Memorials & Funeral Ceremonies
In the rising of the sun and in its going down, we remember her.
In the blowing of the wind and in the chill of winter, we remember her.
In the opening of the buds and in the rebirth of spring, we remember her.
In the blueness of the sky and in the warmth of summer, we remember her.
In the rustling of the leaves and in the beauty of autumn, we remember her.
In the beginning of the year and when it ends, we remember her.
When we are weary and in need of strength, we remember her.
When we are lost and sick at heart, we remember her.
When we have joys we yearn to share, we remember her.
So long as we live, she too shall live,
for she is now a part of us, as we remember her.
~ Adapted from the Jewish Prayer Book by Sylvan Kamens & Rabbi Jack Riemer
Excerpt from Ash Scattering Ritual
The time has come to do as Elisabeth bid us. Unto these waters we will offer her ashes, along with our memories, in celebration, mourning and remembrance of the life of Elisabeth Mast Buck. As is the Quaker way, if and when you feel called, please share with us now what is in your mind and heart. If you're comfortable, I invite you to take part in scattering her ashes before, during or after your sharing. (The family now shares their memories as they scatter the ashes into the ocean.)
As the poet Thomas Bailey Aldrich wrote, “What is lovely never dies, But passes into another loveliness, Star-dust or sea-foam, Flower or winged air.” After nearly a century, Elisabeth’s life has been transformed, passing into the sea, into the sky and ultimately, deep into our hearts.
I am standing upon the seashore.
A ship at my side spreads her white sails to the morning breeze
and starts for the blue ocean.
She is an object of beauty and strength,
and I stand and watch until at last she hangs like a speck of white cloud
just where the sea and sky come down to mingle with each other.
Then someone at my side says,
“There she goes.”
Gone from my sight . . . that is all.
And just at the moment
when someone at my side says,
“There she goes,”
there are other eyes watching her coming . . .
and other voices ready to take up the glad shout . . .
“Here she comes!”
~ Adapted from "Gone From My Sight" by Henry Van Dyke
Excerpt from a Miscarriage Ceremony
Great Spirit, you who are the vast oceans, the soaring mountains, the mighty forests and everything that walks and flies and moves among them, we ask that you fill Jana with your all-knowing presence, now in this time of deepest sorrow. Give her comfort in her goodbye, knowing this child has returned to the source from which we all came, to where we shall all return in the sacred wheel of life.
Prayer for the Dying
Beloved Creator, be with Brian now as he prepares to make his way home to you. Bring comfort to his body, tranquility to his mind and joy to his spirit at this time of sacred transition. Make his path easy and light, filled with the certainty that his destination is but blessed peace, divine love. May Brian feel your blissful presence accompanying him on his journey, now and forever more. In your sweet name we ask this, and know that in asking, it is already so. Amen.
Excerpt from a Pet Memorial
Today we say goodbye to Benny, a sweet friend to us these many years. We thank him for the delight he brought us: the joy and laughter, the faithful companionship and unconditional love. The sadness we feel now is but a measure of the gratitude we have for his loving presence in our lives. We bid farewell to Benny today but know he will never truly be gone, for his memory will always be with us
Put the rubber mouse away,
Pick the spools up from the floor,
What was velvet shod, and gay,
Will not want them, any more.
What was warm, is strangely cold.
Whence dissolved the little breath?
How could this small body hold
So immense a thing as Death?
~ Sara Henderson Hay