"We do best homage to our dead when we live our lives most fully, even in the shadow of our loss. For each of our lives is worth the life of the whole world; in each one is the breath of the ultimate one."
Funeral homily stories
"The Blessing of memory: It is hard to sing of oneness when our world is not complete, when those who once brought wholeness to our life have gone, and naught but memory can fill the emptiness their passing leaves behind.
In the past few years I've been to more funerals than I care to count as my parents' generation crosses the threshold into all that is unseen. One theme that runs constant at the funerals for mothers is "Mom was a good listener."
The widow of one of my best friends calls regularly to tell me how much she misses him, and inevitably she will break down in tears. After more than two years nothing is more important to her than the assurance that she and her husband will one day be together in heaven.
Sir Winston Churchill remarked upon drawing near to death that he was ready to meet his Maker. "Whether my Maker is prepared for the great ordeal of meeting me," he went on, "is another matter."
Pope John Paul II was a champion of life and insisted that its sacred dignity be protected at every turn. But when he reached the end of his own life, he was wise enough to recognize that it was time to go.
In the difficult months of Henry Cosgrove's fight with cancer, the doctors kept trying ever more heroic procedures. It eventually became apparent to Henry that the efforts to prolong his life were only prolonging his death.
This powerful piece of Victorian poetry from Idylls of the King, by Tennyson, captures the last words of the dying King Arthur. It recognizes change, faith, the power of prayer, and remembrance.