RantWoman is working on heaven and her friend Lu's memorial, held recently at St Benedict's Church in Wallingford. RantWoman wishes to honor a number of things that might be all wrong for adamant Catholic traditionalists but that RantWoman were wonderful.
RantWoman really likes the church. It is a huge old building but the sanctuary has this wonderful airy feeling. RantWoman noticed somewhere that it has Saturday night service at 6 pm. Maybe for curiosity, RantWoman will stop by.
RantWoman arrived there independently with only Ambassador Thwack. No, RantWoman did not need to take the arm of the person who greeted her but Yes, RantWoman quite appreciates being shown where the restroom is.
RantWoman did not intersect with a song sheet. Not actually a problem.
RantWoman found a blind couple she knows; then her buddies the Weed Whackin Wenches Wing Nut and Curmudgeon arrived too. RantWoman has more than once gone to a memorial and spent the whole time sobbing more about some other grief than the stated focus of the memorial. This time it was Wing Nut's turn,the peculiar communion of parallel circumstances.
Pianist and soloist with really nice voice. Modern, praise-filled music evocative of Jesus, heaven and RantWoman apologizes for not remembering what all.
Lead by Lay Deacon, father and grandfather, who says "Don't call me father" but told a wonderful story of how much it meant to him to help with a service on the Mount of the Beatitudes in Jerusalem even though it was pouring rain, "like Seattle" during the service. Blessed are... blessed are...
Prayers of Christ and heaven. Prayers reminded RantWoman she was in a Catholic church and her task was to honor what the texts mean to Lu and Andrew.
Funeral Rite, not the same as funeral mass. RantWoman's friend Curmudgeon who went to Catholic school says Funeral Rite means no communion. RantWoman thinks, oh thank god. Much nicer than another Catholic memorial Rantwoman attended where the priest was insistent about communion only for baptized Catholics.
Lu's husband Andrew read from the book of Wisdom which RantWoman assumes without checking is one of those books in the Catholic Bible but not the protestant one. It was a passage sort of like the one in the New Testament about "in my father's house are many mansions," definitely about eternal life, heaven, the life beyond this life.
Lu's husband told wonderful stories of Lu's long career and all the people her energy touched. RantWoman thought of harrumphing about how it would be nice to let the voices tell their own stories but also really resonates about how well Andrew appreciated them.
Lu would have been a formidable presence even if she were not blind. Before she went blind she was studying Nuclear Medicine. After she went blind she switched to epidemiology and was consistently a fire hose of numerical information and Wonder Blind Person and always dressed WELL to boot.
Deacon did a tolerable job of speaking about both Lu and blindness, despite not knowing her very well and only while she was ill. RantWoman had not realized that illness dated to Lu's resignation from her job.
A funeral rite involves commending the sould to God and blessing of the remains, or what was reserved after most were buried in MI where Lu grew up. RantWoman thinks it's actually kind of sweet, given how grief clobbers the bereaved unpredictably for awhile after a death, if several communities want memorials and the soul has not all made it to heaven at once, to commend a couple extra times
After a final blessing, everyone gathered for food, socializing, and amazing pictures of Lu and Andrew and all the love and magic between them.
After the service and the gathering with food, the subject of dinner came up. RantWoman did not have anywhere she had to be so RantWoman's buddies the Weed Whacking Wenches "kidnapped" her to come to supper at their house in Lynnwood. The trip featured:
--big trees and fresh air and space to breathe
--tour of wonderful gardens
--opportunity to meet the Wenches' chickens and A DOZEN FRESH eggs to take home
--sit-down with Wing Nut in the middle of huge eldercare challenges and in need of vocabularly like "medical release," Medical Power of Attorney, Advance Directive, Social Worker, Discharge Planner. Wing Nut can do MUCH by phone and needs to be held in the Light.
--Thai food and fresh asparagus from the garden.
--four lovely plastic gelatto containers now repurposed for other food storage in RantWoman's kitchen.
--a nice bag of fresh rhubarb.
Definitely close enough to heaven for now.
RantWoman can stand kidnappings like this anytime.
PS More heaven-themed ministry just because