Celebration of Life
Provided by Kellie Kelly
Private Family Gathering (30 minutes before service)
Death Is Nothing At All by Henry Scott-Holland
Death is nothing at all.
It does not count.
I have only slipped away into the next room.
Nothing has happened.
Everything remains exactly as it was.
I am I, and you are you,
and the old life that we lived so fondly together is untouched, unchanged.
Whatever we were to each other, that we are still.
Call me by the old familiar name.
Speak of me in the easy way which you always used.
Put no difference into your tone.
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.
Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes that we enjoyed together.
Play, smile, think of me, pray for me.
Let my name be ever the household word that it always was.
Let it be spoken without an effort, without the ghost of a shadow upon it.
Life means all that it ever meant.
It is the same as it ever was.
There is absolute and unbroken continuity.
What is this death but a negligible accident?
Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight?
I am but waiting for you, for an interval,
somewhere very near,
just round the corner.
All is well.
Nothing is hurt; nothing is lost.
One brief moment and all will be as it was before.
How we shall laugh at the trouble of parting when we meet again!
[Precious Lord, Take My Hand]
We come together from the diversity of our grieving,
to gather in the warmth of this community
giving stubborn witness to our belief that
in times of sadness, there is room for laughter.
In times of darkness, there always will be light.
May we hold fast to the conviction
that what we do with our lives matters
and that a caring world is possible after all.
~ M. Maureen Killoran “Our Lives Matter”
It is good to be together this morning
as we mourn the death of Margaret.
We need each other,
both in times of celebration
and especially in times of grief.
Our grief is great but our love is stronger.
It is our love that compels us
to fashion a memorial service of celebration
because we are glad that Margaret lived--
glad that she was with us for 80 years.
Margaret was full of life and gave life to us--
richer in things, wiser in thoughts,
more abundant in those qualities of
daughter, sister, wife, mother, grandmother, and friend
that brought love to our world
and made it a better place through her labors.
We can never hope to speak to all aspects of Margaret's life
in this short time together.
Our offerings of memory, love, and intention
will be like the flowers you hold in your hands.
Gathered together, they will make a bouquet of beauty.
And you will take away with you
a flower from that bouquet
to signify what Margaret gave you
and to signify how Margaret’s life filled our common world.
Moment of Silence
Now we will share a moment of quiet music
so that each of us might remember the person Margaret was--
how she touched us personally and lives in us forever
and how Margaret contributed to making each of us the person we are.
This is a time to reflect, to meditate, and perhaps offer your simple prayer.
[Bridge Over Troubled Waters]
A Bouquet of Memories
Now we will make a bouquet
out of our memories and love for Margaret.
Please come forward to place your flower in the vase.
If you wish, you may offer your remembrance of Margaret
or you may silently place your flower in the vase
as your tribute to the memory of Margaret.
If you need assistance placing your flower,
please let me know and I will place your flower at the end.
This bouquet of flowers symbolizes Margaret’s life--
That her life was abundant and beautiful.
Margaret touched many people
in more ways than we can ever describe.
This bouquet also symbolizes the weaving of our lives into a community
through Margaret’s living and loving.
Moment of Silence
As we enter into another quiet moment of music,
contemplate the meaning of Margaret’s symbolic bouquet
and watch the slideshow that her family lovingly prepared.
[Turn! Turn! Turn!]
Memories from Daughter
Memories from Granddaughter
[Spirit of Life]
In the spirit of love,
we close the celebration
of the life of Margaret.
Let us go in peace and live together in charity and gratitude--
Carrying with us
Margaret’s gifts of courage, wisdom, and love.