Monthly Archives: July 2010

Speech Given Memorial Elizabeth’s Service

E's MemorialWhile a child somewhere learns how to read her first words, while people meet for coffee, while a woman picks up the phone to call her mother, while a young man buys a book , we gather here today in this place because a death has occurred amongst us. While a deer crosses the road, while a man puts his gun away, while politicians change the course of our lives, we sit here with our private thoughts of death and of life and of love and the stray thoughts of what we will eat for dinner and what must we do to prepare for tomorrow. While a cricket hops into the web of a spider and while a fish eyes a potential mate and while a counselor talks to a man about suicide, we consider that someone we have known has left the physical where we live with time, space and our earthly stories. While someone, somewhere forgives her father, while someone, somewhere, packs a bag and walks out of the door leaving her abusive husband and while six puppies are born beneath a cottage in Key West, we think of our own deaths. How will we die? When will we die? Do I have enough insurance? Should I start going to church? While a baby takes in her first breath, while an old man takes his last, we think of Elizabeth Reddoch, and how is it possible that she no longer lives with us where the earth is the foundation and our eyes see only sky.
So while we sit here, while this earth is beneath our feet and the sky is above us, while we sit here together between the moment of our birth and the moment of our death, let us consider that we live. And while we are considering the fact of our present status of aliveness, less us be courageous and ask a few hard questions. Let us allow Elizabeth’s departure from this realm to be an opportunity to consider that we might just not be as alive as we could be.
The one thing we can do for the dead is to be fully alive. So let us put all else aside for this moment and consider how it is a human being becomes fully alive while they walk on this earth.
So let’s take advantage of this moment while a loved one’s death has awakened us slightly to the nature of living. Let us allow Elizabeth’s life and her departure from this realm to shine a spiritual light on the possibilities for life lived fully and without fear.
Let’s go back in time. Let’s return in our imaginations to the moment of our birth into the physical. It was a time when were not aware of our mother’s fears and our father’s fears and the world’s catastrophes. We can go back to the moment of our births before anyone had a chance to tell us who they thought God was and before we knew anything about all the religions man has created in order to feel safe and secure in a world that is a frightening place to live.
So one minute you are nice and comfortable floating around in your mother’s juices and the next moment you are outside of her body and thrown into a new world of air and light. For just a moment let us all agree that within your small bloody body is a Spirit that is connected to all life. It is the Spirit we think we have seen in a child’s eyes. It is the Spirit that withstands the earthly journey. It is what you will sometimes see in an old woman’s face who has remained aware and awake. It is spirit that Elizabeth has become. It is a spirit that knows no fear. It is a spirit that is perfect. It is a spirit fully aware and accepting of its beauty. It knows its connection to life and to love and to the divine.
For just a moment let us imagine that the spirit within your baby body is connected to all living things. It is connected to the sap that runs within a pine tree and within the veins of a leaf. It is the life behind a the muscle of a black bear and within the wings of a hawk. Your connection to all life is with you as you begin your earthly journey. But there is a problem. The world you have been born into has forgotten its connection. The world that has forgotten its connection to Spirit has created religions, governments, wars, famines and educational systems that make you forget your own connection. The world can not disconnect us from our Spirits but it can make us forget or to doubt our connection.
Our Spirits will nudge us toward awakening . We will make efforts to reconnect our true selves. But the world is loud. It is fueled by fear of there not being enough, there isn’t enough, there isn’t enough. The child’s instinctual awareness to its true beautiful Self is forgotten. The world in which you were born could not nurture your true Self because the world in which you were born is disconnected from the spirit.
We can allow this death amongst us to nudge us toward a new aliveness and connection to the spirit that lives within us. Some have called that Spirit a loyal and faithful lover who awaits our return. The story in the bible of the prodigal son is about the return to a part of our selves that we abandoned early on. We can reclaim the part of us that truly understands what love is, what peace is, and it is the only place where lives uninterrupted. Look around and ask yourself where joy might found? Look around and ask yourself where you might find the truth. Where is that child that was fully aware of her beauty? Her perfect self? Her perfect connection to the Source of all things?
If Elizabeth could stand here in front of you having gone into spirit and able now to return to us and describe what she has experienced so far on her new path, she would be delighted to do so. Her scientific approach to things would make her want to tell us what she had expected to see and what she actually sees. She would use that Elizabeth rhythm of speech and do the work of a story teller that would teach us and entertain us and would shine a light on what it means to live totally in spirit. And I am certain that because she knows what it is to be human and now knows what it is to be fully in Spirit that she would advise us to live from both places. She would tell us to do whatever we have to do to reconnect to that Spirit within us that is love, that is beauty, that is eternal and that is the one true source for happiness. And then she would tell us to celebrate the fact that she lived on this earth beneath the sky and swam in its waters and ate its food, and touched its leaves and dug in its dirt and walked in its airports and on its sandy beaches. She would tell us to stop trying to fix ourselves. We have a true Self that lives within us and it does need to be fixed, it just needs to be remembered. And then she would laugh with her mouth wide open and she would close hers eyes and tilt her head like a gleeful child and say loud enough for our spirits to hear. “Enjoy the journey.” Thank you Elizabeth for your life and for the help you might offer to those if us still left in the physical. You will always be a part of us and us a part of you.