Funeral & Memorial Services

Traditional & Non-Traditional, Humanistic, Secular, Religious & Non Religious Services

“Grieve not, nor speak of me with tears, but laugh and talk of me as if I were beside you there.” ~ Isla Paschal Richardson

Your memories of your loved one are alive within you, unbounded by birth and death. They are the greatest gifts you can share with the friends and family members of your loved one.

“What we have once enjoyed we can never lose. All that we love deeply becomes a part of us.” ~ Helen Keller

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Funeral or Memorial Services:

  • are essential rituals that facilitate in the journey of healing.
  • create a time and space to talk and share about the life and death of the person who has died.
  • help in the process of mourning.
  • encourage the grieving heart to open and trust what exists beyond the five senses.
  • help us remember the loved one who has died and encourage us to share those memories with others
  • provide a social support network for the bereaved.
  • help the bereaved acknowledge the death of a loved one.
  • create continuity and hope for the living.
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Types of Services Reverend Sara Performs:

Non-Traditional Service:

There are no rules for a non-traditional service. Non-traditional funeral & memorial services offer the opportunity to create a personalized meaningful service that honors the life of the deceased in a way that is reflective of the deceased and relevant to the bereaved. Reverend Sara has many creative options/alternatives to suggest to those choosing to have a non-traditional service.. A non-traditional service can be religious: denominational or non-denominational, interfaith, spiritual or humanistic. It can also include some or all of the elements in a traditional service as explained below.

Traditional Funeral Services:

Traditional funeral and memorial services in our American culture are usually held in a church or funeral home in the presence of the body with either a closed or open casket. A clergy member usually officiates the service which is composed of scripture readings, prayers, a eulogy, and a sermon. Music and hymns are usually interspersed throughout the service. After the service there is often a processional to the grave-site where the minister concludes the service with a brief committal service. A traditional service can be religious denominational or non-denominational, interfaith or spiritual.

The following are just a few ideas for creating a personalized memorial or funeral service:

  • Select a venue such as a beach, park or favorite locale of the deceased.(Reverend Sara can suggest some great locations if you don’t have one).
  • Gather special objects such a photos, artwork or a favorite collection to display at the service that celebrates the life of the deceased.
  • Include music in the service to create ambiance. Compile your departed’s favorite songs on a CD or choose a CD with classical music. Have this music playing softly in the background; and/or begin and end the service with the deceased’s favorite songs.
  • Choose an officiant for the service. The officiant can be a spiritual leader such as a non-denominational/Interfaith/ spiritual minister.
  • Work with your officiant to prepare the actual service: important ceremony elements such as special music, poetry, readings or rites.

Whether you choose to have a traditional or non-traditional service, Reverend Sara will create a uniquely personalized, heart-centered service focused on your wishes as well as the beliefs and the wishes of the bereaved. Additionally she will help you choose readings, scriptures, rituals, prayers and music for the service.

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The Eulogy

The word eulogy is derived from the Greek work eulogia which means praise or blessing. It honors and acknowledges the unique life lived by the deceased and affirms the significance of that life to family and friends

A Eulogy can be composed by the officiant presiding over the service or by a family member or friend or, it can be a collaborative work by family members and friends and the officiant. Reverend Sara will help you and your family create a eulogy that honors the life of your loved one and includes their admirable qualities, anecdotes and the special memories you wish to include.

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Some of the Many Readings Offered for Services:

A Moment of Remembrance for Those With Us In Spirit

All those we have known and loved are inextricably woven into our lives. Like tributaries merging into a river, streams winding their way down a mountain, and underground springs which though unseen, cleanse and renew the waters: so it is with the loving relationships we have known. As they have joined in our lives, their love and their gifts to us become part of who we are – blended imperceptibly through the ripples and rapids of our lives.

All those in our lives, no longer here in form are made present again each time we love another well and fulfill their hopes and legacies for our lives. There is but one Source of life and we are all carriers of its flow. Mikala & Daniel give thanks for the love and life which flowed to them from all those they have known and loved.

