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Tag Archives: death

We will truly miss Edmund

We will truly miss Edmund Kuempel.

He was a man of character who touched the lives of everyone he met.

God bless Birdie and family.

treading lightly

Jimmy and Barbara - 1968


On The Death Of Friends In Childhood
by Donald Justice
We shall not ever meet them bearded in heaven
Nor sunning themselves among the bald of hell;
If anywhere, in the deserted schoolyard at twilight,
forming a ring, perhaps, or joining hands
In games whose very names we have forgotten.
Come memory, let us seek them there in the shadows.

“She did not simply visit this world, she made a difference.”

Bart and Lynn Holaday

She did not simply visit this world, she made a difference. – Bart Holaday

I leave this life grateful and fulfilled.  I am at peace; I am not afraid. – Lynn Buckingham Holaday



remembering Lynn

Madeleine L’Engle writes in Glimpses of Grace Daily Thoughts and Reflections that

. . . The search for grace, costly grace, involves an acceptance of pain and the creative grief which accompanies growth into maturity.  Don’t be afraid the pain will destroy the wholeness.  It leads, instead to the kind of wholeness that rejoices in Resurrection.

No one dares to grieve who does not dare to love, and love is always part of costly grace.  It has been said that before we can give love we must first have received love, and indeed love is a response to love.

. . . But in thinking about love and grief we must be careful not to confuse either with that sentimentality which is part of cheap grace.  The kind of loving grief I’m talking about involves acceptance of the precariousness of life and that we will all die, but our wholeness is found in the quality rather than the quantity of our living.

. . . We live in a time where costly grace is what makes life bearable; more than bearable–joyful and creative, so that even our grief is part of our partnership in co-creation with God.

September 9th

James Remington "Jimmy" Pees

John 11:25-26

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life.
He who believes in me will live, even though he dies;
and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.
Do you believe this?”

I believe.

Because I could not stop for Death,
He kindly stopped for me;
The carriage held but just ourselves
And Immortality.

We slowly drove, he knew no haste,
And I had put away
My labor, and my leisure too,
For his civility.

We passed the school, where children strove
At recess, in the ring;
We passed the fields of gazing grain,
We passed the setting sun.

Or rather, he passed us;
The dews grew quivering and chill,
For only gossamer my gown,
My tippet only tulle.

We paused before a house that seemed
A swelling of the ground;
The roof was scarcely visible,
The cornice but a mound.

Since then ’tis centuries, and yet each
Feels shorter than the day
I first surmised the horses’ heads
Were toward eternity.

~ Emily Dickinson

today’s thought

Posted on

No one’s death comes to pass

without making some impression,

and those close to the deceased

inherit part of the liberated soul

and become richer in their


Hermann Broch

1886-1951, Austrian Novelist)

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies.”


Posted on

“The human inquiry into the mysteries of life and the nature of the soul is acute during bereavement.  When a loved one dies, we have no choice but to face up to nearly imponderable questions, the kind of questions I mentioned at the beginning of the chapter.  Most of us open ourselves up to the questions death demands of us.  We don’t necessarily do this by choice, mind you.  Death does not ask permission.  Although we may accept death’s invitation with trepidation, many of us find that the experience is not as frightening as we anticipated.  many of us discover, in fact, that we have found something quite profound hidden in the experience.”

“The longest bereavement study that I know of spanned a remarkable thirty-five years.  Some things stay constant, the study showed, but many aspects of bereavement fade only gradually, after many years have passed.  In the first few years after a loss, for example, most bereaved people frequently reminisce about the lost loved one.  We find ourselves indulging in reflection, replaying old memories.  We do this at least several times a week.  Fifteen years later, these kinds of reflective thoughts and memories happen less frequently, but they are not completely absent.

“Anniversary reactions . . . reveal the same gently sloping pattern.  An ‘anniversary reaction’ occurs anytime a bereaved person experiences a dramatic increase in sadness or loneliness on the anniversary of an important date related to the loss: the lost loved one’s birthday, the first holiday after the death, and, of course, the date of the loved one’s death.  For most people, anniversary reactions last a few hours and not much longer.  The duration does not seem to change much over time.  What does change, though, is the frequency of these reactions.

