Lindley looked at you as she asked more questions. Emma looked into you as she asked more questions. Emma, always interested in your answers. Emma Lindley, who never […]


From Andy Howes, Talent and courage as an educator

Emma was my PhD student at the University of Manchester. Suffice to say that supervising Emma was a privilege. Our supervisions were invariably real conversations about mental illness, Education, methodology. We shared a dislike for the over use of the term mental health when the real meaning was very simply illness. Emma’s thesis was a […]


From Alexia, Always brave

Emma, you have left a hole in the universe. The world feels like a sad place without you. We wish we could have kept you here with us for longer. You were always so brave. I know that you are at peace now. Claudia and I love you and miss you so much. Thank you […]


Gold Smatter

This is a piece of music I worked on over an extended period of time, and released as Joe Galen. Initially I used Bob Dylan’s Last thoughts on Woody Guthrie as a spoken accompaniment to the music (currently available here). Some years after the Dylan version, I asked Emma to write some original words to accompany the […]


From Colette Bernasconi, Charisma and Articulacy

I first met Emma Lindley in a journalistic context and thought of almost nothing but her for days after that. Her charisma and articulacy were so potent, and listening to her was electrifying. Becoming friends with her years later through Joe, she made me feel like that again and again. Time flew with her, we laughed […]


From Joe, My birthday tin

I mentioned this tin at Emma’s memorial event on 30th September 2013. Emma gave it to me on – I think – my 15th birthday. It contained several items: A piece of chocolate (still present) A photograph of Emma (still present – this was the item I’d forgotten about!) A piece of “chocolate” (i.e. dope) […]


Emma and Joe

This photograph was in the downstairs loo at our parents house for a long time, I think my mother took it. I stole it around 2007 to use in a project for my degree in Interactive Arts. We had to choose a photograph and a book that was significant. I chose this photograph, and the […]


From Ruth Rosselson, A friend to the heart and to the mind

Emma: a friend to the heart and to the mind. I only really got to know Emma properly over the last couple of years, but being the sort of person she was, I felt very close to her quickly. I remember spending some time with her at her house after her hip operation a couple […]


From Cormac, James, Katie, Tori, Justin and Ruth…..

Katie and Ruth delivered this eulogy at Emma’s memorial event, 30th September 2013. Ruth: When Errollyn asked whether I might possibly talk on behalf of a group of Emma’s Manchester friends, my first thought was that it was too big an Ask, and that I wasn’t up to the job. But then, very quickly, an […]


From Gavin Lee, A long and winding thought process

Remembering Emma: A Long & Winding Thought Process Emma & I first met in 2001, in a photography class at Keighley College. We were instant friends, and I was struck by how easy it was to communicate with her. Emma’s bohemian, literary charm always made her the easiest person to be around. She always had […]


From Jacob Doran, To Emma

To Emma, You texted me saying I was excellent. I liked your eyes and how you absently drummed on the table as I can came back from the bathroom. We went skating. I kept to your slow pace. You granted me permission to speed away. I looked behind and you smiled. In the pub you […]


From James Duggan, A composite memory

It would be nice if I had taken the picture above while I was with Emma… but no. I find that during the 6 years I knew her I didn’t take a single photo of Emma or have one of the two of us together. I don’t like taking photos and anyway pictures are always […]


Jeremy Holmes’ Eulogy

Jeremy read this at Emma’s memorial event on 30th September 2013. I knew Emma for all of her all-too-short life – my dear sister and brother-in-law’s daughter, Ros’s god-daughter, my fellow mental health professional, and, I like to think, my friend. As everyone who encountered her knew, Emma was blessed with a miraculous amalgam of […]


From Dave Bennett, Intellectual…

I first met Emma, age 13, when I moved to Oakbank school. I was the new kid and started later than everyone else. I was in Emma’s class, and she sat with Alison Yoxall at the desk behind me. I immediately liked Emma, and she helped me find my feet in a new school. Emma […]


From Elaine & Tim Appleby, Emma’s Sofa

When we think of Emma, vivid images flash into the mind of a teenager busy with all sorts of impressive projects and an adult full of life, energy, wicked humour, ideas and courage. Her kindness and generosity spring to mind: ‘Emma’s sofa’ sits in our daughter’s home in Walthamstow. A lovely sofa, generously offered in […]


From Steve Mosby, Blue hair/Green hair

There are so many things I’ll remember about Emma, but what comes to mind first of all are her eyes. She had the most wonderfully expressive eyes – wide, brown and brimming with mischief and wisdom. In many ways, those eyes summed her up: she could be wickedly funny, but at heart she was also […]


From Becca & Lara Sayers, A picture

This is a picture that Lara (age 6) drew of Emma.  The symbol next to it she says is “Emma’s sign”.  At the bottom it says “Emma was kind” and “Emma gave us flags”.  This refers to the time we met up with her in May and she bought Lara and Oliver flags at the […]


From Mike Levi, Lycidas

Emma was sparky, and drew you in to her being, however perilous a place that sometime was. I saw comparatively little of her torments, mainly second hand, but real enough for all that. Though she has gone, we all live on through the memories of those we have touched – and I will always recall […]


From Graham Partridge, A poem

I knew Emma best at the beginning and towards the end of her life. As for all of us, my memory of knowing her is unique. For me it was a strange mix of sometimes feeling like some kind of non-theological god-parent; other times a strange and challenging straddling of her world and Richard’s world. […]


From Caiti Berry, A beam of sunshine in my life

Emma, well the be all and end all of it is that Emma helped me to be me. She gave me so much love and time, she looked after me so well when I had darkness in my life, she gave me confidence and a sense of self, seemingly without any effort at all. She […]


From Julie Harrison, Simply my best friend

Emma was and will always be, simply my best friend. She always was. We understood each other, ‘got’ each other and never had to explain anything. The connection and comfort we had seemed to come from that simple ease of being mutually understood. We saw each other through everything, sometimes face to face sometimes from […]


From Dave Govier, EE Cummings

I will always remember the day we spent in the sun in Alexandra Park. You looked for turtles in the lake. We sat on the steps down to the old bowling green for a long time, side by side. Later, back at your house, you read ee cummings poems to me and I understood their […]

  • Eyes closed...

