Did you ever notice when we hear news of someone dying our immediate reaction is to tell people about our last encounter with them? I must not be the only one who does this. At her funeral this morning the priest spoke about all the different people who told him how they had just spoken to or had been with Terry this past week. According to him she seemed to be everywhere in one week's time.
I met Terry back in 2008 on our parish retreat. Since then we would run into each other from time to time. She was very involved in the parish. I didn't know her well but every time we spoke she made me feel like a life long friend. She'd greet everyone with a hug and a smile and say something that would make you feel good about yourself. In fact, the last time I saw her was two weeks ago at a Parish Coffee that my mother's group was hosting. When it was over I was beating myself up for forgetting to put out the half-n-half. She sent me an email later that week, saying we did a great job hosting....even without the cream. She also remembered that it was my birthday and sent me good wishes.
I want to be a person like that. One that can touch your life so deeply in quick, everyday encounters.
She was amazing. Her family was amazing standing there in that receiving line at the funeral home. We all know how awkward it is to go to a viewing. Yet, I felt such a peace coming from them. They put me at ease and made me feel better. A gift they no doubt got from their Mom.
Since my children were off from school today I decided to take them to her funeral mass. It was a learning experience for them. This was their first funeral. They had lots of questions about the casket and being buried; we talked about the songs that were sung and why people cry if they weren't close to the one who died. (and can we get doughnuts since we were so good?)
I am grateful to Terry for the example she was for me; a fine and graceful woman living out her Christian calling and bringing warmth and joy to everyone around her.
Eternal rest grant unto her, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon her. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.