~By Kahil Gibran~

  • You would know the secret of death.
  • But how shall you find it unless you seek it in the heart of life?
  • The owl whose night-bound eyes are blind unto the day cannot
  • unveil the mystery of light.
  • If you would indeed behold the spirit of death,
  • open your heart wide unto the body of life.
  • For life and death are one, even as the river and the sea are one.
  • In the depth of your hopes and desires
  • lies your silent knowledge of the beyond;
  • And like seeds dreaming beneath the snow, your heart dreams of spring.
  • Trust the dreams, for in them is hidden the gate to eternity…
  • For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun?
  • And what is it to cease breathing, but to free the breath from its restless tides,
  • that it may rise and expand and seek God unencumbered?
  • Only when you drink from the river of silence shall you indeed sing.
  • And when you have reached the mountain top, then you shall begin to climb.
  • And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance…”

Death is nothing at all

  • I have only slipped away into the next room.
  • I am I and you are you.
  • Whatever we were to each other,
  • that we still are.
  • Call me by my old familiar name.
  • Speak to me in the easy way
  • which you always used.
  • Put no difference in your tone.
  • Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.
  • Laugh as we always laughed
  • at the little jokes we enjoyed together.
  • Play, smile, think of me, pray for me.
  • Let my name be ever the household word
  • that it always was.
  • Let it be spoken without affect,
  • without the trace of a shadow on it.
  • Life means all that it ever meant.
  • It is the same that it ever was.
  • There is absolutely unbroken continuity.
  • Why should I be out of mind
  • because I am out of sight?
  • I am waiting for you,
  • for an interval,
  • somewhere very near,
  • just around the corner.
  • All is well.

~ Henry Scott Holland

SAMPLE MEMORIAL SERVICE: HONORING THE LIFE & MEMORIES OF ELIZABETH D

“Elizabeth didn’t have to think about being good, She didn’t have to make moral choices or think about the right things to do, her moral compass was always pointed in the right direction.”

OPENING WORDS:

Family and friends, I welcome you into this gathering which is made sacred with the spirit of love and friendship you bring to this gathering. On behalf of Elizabeth’s family I would like say “thank you” so very much, to all of you who have come to be with them today.

We are here to say farewell and to honor the life & memory of Elizabeth D. We honor Elizabeth for her inspiration and devotion to her family, her service to humanity, her compassion for those in need, love of children and animals, her adventurous spirit, and strength and courage to stand for what she believes and to speak for those who could not.

We gather also to offer thanksgiving and gratitude that one such as Elizabeth lived among us and we invite Elizabeth’s presence here amongst us so that we may, in our time together today, call forth loving memories of her and honor her life.

Each of you comes with your own unique memories of Elizabeth, for she was not the same person to any two people. And, you each bring your own special memories of a woman who touched your lives with love & friendship in myriad ways.

CANDLE LIGHTING:

Begin with lighting a candle

Within each human being there is a spark of divine & eternal light which exists beyond time and in the truth of eternity. We light this candle to honor the life & light of Elizabeth D. In lighting this candle we call forth the love and the light of Elizabeth’s spirit that touched the lives of so many, including all of you here today..

ADDRESS:

We have gathered here in this room to acknowledge the death of Elizabeth whom you have known and loved. When someone we have cared for dies, family and friends gather with sorrow in their hearts.

At times when we must face death and loss, we need one another's company for understanding and support. Just to be together, to look into one another's faces, takes away some of our loneliness and draws our hearts together in the healing which we can offer one another. At such times, the ways that sustain us separately come together in a virtual harmony that acts across all creeds and assures us of the permanence of human goodness and hope. So we are gathered here today in grief and sorrow, but we have also gathered to celebrate a life. We have come together to give thanks that we knew this vibrant person, to express our gratitude for the days and years we were able to share with her. We are here to remember and memorialize a good and caring life. By remembering the best of Elizabeth, by recalling some her finest qualities, by honoring her principles, values, and dreams which guided her life. We are gathered for all these things. But our first task is to face, full and unafraid, the reality of this death and the grief and loss we feel.