    Eyes closed...

  • Eyes open, mouth open...

    Eyes open, mouth open...

  • Mouth closed...

    Mouth closed...

  • Smiling!


From Joe, An introduction, Parisien wake-up, and two prayers

These photographs are from a trip to Paris that I and Emma made in May 2013. I was sneaking photographs without Emma’s knowledge as she dozed on the grass, but the reaction when she realised I was standing over her, was a good one. If you are on this website, you probably know what it […]


From Rose Brennan, Mischief and the Importance of being Emma

This is a photo of a framed picture my mother has hanging in her house. It has been there for years and I find myself inspecting it every time I’m there. Alice could probably tell you the date and the ages of everyone in it. All I recall is that it was the Oakbank School […]


From Kris Heath, Earnest before Christmas

I knew Emma when I was at Oakbank School, mostly during rehearsals and performances for The Importance Of Being Earnest. She was the year above me, and we were both members of an unofficial group of music and drama students that congregated in those departments, whether we had lessons there or not. We rehearsed for several […]

  • Emma and the Sayers family

    Emma and the Sayers family

  • Lara's 1st birthday

    Lara's 1st birthday

  • Lenny's 30th birthday

    Lenny's 30th birthday

  • Sam, Emma, Joe at Lenny's wedding

    Sam, Emma, Joe at Lenny's wedding

  • Emma and John at Lenny's wedding

    Emma and John at Lenny's wedding

From Lenny Sayers, Photographs

I found some pictures of Emma from mine and Becca’s wedding, and also a nice one from Lara’s 1st birthday party, my 30th birthday meal, and one from the science museum in Manchester taken in May this year.


Singstar Prowess

I'm still struggling to find the words to say how shocked and devastated we both are to hear about Emma's passing. She was truly loved and respected by so many people. I'll remember her for her intellectual humour, singstar prowess at Brundretts Road and her quiet determination to succeed both academically and professionally
~ Naomi Colledge ~

From Anne Vivienne Power, Singing and the Pears Soap Girl

I sang with Emma over recent years in Faith’s weekly singing group. I joined in 1998. Several years ago we met in Emma’s home in Whalley Range during the summer break. She showed me proudly the photo of her relative, the Pears Soap girl, and we had a chat in the yard where we talked […]


From Wayne Berry, The Crucible and Romanian Wine

I loved Emma very much. She was a wonderful friend to me, ever since we met in Liverpool what seems like an age ago. We bonded at auditions for “The Crucible” and cemented our friendship at a party at Alexia’s – discussing the Philosophy of Audrey Hepburn’s hair in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” whilst drinking Romanian […]


Thoughts of Emma

Shy, excitable, engaging, outrageous, caring and loving would be but a few words I would use to describe Emma. A woman with discernible knowledge and style and someone who was able to draw you in with her smile, her laugh, her intellect and her energy. I felt blessed to have known her and so grateful to call her my friend. She will remain in my heart and memory.
~ Charl Uys ~

From Chris Claydon, Sailing and Suna

I was lucky enough to fall in love with Emma and we shared a brief but wonderful few weeks of our lives. It seemed like fate had brought us together and I thought it could last forever. She touched my life so fleetingly, so many years ago, but it still seems like yesterday and this […]


From Helen Goodway, In Honour of Emma

In Honour of Emma Lindley Emma Lindley is one of those people, whom I know and love, who enrich and sustain my life. She is one of the special ones: those young people whom I’ve known since their childhood, friends of my beloved children, who have become my friends in their adulthood. For all her […]


From Bram and Jane Leitch, Memories

We first met Emma more than twenty years ago as one of our son’s friends when she was still at Oakbank School.  An abiding memory of that time is of her playing a Pied Piper in a promenade-concert, fluting the audience round the different venues within the school.   We hadn’t seen Emma for some […]


From Leah Roberts, A note to Emma

Although I did not know you closely, the first time i met you, you radiated kindness, and I remember you having a route through your things and giving me a bag and belt that you no longer wanted and thought I would like- you said you had loved them as a teenager. I loved them, […]


From Vicky Robinson, Memories of Emma

I wish with all my heart that I didn’t have to write this, I never wanted to have to talk about Emma, she shouldn’t not be here to talk to directly. I haven’t known Emma all that long, but that doesn’t mean that she didn’t mean a lot, that my life wasn’t touched by having […]


From Alex Walker, Memories New and Old

I remember first meeting Emma when she was about 13 and had a lovely elfin look about her. The next time we met was when she asked for people to come to a forum on ageing at the RSA. She was really lovely. So welcoming, so friendly, such an interesting person to talk to. We […]


From Christian Ainsley, First Date

I remember meeting Emma in a bar in Manchester for a first date and walking away with that rare feeling of having met someone pretty awesome. It was the most genuine, easy and fun date I have ever been on. Were it not for the last train looming, I am sure we could have chatted […]


From Nathalie Spencer, from her RSA blog

Readers of this blog may already be aware of the tragic news that Social Brain colleague Emma Lindley recently passed away. Below, I offer to you a poem I selected and read in Emma’s memory earlier this week at a staff gathering in her honour. Tributes by colleagues Jonathan Rowson, Gaia Marcus, and Matthew Taylor […]