“Despite the durability of grief, bereaved people often worry that they will forget, that they will lose track of their memories, even years after a loved one’s death.  This is an especially thorny issue for bereaved parents.  Once a parent, always a parent; there is no switch to turn that off.  When a child dies, parents never allow the memory to drift too far away.

“I asked Karen Everly about this.  I asked her if she could sum up what bereavement felt like years after the death of her daughter.  She looked thoughtful.  Her words apply, I think, to anyone who has ever mourned a loved one:

It’s a bit like a fading light.  It grows dim but it never goes out, never, not completely anyway.  I find that enormously reassuring.  I used to worry that someday the light would disappear–that I would forget, and then I would really have lost Claire.  I know, now, that doesn’t happen.  It can’t.  There is always a little flicker there.  It is a bit like the small glowing embers you see after a fire dies down.  I carry that around with me, that little ember, and if I need to, if I want to have Claire next to me, I blow on it, ever so gently, and it glows bright again.’

Chris – The Final Awakening

Our friend Chris Lumpkins Cook lost her fight with cancer Tuesday and will suffer no more.  There are so many happy memories of Chris (most especially her generosity and her lovely smile).  Reading Chris’ blog, which her daughter faithfully posted each day, shows how many people were touched by Chris and the love of her family.

The late Peter Marshall, former chaplain of the U. S. Senate, told a story about a young boy who was dying from an incurable disease.  he asked his mother, “What is it like to die?  Does it hurt?”

His mother reminded him of what it was like when he had played hard all day and fell asleep on the sofa or in the car on the ride home from his grandparents’ house.  “When you awoke in the morning you were in your own bed because your daddy came with his big strong arms and carried you home.  Death is like that,” the mother told him.  “You fall asleep here, and you wake up and find that your Father has carried you home.”

Chris Lumpkins Cook

March 24, 1939 – January 26, 2010

my friend is dying

It is so painful to read of the suffering of my friend Chris.  It has been years since we’ve seen one another – but the years don’t diminish the caring – and Chris’s daughter is keeping  friends and family aware of Chris’s situation via the internet.  The love this family shares and the love Chris has inspired touches me deeply.  I hate hate HATE that Chris is enduring such pain and yet I know she is surrounded with love – the love of her family and her friends – and most importantly, of her God.  When one reads the comments on the blog about Chris, it is obvious that she has touched many many people with Christ’s love.  But I still HATE HATE HATE that she is going through such suffering.

My poet of the month (thankful I’ve discovered the sensitive and gifted poet John O’Donohue) writes that . . .

Though we need to weep your loss,
You dwell in that safe place in our hearts
Where no storm or night or pain can reach you.

Your love was like the dawn
Brightening over our lives,
Awakening beneath the dark
A further adventure of color

The sound of your voice
Found for us
A new music
That brightened everything.

Whatever you enfolded in your gaze
Quickened in the joy of its being;
You placed smiles like flowers
On the altar of the heart.
Your mind always sparkled
With wonder at things.

Though your days here were brief,
Your spirit was alive, awake, complete.

We look toward each other no longer
From the old distance of our names;
Now you dwell inside the rhythm of breath,
As close to us as we are to ourselves.

Thought we cannot see you with outward eyes,
We know our soul’s gaze is upon your face,
Smiling back at us from within everything
To which we bring our best refinement.

Let us not look for you only in memory,
Where we would grow lonely without you.
You would want us to find you in presence,
Beside us when beauty brightens,
When kindness glows

And music echoes eternal tones.
When orchids brighten the earth,
Darkest winter has turned to spring;
May this dark grief flower with hope
In every heart that loves you.

May you continue to inspire us:
To enter each day with a generous heart.
To serve the call of courage and love
Until we see your beautiful face again
In that land where there is no more separation,
Where all tears will be wiped from our mind,
And where we will never lose you again.

I know that Chris’s family is holding each moment with Chris in  tenderness and love – and I know Chris, amidst her suffering, also treasures these days with her loved ones.  Chris’s daughter writes: “We ask that your continued prayers will be to bring comfort with the suffering Mom continues to experience. Our family is grateful for each day we are given to be with Mom.”

God bless Chris and God bless the Cook family.