ELIZABETH

(Eulogy)

In preparing today’s service I had the pleasure of getting to know a bit about Elizabeth and her life through talking to some of you. As I listened to stories, memories and reflections, it became obvious that she was a very special human being who utilized her many talents and honorable attributes to helping those in need. The legacy she leaves behind is that of a life consciously dedicated to making the world a better place.

Perhaps her essence is best described in the following quote by her friend, Alexis:

“Elizabeth didn’t have to think about being good, she didn’t have to make moral choices or think about the right things to do, her moral compass was always pointed in the right direction.”

Elizabeth’s vibrant, rebellious free spirit began expressing itself back in her prep school days at St. Joseph’s Academy where she broke the traditional uniform code and wore work boots with her school uniform; a defiant prep school act generally frowned upon by Catholic school officials. Her ex-husband, Mark, recalls first meeting her and encountering that lovely vibrant rebellious free spirit through the MGB green racing car and pickup truck she proudly owned and drove during that era of her life.

It was during her high school days that her fine-tuned athletic talents coupled with her spirit of determination served to propel her to the heights of local fame in softball. These talents also earned her the wiffel ball championship title and she became renowned for being able to send a wiffel ball flying further than anyone else

It was that same determined spirit that compelled her to run the NY Marathon with her husband Mark despite the fact that the temperature that day was an unseasonable 86 degrees. Challenged by the unfeasibly high temperature her “stubborn” streak asserted itself and. in the end, it was unrelenting stubbornness paired with her determined spirit that cause her to end up in the hospital after the race, dehydrated and on a IV. And, it was also that same determined spirit that enabled her to succeed in earning her Phd in clinical psychology from Long island University in Brooklyn.

Elizabeth was imbued with a multitude of honorable attributes. These attributes included a deeply altruistic, caring and compassionate spirit which compelled her to embark upon extra-ordinary high risk adventures throughout her life. One such adventure was in Malowi, Africa when she was in graduate school. It was in Malowi that she and her friend, Joan Duncan set up a “Save the Children” refugee program for children who were victims of the horrible civil war raging in Mozambique at the time. Her love and affinity for children contributed to the success of this amazing program. Her ex-husband, Mark, remembers her Malowi days as being one of the most “impactful” experiences of her life.

Elizabeth deeply loved her family; extended and immediate. And she loved her son Eli. Eli was above and beyond everything in Elizabeth’s life; Eli was The Love of Elizabeth’s life.

Elizabeth touched and helped countless beings (human and animal) during her life on earth; She lived a life dedicated to making the world a better place. A life motivated by compassion and courage and to serving humanity. Goodness begets goodness and the legacy of her life will continue to shine on and be a beacon light of hope, strength, inspiration and courage countless lives in this world.

READING

MEMORIAL TO ELIZABETH by Robert

READING

All men have the stars," ……. "but they are not the same things for different people. For some, who are travelers, the stars are guides. For others they are no more than little lights in the sky. For others, who are scholars, they are problems. For my businessman they are wealth. But all these stars are silent. You - only you - will have stars that can laugh!"

And when your sorrow is comforted (time soothes all sorrows) you will be content that you have known me. You will always be my friend. You will want to laugh with me. And you will sometimes open your window, so, for that pleasure... And your friends will be properly astonished to see you laughing as you look up at the sky! Then you will say to them, "Yes, the stars always makes me laugh!" And they will think you are crazy. It will be a very shabby trick that I shall have played on you..."

And he laughed again.

It will be as if, in place of the stars, I have given you a great number of little bells that knew how to laugh..."

And he laughed again.”

