Sunday, February 10, 2008

Truly A Good Death

Death is not always the enemy, but sometimes a friend. Sharon and I presided yesterday over one such interment and memorial service. Evelyn Barwise: 90 years old, beloved of her familiy and friends, still living in her home ater 60 years, hoping against hope that she would not have to move into assisted living. Her wish was granted last Tuesday as she died quietly in her home, with no heroics or drama, just as she would have wished. The interment at Oak Ridge with the immediae family was a time to reflect on "ashes to ashes, dust to dust," and the passing of life's seasons during a time of winter, with spring but a few weeks away. At the memorial service grand-daughter Alissa read her essay about the meaning of "Gramms' " life, and surely no finer tribute was more beautifully expressed. Other glimpses of this outstanding lady were caught up in selections she had made of music, verse, and scripture, most memorable the words of Victor Hugo read in closing: "Be like the bird who, halting in his flight on a limb too slight, feels it give way beneath him, yet sings, knowing he hath wings."

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