so it seems most of my "letters" to you are about funerals. i have been to as many funerals as I have weddings lately. the weddings are/were heart warming and joyful experinces. they are filled w/ beauty, love, faith, and hope--- why not share?
as i pondered this, i realized it is funerals that truly make us pause. pause and reflect on a myriad of emotions and the dear one's life, the life they lived, the life they left behind, and of course a reflection of our own lives and what will we leave behind. the last funeral i was at was Diane's mom's (Ginny) funeral. it was a Quaker service: Memorial meeting for worship.
Cole attended the United Friends School for pre-school. it was here i learned about the Quaker values of SPICES: Spirituality, Peace, Integrity, Community, Equality & Service. that alone should make us proud we live in "Quakers town". This feeling really solidified after Ginny's service. in honoring Equality, Quakers do not use titles for each other--we are all equal.
as we sat in the meeting for worship, the simplicity of the meeting house, the service was so comfortable yet had a reverence to it that was palpable. at Ginny's request a song that was very special to her was played as we all settled. after the song, there was silence. in a Quaker meeting, everyone sits in the silence to wait on spirit. after some time, Diane began and spoke about her mom. silence would follow in short and longer periods of time for reflection and also to allow for others to speak, when the time felt right for them. there was joy expressed, reverence, tears, heart ache, joy, again, laughter....a lot of laughter...heart-felt wonderful laughter. somehow (i would say magically, but is it really magic, or just the Divine?) the mood came back to a deep respect and reverence.
i never meet Ginny. i talked to her once on the phone many moons ago (pun intended). i have known Diane for almost a decade. i know of her mom. i left this service knowing who Ginny is (and that she made and loved chocolate chip cookies) from the stories of her high school & nursing school mate, to her new Quaker friends of a mere 4 years. i know what kind of mother, aunt, sister, friend, Quaker, and activist she was.
i never left a service feeling a heart so full and a deep, deep sense of the person who touched so many lives and in all the ways they have left their mark in the hearts of their friends and family. having had my own father pass, i couldn't have been more happy for Diane. the Quaker service is such a gift to the family.
the Quakers got it right. they know how to love and honor the life of human being in a way that fills everyone's heart & soul. and this is why i am proud to live in Quaker's town.
light your lamp & you light the world