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince

PERSONAL REFLECTION

No one person can sum up the life of another. Life is too precious to be passed over with mere words which ring empty. Rather it must remain as it is remembered by those who loved and watched and shared. For such memories are alive, unbounded by events of birth and death. And as living memories, we possess the greatest gift one person can give another. It is each of you, then, that the living memories of Elizabeth’s life are committed. To your hearts and minds go the enduring remembrances of this life. There will now be a period of silence. I ask that each of you use these moments to remember Elizabeth as only you can.

After roughly 1-3 minutes . . .

Now, as your spirit moves you to do so, please share your living memories of Elizabeth with the rest of her family and friends.

Those who wish to share memories will come up and speak.

After memories have been shared, Stephen will read the following:

All those we have known and loved are inextricably woven into our lives. Like tributaries merging into a river, streams winding their way down a mountain, and underground springs which though unseen, cleanse and renew the waters: so it is with the loving relationships we have known. As they have joined in our lives, their love and their gifts to us become part of who we are - blended imperceptibly through the ripples and rapids of our lives.

All those in our lives, no longer here in form are made present again when we love one another well and fulfill their hopes and legacies for our lives. There is but one Source of life and we are all carriers of its flow. Let us give thanks for the love and light of Elizabeth and let us remember the words of Elisabeth Kubler Ross: “All those we have know and loved become a part of us.”Elizabeth is a part each one of you now and forever more.

SUMMATION

And finally, the Native American Ishi people of the Pacific Northwest, who imagined that their dead spoke to them saying "When I am dead, cry for me a little, think of me sometimes, but not too much. It is not good for you to allow your thoughts to dwell too long upon the dead. Think of me now and again as I was in life, at some moment which is pleasant to recall, but not for too long. Leave me in peace, as I shall too leave you in peace. While you live, let your thoughts be with the living."

BENEDICTION

We are profoundly glad that Elizabeth lived. We are glad that we saw her face and felt the glow of her friendship and love. We cherish the memory of her words and deeds and character. Carrying her thus in our hearts, let us now proceed from this place in comfort and in peace, assured that even in this time of loss and sorrow, life remains precious and good. May we also on this day rekindle in our hearts an appreciation for the gifts of life and other persons. Let us honor the life of Elizabeth by living, ourselves, more nobly and loving in the days ahead. As you return to the routines of your lives, go in love, and may an abiding peace go with you.

When you are sorrowful

look into your heart

and you shall see that

you are weeping

for that which has been

your delight ~ Kahlil Gibran

SAMPLE MEMORIAL SERVICE

Honoring the Life & Memories of Elizabeth D

“Elizabeth didn’t have to think about being good,

she didn’t have to make moral choices

or think about the right things to do, her moral compass

was always pointed in the right direction.”

OPENING WORDS:

Family and friends, I welcome you into this gathering which is made sacred with the spirit of love and friendship you bring to this gathering. On behalf of Elizabeth’s family I would like say “thank you” so very much, to all of you who have come to be with them today.

We are here to say farewell and to honor the life & memory of Elizabeth D. We honor Elizabeth for her inspiration and devotion to her family, her service to humanity, her compassion for those in need, love of children and animals, her adventurous spirit, and strength and courage to stand for what she believes and to speak for those who could not.

We gather also to offer thanksgiving and gratitude that one such as Elizabeth lived among us and we invite Elizabeth’s presence here amongst us so that we may, in our time together today, call forth loving memories of her and honor her life.

Each of you comes with your own unique memories of Elizabeth, for she was not the same person to any two people. And, you each bring your own special memories of a woman who touched your lives with love & friendship in myriad ways.

CANDLE LIGHTING:

Begin with lighting a candle

Within each human being there is a spark of divine & eternal light which exists beyond time and in the truth of eternity. We light this candle to honor the life & light of Elizabeth D. In lighting this candle we call forth the love and the light of Elizabeth’s spirit that touched the lives of so many, including all of you here today..

