the friend online
10 August 2007

Giving thanks for the life - preview

Sue Eustace from Marple PM asks if we should show appreciation before people die

Many of my non-Quaker friends rather envy us our funerals
  • To spend an hour in silence, when those gathered together may speak of what the dead person meant to them, often seems to them to be infinitely preferable to other ways of conducting a funeral
  • And I have always felt privileged to attend a Quaker memorial meeting and to experience a depth of love in the silence and in the ministry which so often reflects what is in my heart

  • Sometimes, however, I've thought what a pity it is that we save all this for when our Friend is dead and gone
  • How good it would be to tell them how much they are loved whilst they are still alive and very much with us
  • So when Ragna Holden told us all that the heart specialist had given her at best another six months, I began to think
  • It was Ragna's 88th birthday coming up shortly – why not have a party to celebrate her life, with her actually there? I mentioned the idea to our meeting
  • 'Ah,' said an attender with a Buddhist boyfriend, 'Rejoicing in the merits of others!' It is one of the ten Meritorious Deeds in Buddhism
  • Everyone agreed
  • We would have a shared lunch, a cake, and before we cut the cake we would each tell Ragna what she meant to us
  • We checked with the family – yes, they were very happy to join in
  • We told Ragna it was to be a shared lunch; the rest would be a surprise

  • Sue Eustace

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    Friends all set for prophesy
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    News round-up
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    Rod Harper, Mary Lou Leavitt and Rachel Pantin
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    Contributed by his granddaughter Susan V Hartshorne, York MM
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    Giving thanks for the life
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