Friday, December 10, 2010

Memere: Lamentation and Celebration



Song for Athene was written for a young woman who died in an accident, and was used as the recessional in Princess Diana's funeral. 

I herein dedicate it to my mother-in-law who died Wednesday evening.


Nearly two years after having been told she had perhaps six months to live, she surpassed all expectations -- not by merely outlasting medical predictions, but by her determination to live every minute fully and bravely.


While the Tavener piece speaks of Christian afterlife, its spirituality lies in the grandeur of life itself: man's creative mind. For me, the slow, four-part harmony and droning mournful sound nearly perfectly express the wrenching sadness of dying and the finality of death.  

More importantly, however, I have terrific memories of this subtly feisty, quietly wise, and generously caring woman. And while I knew her from the time I was very young, I was not then privy to her thoughts and desires (she was known to me only as the library assitant at our Catholic elementary school and mother of those boys). Having since become one of those dear to her, I choose to celebrate her life by remembering her this way:

 

Happily held in the arms and eyes of her best friend.

3 comments:

Jenn Casey said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. My condolences to Stephen, too.

Kelly Elmore said...

I'm so sorry for you and Stephen and your kids. That picture of her dancing is priceless. They look like they are having so much fun. I know you'll miss that spirit.

Fiddler said...

I can't think of a more poignant song to dedicate to her. Your words are a fine tribute, as well. Thinking of all of you.