ADDRESS:

We have gathered here in this room to acknowledge the death of Elizabeth whom you have known and loved. When someone we have cared for dies, family and friends gather with sorrow in their hearts.

At times when we must face death and loss, we need one another's company for understanding and support. Just to be together, to look into one another's faces, takes away some of our loneliness and draws our hearts together in the healing which we can offer one another. At such times, the ways that sustain us separately come together in a virtual harmony that acts across all creeds and assures us of the permanence of human goodness and hope. So we are gathered here today in grief and sorrow, but we have also gathered to celebrate a life. We have come together to give thanks that we knew this vibrant person, to express our gratitude for the days and years we were able to share with her. We are here to remember and memorialize a good and caring life. By remembering the best of Elizabeth, by recalling some her finest qualities, by honoring her principles, values, and dreams which guided her life. We are gathered for all these things. But our first task is to face, full and unafraid, the reality of this death and the grief and loss we feel.

ELIZABETH

(Eulogy)

In preparing today’s service I had the pleasure of getting to know a bit about Elizabeth and her life through talking to some of you. As I listened to stories, memories and reflections, it became obvious that she was a very special human being who utilized her many talents and honorable attributes to helping those in need. The legacy she leaves behind is that of a life consciously dedicated to making the world a better place.

Perhaps her essence is best described in the following quote by her friend, Alexis:

“Elizabeth didn’t have to think about being good, she didn’t have to make moral choices or think about the right things to do, her moral compass was always pointed in the right direction.”

Elizabeth’s vibrant, rebellious free spirit began expressing itself back in her prep school days at St. Joseph’s Academy where she broke the traditional uniform code and wore work boots with her school uniform; a defiant prep school act generally frowned upon by Catholic school officials. Her ex-husband, Mark, recalls first meeting her and encountering that lovely vibrant rebellious free spirit through the MGB green racing car and pickup truck she proudly owned and drove during that era of her life.

It was during her high school days that her fine-tuned athletic talents coupled with her spirit of determination served to propel her to the heights of local fame in softball. These talents also earned her the wiffel ball championship title and she became renowned for being able to send a wiffel ball flying further than anyone else

It was that same determined spirit that compelled her to run the NY Marathon with her husband Mark despite the fact that the temperature that day was an unseasonable 86 degrees. Challenged by the unfeasibly high temperature her “stubborn” streak asserted itself and. in the end, it was unrelenting stubbornness paired with her determined spirit that cause her to end up in the hospital after the race, dehydrated and on a IV. And, it was also that same determined spirit that enabled her to succeed in earning her Phd in clinical psychology from Long island University in Brooklyn.

Elizabeth was imbued with a multitude of honorable attributes. These attributes included a deeply altruistic, caring and compassionate spirit which compelled her to embark upon extra-ordinary high risk adventures throughout her life. One such adventure was in Malowi, Africa when she was in graduate school. It was in Malowi that she and her friend, Joan Duncan set up a “Save the Children” refugee program for children who were victims of the horrible civil war raging in Mozambique at the time. Her love and affinity for children contributed to the success of this amazing program. Her ex-husband, Mark, remembers her Malowi days as being one of the most “impactful” experiences of her life.

Elizabeth deeply loved her family; extended and immediate. And she loved her son Eli. Eli was above and beyond everything in Elizabeth’s life; Eli was The Love of Elizabeth’s life.

Elizabeth touched and helped countless beings (human and animal) during her life on earth; She lived a life dedicated to making the world a better place. A life motivated by compassion and courage and to serving humanity. Goodness begets goodness and the legacy of her life will continue to shine on and be a beacon light of hope, strength, inspiration and courage countless lives in this world.

READING

MEMORIAL TO ELIZABETH by Robert

READING

Donna D

All men have the stars," ……. "but they are not the same things for different people. For some, who are travelers, the stars are guides. For others they are no more than little lights in the sky. For others, who are scholars, they are problems. For my businessman they are wealth. But all these stars are silent. You - only you - will have stars that can laugh!"

