I was asked to write a eulogy for a dear and close friend who died last week.  I wanted to share with you a portion of it.  She worked for years as a full-time volunteer in the school system with all children.  She did stage productions, taking great joy to never exclude children with disabilities.  To her, all children had a special need for an abundance of love.

While we don’t ever admit it, there is something wonderful about death, that final passage of life. Because people–the survivror–are forced to stop. We stop to remember. We brace our hoe under their armpit and take off their hats. Slowly, we wipe our brows and listen and embrace the rambling noise of memories. And for a brief moment in time, we allow ourselves to rejoice in the past. We are lost something in the 70’s, our sense of tradition. But tradition is more than a processional or which side of the lectern the piano should be placed. Tradition is embodied in the story–the story of our faith. Even more, Christian tradition is embodied in the story of the Faithful.

Jesus said at the last supper, “Do this to remember me.” Memory is an essential part of the Judeo-Christian heritage. The Passover is a ritual of remembering. The Jewish people were taught to remember God’s miraculous salvation interruptions that occur in our everyday lives. But somehow we refuse to allow time to remember. Our lives are wrapped tightly in the present and future. Even our older generations, don’t take the time to remember…or we don’t take the time to listen.

But death abruptly unwraps the cocoons of our present and our future and we come to a screeching halt as the noise of the past slaps us in the face. The only thing John’s family, friends and I have left are our memories of him.

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