Saturday, April 20, 2013
Irene Alice Prentice Allemano: Good-bye, and Hello
Death separates us in the most profound and absolute way. The person who has died may be continuing life of another kind, in another plane, may be experiencing an existence so unlike what we know as to defy description. Indeed, many of us are so confident in an afterlife of some kind that it is an article of faith, holy to us and unquestionable. And yet, truly, the person whose death we are mourning is gone from us in this life, not to return. What we truly mourn is cloth woven of many threads, but some of those are undeniably selfish, because we dread the lack of the presence of the person who has died. Certainly Irene believed in continued existence, a belief Reverend Elizabeth Clare likened to the caterpillar whose cocoon or chrysalis seems to be the end, and whose continued existence we celebrate as the birth of a butterfly. This was a particularly apt illustration, as Irene was graceful, elegant, and stunningly beautiful, and seemed to move from flower to fascinating flower, somehow making each one seem more beautiful by her very presence, throughout the course of her life. Still, we are separated forever, and this grieves us sorely.
But when we choose to join each other in celebration of a life, two things happen that seem positively magical when viewed in hindsight: our picture of the person who has died becomes more textured, more whole, in our minds; and we are brought, across miles and years and the strongest of feelings, together.
Posted by Angela Christensen