And when your sorrow is comforted (time soothes all sorrows) you will be content that you have known me. You will always be my friend. You will want to laugh with me. And you will sometimes open your window, so, for that pleasure... And your friends will be properly astonished to see you laughing as you look up at the sky! Then you will say to them, "Yes, the stars always makes me laugh!" And they will think you are crazy. It will be a very shabby trick that I shall have played on you..."

And he laughed again.

It will be as if, in place of the stars, I have given you a great number of little bells that knew how to laugh..."

And he laughed again.”

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince

PERSONAL REFLECTION

No one person can sum up the life of another. Life is too precious to be passed over with mere words which ring empty. Rather it must remain as it is remembered by those who loved and watched and shared. For such memories are alive, unbounded by events of birth and death. And as living memories, we possess the greatest gift one person can give another. It is each of you, then, that the living memories of Elizabeth’s life are committed. To your hearts and minds go the enduring remembrances of this life. There will now be a period of silence. I ask that each of you use these moments to remember Elizabeth as only you can.

After roughly 1-3 minutes . . .

Now, as your spirit moves you to do so, please share your living memories of Elizabeth with the rest of her family and friends.

Those who wish to share memories will come up and speak.

After memories have been shared, Stephen will read the following:

All those we have known and loved are inextricably woven into our lives. Like tributaries merging into a river, streams winding their way down a mountain, and underground springs which though unseen, cleanse and renew the waters: so it is with the loving relationships we have known. As they have joined in our lives, their love and their gifts to us become part of who we are - blended imperceptibly through the ripples and rapids of our lives.

All those in our lives, no longer here in form are made present again when we love one another well and fulfill their hopes and legacies for our lives. There is but one Source of life and we are all carriers of its flow. Let us give thanks for the love and light of Elizabeth and let us remember the words of Elisabeth Kubler Ross: “All those we have know and loved become a part of us.”Elizabeth is a part each one of you now and forever more.

SUMMATION

And finally, the Native American Ishi people of the Pacific Northwest, who imagined that their dead spoke to them saying "When I am dead, cry for me a little, think of me sometimes, but not too much. It is not good for you to allow your thoughts to dwell too long upon the dead. Think of me now and again as I was in life, at some moment which is pleasant to recall, but not for too long. Leave me in peace, as I shall too leave you in peace. While you live, let your thoughts be with the living."

BENEDICTION

We are profoundly glad that Elizabeth lived. We are glad that we saw her face and felt the glow of her friendship and love. We cherish the memory of her words and deeds and character. Carrying her thus in our hearts, let us now proceed from this place in comfort and in peace, assured that even in this time of loss and sorrow, life remains precious and good. May we also on this day rekindle in our hearts an appreciation for the gifts of life and other persons. Let us honor the life of Elizabeth by living, ourselves, more nobly and loving in the days ahead. As you return to the routines of your lives, go in love, and may an abiding peace go with you.

When you are sorrowful

look into your heart

and you shall see that

you are weeping

for that which has been

your delight

~ Kahlil Gibran

SAMPLE NON-RELIGIOUS MEMORIAL SERVICE

Honoring the Life & Memories of Elizabeth D

“Elizabeth didn’t have to think about being good,

she didn’t have to make moral choices

or think about the right things to do, her moral compass

was always pointed in the right direction.”

OPENING WORDS:

Family and friends, I welcome you into this gathering which is made sacred with the spirit of love and friendship you bring to this gathering. On behalf of Elizabeth’s family I would like say “thank you” so very much, to all of you who have come to be with them today.

We are here to say farewell and to honor the life & memory of Elizabeth D. We honor Elizabeth for her inspiration and devotion to her family, her service to humanity, her compassion for those in need, love of children and animals, her adventurous spirit, and strength and courage to stand for what she believes and to speak for those who could not.

