| Memorial services are held in the usual
places and the unusual. One friend asked that we all gather at her favorite
park, another wanted us to share and console each other at the hospital
where she worked and eventually died. There is no right way to speak of
another's journey through life, except truthfully. While we tend to idealize
the departed, no one actually becomes a better person because they are no
longer with us. If they were stubborn, funny, silly, sweet, kind, angry,
argumentative, talkative, and so on, that is what they still are to us.
The memories are all good for they are about someone we love.
Here is an example of a piece written for a woman who devoted
herself to helping others:
Today I feel a stronger knowledge of the strength and
beauty of her soul through the legacy of memories in the minds and hearts
of you, her family and friends.
As I share your sorrow, I also share with you the joy of
her continued presence in our hearts and memories. Please close your
eyes for a moment of reflective meditation. While we speak of memories,
for that is what will carry each of us through these times, bringing tears
of sweet recall and smiles from cherished moments, now is the time to let
all our minds and hearts truly be as one, acknowledging the universal oneness.
As we do, our hearts and minds are attuned to the spirit
of Charon as she is gathered up for her next journey to a land we only dream
of. Now that we are all as one, I believe that she can hear our
thoughts and feelings, and we perhaps can feel her presence.
As we are one, whether you came forward to speak of your
love for her and her family, or simply keep these thoughts present, she
is aware and knows. In so receiving our need to continue the bond established
on this earth , we will walk with her on this journey a little bit further
than if we think of her as only a body.
Charon's body may no longer be useful to her spirit, but
her spirit is still of very much use to God, and very much present.
I am writing to thank you for the beautiful funeral
service you composed and conducted for George. Almost everyone who attended
remarked about how lovely it was and how you managed to capture George's
spirit. More importantly, Jackie took great comfort from the service
and from your later conversation at the restaurant. She was quite struck
by what you said and by her subsequent reading of "Charlotte's Web".
Perhaps some time when Jackie plans to visit us, you and she can get
together to talk further. She has said she would like to do that at
I'm glad that you came to mind when we thought about
who could conduct the service. Now your ministry has brought our family
both joy through our wedding and comfort through George's funeral. We
are most grateful to you.
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