November 17, 2007
This morning I attended a lovely, uplifting memorial service for a dear friend – the mother of one of my students – who died suddenly in a tragic accident earlier this week. As I sat in the seaside chapel, I felt both sad and thankful, both heartbroken and inspired. She was a woman whom everyone dearly loved, and of course her presence will be dearly missed. I shed many tears during the service because I won’t see her quietly walking the halls of our school with her infectious smile. At the same time, though, it was entirely clear to me that what we all loved so much about her is not gone – cannot be gone. How can love and gentleness like hers ever die? How can a motorist kill the kind of infinite goodness this woman radiated? Yes, I felt forlorn, as did all of us in the chapel on this chilly November day, but I also felt utterly grateful for having known her, for having felt her gentle joy so often, for having been touched so often by her bighearted spirit. As I walked out of the chapel, I was brushing away a tear, but there was also a smile inside as I thought about the immeasurable wealth this woman’s affectionate life had bequeathed to all of us.