We gather also to offer thanksgiving and gratitude that one such as Elizabeth lived among us and we invite Elizabeth’s presence here amongst us so that we may, in our time together today, call forth loving memories of her and honor her life.

Each of you comes with your own unique memories of Elizabeth, for she was not the same person to any two people. And, you each bring your own special memories of a woman who touched your lives with love & friendship in myriad ways.

CANDLE LIGHTING:

Begin with lighting a candle

Within each human being there is a spark of divine & eternal light which exists beyond time and in the truth of eternity. We light this candle to honor the life & light of Elizabeth D. In lighting this candle we call forth the love and the light of Elizabeth’s spirit that touched the lives of so many, including all of you here today..

ADDRESS:

We have gathered here in this room to acknowledge the death of Elizabeth whom you have known and loved. When someone we have cared for dies, family and friends gather with sorrow in their hearts.

At times when we must face death and loss, we need one another's company for understanding and support. Just to be together, to look into one another's faces, takes away some of our loneliness and draws our hearts together in the healing which we can offer one another. At such times, the ways that sustain us separately come together in a virtual harmony that acts across all creeds and assures us of the permanence of human goodness and hope. So we are gathered here today in grief and sorrow, but we have also gathered to celebrate a life. We have come together to give thanks that we knew this vibrant person, to express our gratitude for the days and years we were able to share with her. We are here to remember and memorialize a good and caring life. By remembering the best of Elizabeth, by recalling some her finest qualities, by honoring her principles, values, and dreams which guided her life. We are gathered for all these things. But our first task is to face, full and unafraid, the reality of this death and the grief and loss we feel.

ELIZABETH

(Eulogy)

In preparing today’s service I had the pleasure of getting to know a bit about Elizabeth and her life through talking to some of you. As I listened to stories, memories and reflections, it became obvious that she was a very special human being who utilized her many talents and honorable attributes to helping those in need. The legacy she leaves behind is that of a life consciously dedicated to making the world a better place.

Perhaps her essence is best described in the following quote by her friend, Alexis:

“Elizabeth didn’t have to think about being good, she didn’t have to make moral choices or think about the right things to do, her moral compass was always pointed in the right direction.”

Elizabeth’s vibrant, rebellious free spirit began expressing itself back in her prep school days at St. Joseph’s Academy where she broke the traditional uniform code and wore work boots with her school uniform; a defiant prep school act generally frowned upon by Catholic school officials. Her ex-husband, Mark, recalls first meeting her and encountering that lovely vibrant rebellious free spirit through the MGB green racing car and pickup truck she proudly owned and drove during that era of her life.

It was during her high school days that her fine-tuned athletic talents coupled with her spirit of determination served to propel her to the heights of local fame in softball. These talents also earned her the wiffel ball championship title and she became renowned for being able to send a wiffel ball flying further than anyone else

It was that same determined spirit that compelled her to run the NY Marathon with her husband Mark despite the fact that the temperature that day was an unseasonable 86 degrees. Challenged by the unfeasibly high temperature her “stubborn” streak asserted itself and. in the end, it was unrelenting stubbornness paired with her determined spirit that cause her to end up in the hospital after the race, dehydrated and on a IV. And, it was also that same determined spirit that enabled her to succeed in earning her Phd in clinical psychology from Long island University in Brooklyn.

Elizabeth was imbued with a multitude of honorable attributes. These attributes included a deeply altruistic, caring and compassionate spirit which compelled her to embark upon extra-ordinary high risk adventures throughout her life. One such adventure was in Malowi, Africa when she was in graduate school. It was in Malowi that she and her friend, Joan Duncan set up a “Save the Children” refugee program for children who were victims of the horrible civil war raging in Mozambique at the time. Her love and affinity for children contributed to the success of this amazing program. Her ex-husband, Mark, remembers her Malowi days as being one of the most “impactful” experiences of her life.

