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‘It’s hard for them to feel anything but grief’: Appeal launched after unexpected death of mum of two from Dagenham

PUBLISHED: 17:28 22 June 2020 | UPDATED: 17:28 22 June 2020

L-R: Margaret, Daniel and Matthew. Picture: Jasmin Bath

L-R: Margaret, Daniel and Matthew. Picture: Jasmin Bath

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An appeal has been launched after the unexpected death of a “kind-hearted” mother of two men with severe learning disabilities.

Jasmin wanted her sons to stay together, but found it hard to imagine a world where they were left without her. Picture: Jasmin BathJasmin wanted her sons to stay together, but found it hard to imagine a world where they were left without her. Picture: Jasmin Bath

Margaret Soper from Dagenham died of heart failure at the age of 69, leaving behind sons Matthew and Daniel who she dedicated her life to caring for.

A volunteer, Margaret was “the biggest cheerleader” of 39-year-old Matthew, who suffered brain damage as a result of epilepsy when he was a child, and Daniel, 36, disabled since birth.

Family friend Jasmin Bath said: “Soon after Daniel found out Margaret had passed, he was still trying to ring her to find out where she was.

“It’s hard for them to feel anything but grief at the moment. Matthew will keep saying, ‘I miss her.’ He can’t get over the fact she has gone.

L-R: Margaret, Daniel and Matthew. Picture: Jasmin BathL-R: Margaret, Daniel and Matthew. Picture: Jasmin Bath

“They can’t quite understand how death works which makes it hard to have the conversation.”

A “kind soul” who volunteered at the Osborne Centre in Dagenham, Margaret didn’t earn a lot, but would still give gifts on birthdays and at Christmas.

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Margaret, who lost her husband Peter 12 years ago, was determined to give her sons the best life possible and not let their learning disabilities define them.

Although Margaret found it heartbreaking to talk about what would happen to her boys in the event of her death, she was always adamant they should stay together “at all costs”.

Even so, she didn’t want to imagine a world where Matthew and Daniel were left without her.

“It was such a difficult and heart-breaking conversation for her,” Jasmin, 23, said.

But with her unexpected death on June 10, the family doesn’t have enough money to give Margaret a proper send off, prompting Jasmin and her mum, Shirley, to launch the £3,000 GoFundMe appeal.

The money would also help cover a celebration of Margaret’s life and either a memorial rose or bench to go in the garden of the boys’ home as a place where they can remember.

“Margaret did so much for the community. She touched so many people’s lives. It would mean so much for her to get a goodbye that is memorable.

“It’s really important for the boys to feel it’s a send off that isn’t sad, a celebration of their mum that’s the last memory they have of her,” Jasmin said.

To donate visit gofundme.com/f/margaret039s-final-send-off


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