Nancy Tomlin Hartless
Christopher B. Harbin
Memorial Service, 03 July 2009
Grief is a very personal experience. We grieve not so much for those who have died or are removed from our presence. We grieve rather for our personal loss with the passing of another. Death brings a certain finality to relationships. There is the possibility of picking up those relationships on the other side of death. In the meantime, however, we have lost the possibility of further memorable moments, as well as the opportunity to rectify broken relationships or complete some business we sense is unfinished. We grieve for ourselves and our sense of loss, even as we may celebrate the life and blessing another has brought into our own experience.
Before Nancy's husband Ed died many years back, he had Phil promise to care for Nancy. Phil took to the task, going above and beyond the call of duty. It was hard for him to decide to place her in assisted living. That's where family remembers Nancy's feet being clean for the first time. He was at Fairmont with her until 2am the morning she passed away. She slipped away peacefully around 7am.
Before entering assisted living, Nancy was always out in the garden getting hands and feet soiled with working plants and animals. Peter met her for the first time, thinking she was Julie's grandfather, as she was dressed as a farmhand. Until age 86, she could be found tending her cows. With a ball cap and ever dirty feet, she was at home in the garden and tending the animals. Lori brought some college friends around to visit. They had never seen cows before. "Is that a cow?" Nancy not only showed them the cows, but taught them the basics of milking. It was a highlight for the girls, returning back to school excitedly exclaiming about having gotten to milk a cow.
Nancy gave up milking her cows some 8 years ago. Her death, however, closes the final curtain on those activities. There will be no more new memori ...
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