Elizabeth deeply loved her family; extended and immediate. And she loved her son Eli. Eli was above and beyond everything in Elizabeth’s life; Eli was The Love of Elizabeth’s life.

Elizabeth touched and helped countless beings (human and animal) during her life on earth; She lived a life dedicated to making the world a better place. A life motivated by compassion and courage and to serving humanity. Goodness begets goodness and the legacy of her life will continue to shine on and be a beacon light of hope, strength, inspiration and courage countless lives in this world.

READING

MEMORIAL TO ELIZABETH by Robert

READING

Donna D

All men have the stars," ……. "but they are not the same things for different people. For some, who are travelers, the stars are guides. For others they are no more than little lights in the sky. For others, who are scholars, they are problems. For my businessman they are wealth. But all these stars are silent. You - only you - will have stars that can laugh!"

And when your sorrow is comforted (time soothes all sorrows) you will be content that you have known me. You will always be my friend. You will want to laugh with me. And you will sometimes open your window, so, for that pleasure... And your friends will be properly astonished to see you laughing as you look up at the sky! Then you will say to them, "Yes, the stars always makes me laugh!" And they will think you are crazy. It will be a very shabby trick that I shall have played on you..."

And he laughed again.

It will be as if, in place of the stars, I have given you a great number of little bells that knew how to laugh..."

And he laughed again.”

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince

PERSONAL REFLECTION

No one person can sum up the life of another. Life is too precious to be passed over with mere words which ring empty. Rather it must remain as it is remembered by those who loved and watched and shared. For such memories are alive, unbounded by events of birth and death. And as living memories, we possess the greatest gift one person can give another. It is each of you, then, that the living memories of Elizabeth’s life are committed. To your hearts and minds go the enduring remembrances of this life. There will now be a period of silence. I ask that each of you use these moments to remember Elizabeth as only you can.

After roughly 1-3 minutes . . .

Now, as your spirit moves you to do so, please share your living memories of Elizabeth with the rest of her family and friends.

Those who wish to share memories will come up and speak.

After memories have been shared, Stephen will read the following:

All those we have known and loved are inextricably woven into our lives. Like tributaries merging into a river, streams winding their way down a mountain, and underground springs which though unseen, cleanse and renew the waters: so it is with the loving relationships we have known. As they have joined in our lives, their love and their gifts to us become part of who we are - blended imperceptibly through the ripples and rapids of our lives.

All those in our lives, no longer here in form are made present again when we love one another well and fulfill their hopes and legacies for our lives. There is but one Source of life and we are all carriers of its flow. Let us give thanks for the love and light of Elizabeth and let us remember the words of Elisabeth Kubler Ross: “All those we have know and loved become a part of us.”Elizabeth is a part each one of you now and forever more.

SUMMATION

And finally, the Native American Ishi people of the Pacific Northwest, who imagined that their dead spoke to them saying "When I am dead, cry for me a little, think of me sometimes, but not too much. It is not good for you to allow your thoughts to dwell too long upon the dead. Think of me now and again as I was in life, at some moment which is pleasant to recall, but not for too long. Leave me in peace, as I shall too leave you in peace. While you live, let your thoughts be with the living."

BENEDICTION

We are profoundly glad that Elizabeth lived. We are glad that we saw her face and felt the glow of her friendship and love. We cherish the memory of her words and deeds and character. Carrying her thus in our hearts, let us now proceed from this place in comfort and in peace, assured that even in this time of loss and sorrow, life remains precious and good. May we also on this day rekindle in our hearts an appreciation for the gifts of life and other persons. Let us honor the life of Elizabeth by living, ourselves, more nobly and loving in the days ahead. As you return to the routines of your lives, go in love, and may an abiding peace go with you.

When you are sorrowful

look into your heart

and you shall see that

you are weeping

for that which has been

your delight

~ Kahlil Gibran

  • Sara Henderson
  • Ordained Interfaith Minister

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