Wednesday, August 1, 2012
To CMC: A Life Lived
I went to a funeral yesterday of yet another person whose life has been cut short.
It was on property that she had lived on all her life and everything she did to it expanded and beautified it. It was a place where young people had their lives changed forever, where teenagers found love, where family returned again and again. I heard stories from those family members about the adventures they had there when they were young; they had glowing faces as they remembered.
This land embraced her even as we were celebrating her life. Twice a flock of geese flew by behind the podium. A hawk circled for several minutes, its cry a cross between protest and mourning. A dog wandered down the center aisle; her horses and those of others grazed beside the road we took to get there. What had been a gray day turned sunny. The most beautiful flower arrangements I've ever seen graced signs and altars and tables.
The minister had ministered her through her illness, the musician had been her friend since childhood. Her sister and twin brother told stories and read letters and poems. One of her dear friends took several deep breaths and smiled nervously as she paid her homage; a state politician spoke of her personal and professional greatness.
But the most astounding thing that I heard yesterday was this: "She accomplished everything she wanted to in this lifetime." At fifty-eight years old, five months from being diagnosed with cancer, living on a piece of paradise doing what she loved, she died, and yet she felt she had accomplished everything she wanted in this lifetime.
My god. To be able to say that at the end of my life, whenever it may be, is enough. Let it be.