It is because of my post on "The Loss of a Loved One" earlier in the month concerning the death of one of our students to a car accident that I feel compelled to follow up. This loss ended after a 6 year fight with cancer.
The community of Colstrip, as well as most of Montana, have reached out and have been a part of this fight. The death of this student has left a huge hole in our hearts. What was so touching, in a time when everything seemed so bleak, was the way the greater community and this girl said goodbye to one another.
To clear things up, this celebration of life was planned by the student that passed away and was one of the most moving services I have attended. I was touched by the the officiating pastor, the music, the speakers and the poems. There was Christmas music playing in the background as people were being seated. This was not the ordinary, but the extraordinary. It was as special as Sydney Hedges was to those she knew and loved.
Like I said, I didn't get a chance to know Sydney, but I was touched by her through this celebration. The services somehow made sense out of saying goodbye to someone you love. I don't know how to explain it, but the reoccurring message encouraged those attending to celebrate the moment and love those around us. I think the poem in the pamphlet at the celebration speaks unselfishly to this special goodbye:
Miss Me - But Let Me Go
When I come to the end of the road
And the sun has set for me,
I want no rites in a gloom filled room
Why cry for a soul set free.
Miss me a little - but not for long
And not with your head bowed low.
Remember the Love that we once shared
Miss me - but let me go.
For this journey we all must take
And each must go alone.
It's all part of the Master's plan,
A step on the road home.
When you are lonely and sick of heart,
Go to the friends we know.
And bury your sorrows in doing good deeds,
Miss me - but let my go.