by Christopher Harbin

Bette Snead Cash
Christopher B. Harbin
Philippians 2:1-8
Memorial Service, 08 August 2009

We come to this place to say "Good-bye." Some good-byes are easy as friends depart on errands and are soon to return. Others are easy for involving mere acquaintances with little emotional attachment to the moment of parting. Yet others are more difficult or seemingly permanent. Even so, good-byes are part of our lives from the earliest of our memories. It is perhaps the finality and the turning of chapters in death that makes it so difficult for us. For some, it is a reflection upon our own mortality. For others it is the issue that there are no opportunities to rectify what is past or to make new memories and experience once again the interaction that formed part of our formative experience.
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 own 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 make amends for any broken relationships or to 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 existence. Death is inevitable, yet it also sharpens our appreciation for life, relationships, and the power of memory and interaction with friends and family.
Bette lived a long life, and Bette lived well. She was not rich by the standards of our society. At the same time, she had an internal wealth that cast worldly fortunes in a different light. Her wealth was that of family and friends--of touching the lives of others. Bette would do without for the express purpose of helping and supporting those around her. ...

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