May 24, 1952 - February 8, 2023
Beth, age 70, was pre-deceased by her Father, William Walter Parkinson and her Mother, Caroline Zara Corless Parkinson. Beth is survived by her spouse, Timi Thornton, and by brothers, Russ Parkinson (Debbie), and Steve Parkinson; and by nephews: Jeremy, Robert, and Chris; great nieces and nephews: Jade, Hayden, Zara, and Gavin; and by cousins, Darcy, JA (Kate), Grace, Meghan, Debbie, Diane, and Susan.
Celebration of life service for Beth is via individual viewing of the poems, song links, photos, and written memories here in Beth’s Book of Memories. More photos can be viewed under the 'Photos & Videos' section below. The Celebration of Beth Slideshow can be viewed on Google Drive
or Microsoft One Drive
Beth prefers no flowers or memorials. She was fully aware of the many gifts sent to the Beth & Timi Go-Fund-Me page
and felt so very grateful to all of you who helped fulfill her last wish. Family and friends, you greatly relieved Beth’s concerns and filled her heart and spirit with much love and many good memories through all your communications. You made it clear that her quiet legacy continues through you; family, friends, PLS, LiBerTy Group, and larger fellowship. She asked that her heartfelt and huge thanks be expressed here by wishing you each and all lives filled with joy.
Sunday, February 5th, Timi loaded her wheelchair into the car for Beth to ride in and they went to a favorite ocean trail. Timi wheeled Beth in the chair along the trail to near the driftwood that Beth liked to sit on. Together, they watched, listened to the waves, and soaked up ions and scents of ocean air. And on Tuesday, Feb 7th, they drove to and parked close to the ocean with windows down and enjoyed the ocean and lagoon together, one more time.
Sacred ceremonies were held before, during, and after Beth left on her journey into the great adventure and great healing that she was so ready for and looking forward to. Rev Debra kindly supported Beth and Timi through the last weeks and moments. Beth said she could see each of the faces of her family and friends and felt the love from all of our hearts lifting her into Divine embrace.
Beth died on February 8, 2023, at home, while snuggled side by side with Timi as they held hands and Timi sang to Beth, ‘There Is Only Love.’ She was at peace and filled with much gratitude, boundless love, and abundant faith.
Beth and her spouse, Timi had made the most of each precious moment, together, for all of their just over 8 years since beginning their journey of love, especially for the three-and-a-half weeks after the shocking diagnosis and right up to the last instant as Beth left for the great adventure and great healing that she was so looking forward to.
Their love was not the least bit diminished even during the exhausting, painful, heartbreaking weeks of Timi caregiving 24/7 and Beth under attack by the harshness of the disease that so aggressively and rapidly metastasized. In fact, their love grew, became more refined, and continues to grow.
Beth received by giving and gave by receiving. She treated others with respect, compassion, and kindness. She freely shared her zeal for life, delightful intelligence, bright humour, and inspiring wisdom.
In her youth, she was an excellent and fierce Goalie for her Field Hockey team and a stage set builder. As an exceptionally fine writer, she won a competitive writing award at a younger age than many previous winners.
Her varied and full work life included: Working with children at a Summer camp, Pinball Arcade Manager, Chef’s assistant, and Waitress. When she became Certified in Social Work, she took on challenging jobs, such as running the crisis center in a northern region of Vancouver Island.
For 35 years, before retirement, she worked as a legal advocate/ paralegal providing legal services to persons who were in jails or prisons. Beth made a difference in many lives as she worked to cause changes in the system and the institutions and mentored others who worked in the field.
She won an esteemed award for her accomplishments:
Elizabeth Parkinson Receives the
2014 Ed McIsaac Human Rights in Corrections Award
OTTAWA, November 13, 2014 – Today, Mr. Howard Sapers, Correctional Investigator of Canada, is pleased to announce that Ms. Elizabeth Parkinson, long-time legal advocate with the Prisoners' Legal Services of British Columbia, has been presented with the 2014 Ed McIsaac Human Rights in Corrections Award.
Mr. Sapers acknowledged Ms. Parkinson's long and distinguished career in support of social justice, human rights and due process in corrections. "For the better part of 35 years, Beth Parkinson has relentlessly advocated for and defended human rights in prisons in British Columbia with impacts that reach across Canada," said Sapers. "Her ability to develop positive relationships with correctional administrators and to work with even the most difficult of clients is truly remarkable."
Ms. Parkinson's work is associated with some of the leading cases in Canadian prison law and she is recognized as one of the country's foremost experts in sentence calculation. Ms. Parkinson has developed learning materials and courses for prisoners and has taught inmates how to use legal principles to effectively resolve issues behind bars. In an extraordinary career guided by conviction and compassion, Ms. Parkinson has won accolades from her colleagues, the legal community, correctional administrators and inmates alike.
