Lorna Harwood-Jones, 1916 - 2000
My mother died March 16.
She had accomplished in life all she wanted to do. Her body was racked with pain. Her mind – that ferocious intelligence which she valued so highly - was working only in flickers. Her ability to speak was gone.
It was high time.
Her four remaining children – myself, Janice, Tim, and Dawn (Patrick died in 1968) – with our spouses, and several of our children and their families, came together to celebrate her life and arrange for her funeral.
Because we knew so deeply that Mom was glad to be gone we did not gather in sorrow. Sure, every one of us shed a tear or two – why not? – an era had come to a close; but most of the time our hearts were filled with a fierce joy for Mom, and simple enjoyment of a family which may have some dysfunction from time to time, but which also knows a rich and satisfying bond.
And what a send-off we gave her!
On March 20, 2000 we had a complete and unabridged requiem Eucharist filled with exquisite music – Stewart Thomson at the pipe organ; the choir of men and boys singing at their finest; and Rachael singing Pie Jesu from Fauré’s Requiem. I gave the eulogy (and they say I took thirty minutes to do so, though it didn’t seem so long at the time), and other family members read the scriptures, led the intercessions, and took part to their own satisfaction in a variety of ways.
Dawn prepared a photo montage of Mom’s entire life. It was put up on display panels at the reception. Janice wrote the newspaper obituary, and helped us do the practical planning.
It was wonderful, and very satisfactory.
Everyone has gone home now. And I am back to the daily life of the parish.
I would love to set down here a tribute to Mom, but, you know, somehow that was done so completely at the funeral that it seems redundant to do so here!
Mom very profoundly shaped me into the kind of person I am today. I am glad to have had her for my mother.
Rest eternal grant unto her, O Lord;
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