Geraldine Howard was the best of us, she was a light spirit and a joyful soul who worked tirelessly to make the world a better place through her endeavours, gifts and energies.
She was hugely creative and compassionate and her first instinct was always for others. These gifts directed her life’s work. She led her team at Aromatherapy Associates to build a business with great integrity which creates meaningful products people need and value.
She’s left a great legacy: a company which leads the field in innovation, standards and consistency; a list of loyal clients who view their relationship with Aromatherapy Associates as far more than just business; and a lifetime spent training others and passing on her knowledge, passion and enthusiasm for aromatherapy.
Geraldine was a businesswoman and understood that in order to spread the word about aromatherapy and make it a force for good, she had to build a successful company. However, her business-focus was driven by her ideology and not by personal greed, so her many successes were all the more authentic as a result.
She got great satisfaction from seeing the enthusiasm for her products among her loyal customers, who use them as part of their personal wellbeing regimes and from the fact that their lives are changed for the better by using the products she created.
It was also important to her that others are also able to lead happy, fulfilling lives with good employment prospects – be it within her own business or those of her clients – as a direct result of her work.
There’s a group of people, who can proudly say ‘I was trained in aromatherapy by Geraldine Howard’ and to feel it as a badge of excellence – they will carry on her work and are one of her greatest achievements.
She had a genius for aromatherapy and an incredible ‘nose’ which – when combined with her highly empathetic nature – enabled her to intuit the healing needs of others and formulate products which met those needs. It’s important we remember that this powerful gift was the bedrock of her work.
On a personal level, for the many who counted Geraldine as a friend or mentor we’ve been very blessed to have her in our lives. She created positivity in so many ways and lit up the room with her smile.
She led by example and her grace under pressure in the face of the illness which took her from us far too soon, is a true inspiration in how to take what life dishes out and make the very best of it right to the end.
She turned every situation to a positive and even her cancer treatment inspired the launch of a new oil – called Inner Strength – which she created and used as a fund-raiser for a cancer protocol she had benefitted from.
Even after drastic chemotherapy in 2015, she still found the strength to devise a treat for friends, colleagues and delegates at the Global Wellness Summit in Mexico City.
Unable to attend due to her failing health, she mixed a special aromatherapy oil and sent it – along with a taper for every delegate – to enable everyone present to take a break and inhale the scent. She planned this with huge attention to detail and it was such a generous and thoughtful thing to do. The purpose being to raise awareness of the need for hospitals to use essential oils in patient treatment regimes.
In an accompanying video, she explained how she had found great comfort through the use of oils while in hospital herself and wanted to pass this idea on to the wider world.
Later on at the summit, there was a standing ovation from delegates when she was honoured via Skype with the Leading Woman in Wellness Award in the Global Wellness Awards.
Geraldine’s legacy and gift to us is a set of powerful lessons: to make the most of every second of precious life, to put our heart and soul into our work and find joy in it, to give selflessly of ourselves, to keep fighting right to the end and never give up, to set the highest standards in everything we do and most importantly, to never lose our sense of humour.