~~~~~ * ~~~~~
Always an adventurer, Beth traveled Canada and the United States many times, starting with a long journey with her dear friend, Linda, and lastly with her spouse Timi. She also bravely traveled much of the world solo, in younger years, then later, with her Mother.
As a dual Citizen of Canada and New Zealand, she lived and worked in New Zealand and Australia as a young adult. She visited Australia as recent as 2015 and wanted to return; would have enjoyed living in NZ with Timi, and hoped for them to vacation in NZ and AU. However, living near the ocean on Vancouver Island became the best choice.
Beth’s many stories about her life experiences always entertained others, brought forth shared laughter mixed with wisdom, often also helping the listener toward healing or better understanding, and were treasured times by Beth. Sometimes Beth and Timi would both tell each their own portions of stories from their time together.
And the love story continued in the days and hours just before Beth left the Earth. In a conversation, Beth and Timi had been intuitively given another acronym and concept. Beth was inspired to realize and put that into words when we were sitting together pondering, which blessed us both with a settling, putting us more at peace about the future.
But first, understand that Beth’s and Timi’s unending love story, included: Living Apart (LA) when we started our “wide open, unconventional friendship” to see where that may lead. Then we became a couple and were Living Apart Together Internationally (LATI). After marriage and landing Timi as a Permanent Resident in Canada, we were happily Living Together.
Beth’s inspiration was that, since we would continue our love, then upon her leaving, we would be Living Apart Spiritually Together. That spells LAST, but we agreed it is more than an ending of our just over eight years of loving together in person. Our LAST is also, as in lasting, so also means we are Loving Always Spiritually Together. Especially fitting because in our vows, and every day, we tell each other ‘I love you, always and all ways.’ So, on we go, loving.
And the stories will go on too. For instance: Beth and Timi had felt strongly about February 8, 2023 being the date she would accept Medical Assistance in Dying, but wondered why it seemed so important that she leave on that day, not one before or after. Several kind people had to work out challenges to make that date happen, but Beth and Timi had faith, and it all came to be.
During the few days before Beth transitioned, we came to understand there was other significance for that date. First, we had just celebrated 8 years since we began our journey of love. Then Beth recalled that she had arrived in the homeland of her New Zealand ancestry on February 8, 1977 when she moved there. So, she thought it wonderful to return to the home of her soul on February 8, 2023.
So, Beth and Timi were still discovering stories of their lives and their love, on Feb 8th. Then Great Spirit added to the story when Timi attended a meeting a few days after Beth left this Earth walk . . . where two people announced they had celebrated one year of sobriety on February 8th.
Beth celebrated 10 years of continuous sobriety on Jan 27, 2023 and had been continuously smoke-free since March 1, 2018. She left much of a quiet legacy via the love and service she shared among the fellowship as she actively lived her gratitude for sobriety.
Beth lived and gave because of who she was, regardless of outside pressure or lack of thanks, not to prove anything or impress anyone. She lived a good life, and now entrusts us to continue with; kindness, compassion, caring, humour, zeal for adventure, ever-growing and deepening spirituality, strength to keep going through harsh challenges, willingness to help others, and choose joy.
Rest in knowing she is as close as our hearts.
~~~~~ * ~~~~~
Celebrating Beth with Love:
Much Thanks to our cousin Taz for creating the video slideshow celebrating Beth with photos, music, and poetry. See the links near the top. And here are her travelling day poems and songs.
Poem read: For The Dying by John O’Donohue
Poem written by and read to Beth by Timi:
Letting go in love
Sometimes letting go
makes it fly from me
Sometimes letting go
makes it rest in me
This time letting go
makes it grow in me
Love in letting go
~~~~~ * ~~~~~
Poem for our grieving: On The Death of The Beloved by John O’Donohue
Beth’s Celebration-Going Ahead Songs:
We thank Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship for including 4 songs for Beth and Timi and for their caring, good thoughts, and prayers during the monthly Taize’ service on February 6th. More songs were listened to and sung, especially during the week or so before Beth left this Earth walk, but these were sung just before, during, and after she went ahead on February 8th.
Hold Me Before I'm Gone Forever (3:11) by Reina Del Cid
Loosen, Loosen (4:48) by Aly Halpert
Return Again (3:59) by Shaina Noll
There Is Only Love (4:00) by Karen Drucker
(played twice and sung by Timi as Beth left here)
In The Stillness (6:24) by Karen Drucker
Gentle With Myself (5:03) by Karen Drucker
And a few of the songs that Timi continues to sing:
Green Eyes (5:12) by Kate Wolf
Great Love of My Life (6:28) by Kate Wolf
Please feel free to add your comments or photos to this Book of Memories.
~ ~ ~