Honoring The Past, Present & Future-Rejoicing In The Lord




The Last Goodbye

Part I

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

Part II

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

Part III

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

Part IV

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

Part V

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

Jersey Shore.

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

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Music-Dolly Parton-I Will Always Love You- In Loving Memory Of Kristen  By KathyAnn Corl
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