29 December 2009

I have lived, and I mattered


Francis Beidler Forest, S.C.

I've squeezed hands in too many hospital rooms and attended too many funerals this past week. Yesterday afternoon I watched my friend Donna be strong while she said goodbye to her husband Shane - just 44 years of age. It's been a sad Christmas for too many and I pray they find the strength they need.

I sat in Stuhr's Funeral Home among rows of friends from our hospital family and while we waited we planned our own funerals and promised to attend to each others outrageous demands - except for Gene Glave's. I don't even have a bridesmaids gown to wear to a funeral but if that is how she wants it, we will definitely need a photographer and that will be my role.

Amplesanity celebrated her birthday this week and I always enjoy her way with words. She posted this entry today:
An online article once asked, "What have you done with your life?" My response was, in part and as closely as I can recall: "I have given birth to people and ideas and dreams. I have written and spoken. I have made people think and pissed people off. I have loved and been loved. I have been good and bad and everything in between. I have failed and succeeded. I have cried and wailed and survived. I have traveled to the end of the universe and back again using the horse-cart called imagination. I have lived."

Then she wrote of speaking out loud the name of the person who passed away:
When someone dies, he or she deserves to have his or her name spoken aloud. To speak a name out loud allows the dead an opportunity to say, "I have lived, and I mattered." To speak a name out loud allows the living a moment to acknowledge and mourn all that is lost by a passing.

Shane Blew Father, Ironworker, beloved husband of my sweet friend Donna. He lived, and he mattered.