Tribute to much-loved Alstonville healer
A TRUE gentleman, loving father and husband, who lived life to the full, was supportive of his friends and patients and always had a smile on his face, is how Joanne Cashman recalls her husband Shaun.
Ms Cashman said her husband of 20 years was only 53 when he passed away unexpectedly from a heart attack at home in his sleep, on December 23, 2016.
She said he was an amazing person with an optimistic zest for life.
"He was a loving man, with a curious mind who saw the positive in every challenge,” she said.
"He loved his kids and family so much, he was most content just to be at home.”
The pair who moved from Sydney with their children Hannah, 11, Patrick, 14 and William, 17, to the Northern Rivers eight years earlier, worked together in an Alstonville clinic where he was a chiropractor and she is a kinesiologist.
Dedicated to helping people through his work, in 2015, Mr Cashman became Australia's first chiropractic 'Fellow' in Sacro Occipital Technique, which focussed on the theory and practical application of cranial adjusting.
Ms Cashman said her husband loved the region, was happy pottering around their home and enjoyed a strong connection to the community.
"We had a really nice life, he saw the best in everything,” she said.
"Every challenge was an adventure for Shaun.”
She said her husband's curiosity saw him go beyond the superficial.
"Shaun was passionate about the simple things in life, he liked to make things from scratch,” she said.
"He would grow tomatoes, but not just any tomatoes, he loved to track down heritage varieties, share them with collages, friends and patients and get them involved.”
She said it was the same with coffee and ginger beer.
"He didn't drink (alcohol) but he would grow and roast his own coffee beans,” she said.
"He'd also grow ginger and brew his own ginger beer.”
On January 11, a farewell service held in Alstonville was standing-room only, as his many friends and family attended to share memories of a man who made a great difference to the community.
"It was a beautiful service, friends and family got up and spoke about him and told some lovely stories.” she said.
"Shaun was a caring, happy and generous man, he was a beautiful soul.”
Ms Cashman said she wanted to thank everyone for their amazing support during an intensely difficult time for her family.
"The Alstonville community have been amazing, everyone has been so supportive, loving, generous and caring,” she said.
"Every phone call, text message, hug, flower, card and meal has given us such comfort and strength.”