The Last Goodbye
It was only four years ago
After hosting my fiftieth birthday that you left for Florida
In the midst of tears and hugs
You said :"Don't worry Mom, I'll be back to PA."
How profound those words were.
Today I opened a gold box
To find your cremated remains
I know in my heart that your spirit has found joy
Yet in the crevices of my fingers
All I can feel filtering through my fingers are your bodily remains.
Where once my loving free-spirited daughter smiled
Tears now whelm up inside my eyes
As I remember your passion for life and living
Many sunsets will never be seen and many songbirds will never be heard.
Yet in this loss I know that you lived each day to the fullest
You embraced the spirit of each day
Seeking opportunities to share you loving-kindness with others.
You have touch the lives of so many who miss you so deeply
Loved ones who are now seeking ways to keep your spirit alive
In their daily lives by making a difference
One person at a time.
Kathyann E Corl
The Last Good bye
Bill and I sat in the Bishops Parlor
We sat in the silent stillness of this space
Embracing its loving history
Preparing to create it into a Memorial space for your life.
Tim's family joined us in the Bishops Parlor
Remembering that it is the little moments
Which create memories that last a lifetime.
The "I Love You" Valentine you created in your youth
Your Girl Scout sash illustrating your many interests
A journal that I wrote for you when you celebrated your 18th birthday
We complemented these childhood memories;
With a Mother's Memories book illustrating her life in story and pictures
A photograph collage on the Parlor fireplace
A pastel textured scrapbook of cards and condolences
A fireplace basket of orange tiger lilies, purple carnations, white asters and golden rods,
Celebrating your life in all its beauty.
We honored your love of the arts in the Gathering room
There was a "Loving Memories" Heart foam board
Where family members created colored hearts with messages for your soul
There were slides on the laptop telling the story of your life
Illustrated with the music of Calvary Chapel,
There was a DVD of your life in Florida created by friends at the Olive Garden
Celebrating your passion for life and friends
The Gathering Room vibrated with the many colors of your life.
In the Cloister, there was an Easter garden of sweet young grass
Surrounded by tulips, daffodils and lilies.
We placed a poster board of pictures of those you loved
Surrounded by poems and songs of the pastel scrapbook pages of color.
There was a flowered sign-in sheet where 65 people attended the service
With Memorial Brochures that celebrated your life in photo collage and poetry
The Cloister celebrated the colors and passion your spirit shared with the world.
Kristen to celebrate your life we crated a space
For family members and friends to remember, celebrating the stories of your life.
Kathyann E Corl 4/2/08
The Last Goodbye
Michael was playing the organ prelude
As Bill and I entered the sanctuary of St Stephens
Surrounded by a community of friends and family members
We slowly walked to the front row with Katie seated behind us
Tom and Jeanne to the left and Mary Kay’s family to the right
There was a quiet reverence as we sat together in silence
Seeking solace and nourishment to understand the realities of your death.
In front of us were the Easter gardens that had been gently nurtured and preserved
In the center of the altar was the Easter rainbow of flowers
The rainbow symbolizes the Creator’s promise of everlasting life and hope.
The service began in darkness from the back of the sanctuary
With Churchill and Patrick processing up the aisle with the ashes
Which were placed between the gardens and in front of the floral rainbow
Together we sang "I want to walk as a child of God, I want to walk with Jesus…
in him there is no darkness at all…"
We shared the scripture from Mom’s funeral "There is a time for every season"
We listened as Donna read the words "Love never ends" from 1 Corinthians
Clay was barely able to make it through a heart-felt rendition of Psalm 23
We sang from the heart the words of the song: "And I will raise him up".
Marques spoke for the family as he shared the spirit of your life, your happiness and
your love of family
He reflected on the joy in your eyes and smile as you entered the room and how he was
Beginning to see this in the eyes of Lily
Patrick spoke of the Resurrection story and how difficult it is to understand when
a person dies so young
As the service processed to the columbarium
Bill and I were asked to follow the Processional Cross
As we sang the words Mom loved of "Amazing Grace"
We clustered around the columbarium with Bill to my left and Katie behind me
We held hands as we prayed in the stillness of the Garden.
We then processed to the Bishop’s Parlor
We gathered and shared stories and remembrances
We hugged and cried, and celebrated all that your loving kindness
Had brought to those around you.
As the projector started and individuals were able to celebrate
The depth and breath of your passion for life and love surrounded us.
Kathyann E Corl 4/3/08
The Last Good-bye
Our family gathered with joy as Marques and Jesse married
Today our family gathered with so many questions
So much confusion in our hearts and souls
So much questioning of how you could no longer be with us.
There were so many blessings because of your love
Churches who paid for Tim’s family to be with us
Bus drivers who gave my sister airfare to be here with me
Co-workers and Family were so touched
Knowing that it could have been any of us that received the phone call.
There were moments of silence as all we could do was hold each other in disbelief
There were moments when we unveiled a little of the raw emotion that we
each wrap ourselves up in each day.
There were tender moments as Bobby built me a storage bench so people would have
more space to sit
When MK and Aaron came to church and Aaron talked about how special you were as
he sat on my lap in the Bishop’s Parlor
There was Katie’s laughter as she read the "Cabbage Patch Diaries" she wrote and all
the joy that you shared.
There was the meal our neighbor provided so that I could feed Tim’s family, and
the blessing of an extra table so we could eat together.
There were meals shared as sisters at the Capital Diner, moments of togetherness
and moments lost in memories.
As the family gathered at Ceolta’s Irish Resturant
Uncle Bill led us in the family’s traditional Irish wake
Allowing the gathering of family and spirits
To begin to allow the healing process as we shared memories
So many memories of joy and happiness
So many moments of shared memories along the journey of life
Together we laughed, Together we cried,
Remembering all that we had lost and all that we had shared.
Kathyann E Corl 4/5/08
The Last Good-bye
When Kelly called as we made arrangement for her to stay at our apartment
Her request was "Where can we go to see a sunrise over the ocean?"
As I talked with Bobby, he reminded me that we had gone to the beach in Florida
after Mom passed away.
As we searched the computers we discovered that the closest shore would be if
we could drive due east.
There was our leaving at 2:30 am so that we could see the sunrise at the New
We found a shore with two lighthouses, as we arrived we found that there was no beach.
We traveled the coastal bridge and found Sandy Hook New Jersey which we
remembered from childhood.
It was an overcast cold morning, at 6:30 am as we watched we saw a line of
orange breaking through the clouds
This beacon of light shining through the clouds was a ray of hope breaking through
the darkness of the twilight.
As we stood on the landing above the beach, there were many feelings of home,
There was the smell of the ocean and the sound of the birds coming in off the sea,
Kelly took off her sandals so that she could run with her feet through the sand,
On the beach, the waves were coming up on the shore,
Into the waves of cold water Kelly ran with joy
Picking seashells that had washed up onto the shore
Picking up shells in Kristen's memory because that is what Kristen would have done.
We drove along the beach to Long Beach which was a year-round community
We found a little diner and laundromat where we had homemade waffles
We went for a walk along the boardwalk finding a little hardware store
There I purchased a a postcard of what the sunrise at the shore looks like
Katie found a Wawa where they had her cappuccino
The trip back to PA was quiet as we listened to country music
Katie took some power naps along the way
Together we talked about her feelings about the service, her work and her trip to Peru.
Simple everyday moments that you and I will no longer share
But your spirit will live on in all who knew you and loved you
As a ripple on the ocean reaches out to create more and more ripples along the sand..
Kathyann E Corl 4/5/08