Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Give sorrow words

“Give sorrow words. The grief that does not speak whispers the o'er-fraught heart, and bids it break." ~William Shakespeare

That quote was a tweet from TAPS4America yesterday. I've been struggling with how to resume blogging here, battling the "what does it matter?" blues. But that quote made me think: if I don't speak about Emily's funeral here on the blog, then I won't be able to keep writing here at all. And I want to keep in honest communication with you. So . . .

a few things I have words for:

Emily was buried with treasures she loved, including a purple hot wheels car, both halves of an "I love you/I love you more" necklace, and a tattered copy of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

My brother ended his eulogy with this laugh-inducing tribute: when the rest of us get to heaven, Emily will greet us with a brilliant smile and sing out: "Hi, peeps! It's Emily! Heaven is so coolio!"

This was my son's first funeral. We sat together and talked about life and death and love. Emily made that conversation possible, her first of many blessings to me after her passing.

Flying Horse Farms, a "magical, transforming and fun" camp for kids with serious illnesses, will open for family campers next fall. Emily and her dad were scheduled to speak at the groundbreaking ceremony, but Emily was too weak to go, and my brother tried to stay home with her. Emily would have none of it. She insisted that he attend, and he shared her words with those gathered: "Dad, there is no best part of camp. It's ALL good."

Then, on their last drive from the hospital in Cinncinnati to her home in Cleveland, my brother pulled over the car at the groundbreaking site. Again, Emily was too weak to leave the car. But she saw where the camp would be, just as she saw how the world could be different, a world without childhood cancer, and worked to make that world come to life, just like the magic in her beloved books.

Above one of the stalls in the Flying Horse Farms stable will be the name of Emily Lewis.

Kids can change the world. Emily did. She still is.

Thank you for listening.

16 comments:

  1. Oh, Sara. Rare is the moment when I sit at the computer and cry ... my heart and prayers go out to you and your family.

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  2. I was just saying that I heard someone else describe an author he had meant as "a sun" and how much I loved that description and maybe I could use it one day, and now I think I can: Emily was a sun.

    Thank you for sharing with us. My heart goes out to all of you.

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  3. This was beautiful, Sara, thank you.

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  4. That Shakespeare knew what he was talking about.

    I suppose if Emily would not tolerate her father not attending the Flying Horse Farms groundbreaking, she probably wouldn't tolerate you not blogging, either. It's hard to know how to face these things, although Emily gives a good example. I aspire to be that full of grace and love.

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  5. Jules is right. Emily is a sun. Thanks for these beautiful words.

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  6. Thank you for sharing this lovely tribute. I know how hard it must have been to write, but your words show just how much Emily lives on in your heart. I'm so glad you shared her with us.

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  7. Thank you for channeling some of Emily's braveness and blogging about her. Heartbreaking and wonderful all at the same time...

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  8. The Flying Horse Farms family will be forever changed as the rest of the world was my Emily. We all share in your family's sorrow, but are grateful for the courageous openness you all have shared with us. Emily's name may be above a stall, but her spirit will live on inside all of us forever.

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  9. Mark Bivenour8/19/09, 2:39 PM

    Sara,
    Emily taught me so much in the short time I knew her. She was an amazing young lady who will live forever in the hearts of all of us here at Flying Horse Farms. May God hold her in the palm of his hand.

    Mark Bivenour
    CEO
    Flying Horse Farms

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  10. It is so hard to say farewell to a loved one, especially one so young and good. I know it is easier when we share stories, for in the telling of these treasured memories, we keep our loved ones alive.

    I'm so glad you've shared Emily with us, showing us her generous spirit and love for life. She has made more difference in this world in her short life, than many of us--I know she has inspired me.

    Hugs.

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  11. Thank you for sharing this very difficult time with us. My heart goes out to you.

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  12. Sara, you were thinking what does it matter, but your moving words here prove to all that it always matters to share stories about someone full of grace and dignity, like your Emily. Kids will see her name and feel her spirit at Flying Horse Farms, a place she loved.

    We're all thinking of you.

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  13. Oh, Sara. I'm just weeping. You are doing Emily proud by giving words to this all. And boy, she did everyone proud by living so large in such short a time.

    Thank you for sharing this tender, loving post...

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  14. EMILY'S LOVE

    Although it seems she's left you,
    She's no so far away;
    Emily's gone to a higher level of life,
    Where you'll all be together someday.

    The Good Lord called upon his Daughter,
    To come home to Heaven above;
    Now the Beautiful young Emily,
    Smiles upon you with
    "Emily's Love".

    Emily feels no more pain or sorrow,
    She has left this world's problems behind;
    She flies and rides with the angels in Heaven,
    And shares "Emily's Love" with mankind.

    Cherish the memories of "Emily's Love"
    As she feels the same in the Lord's arms,
    And live with the legacy of "Emily's Love",
    Through the splendor of "Flyng Horse Farms".

    Sara,

    My heart goes out to you and your family. Emily has had the great fortune to touch so many lives, so many hearts.........

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  15. EMILY'S LOVE

    Although it seems she's left you,
    She's really not so far away;
    Emily's gone to a higher level of life,
    Where you'll all be together someday.

    The Good Lord called upon his Daughter,
    To come home to Heaven above;
    Now the Beautiful young Emily,
    Smiles upon you with "Emily's Love".

    Emily feels no more pain or sorrow,
    She has left this world's problems behind;
    She flies and rides with the angels in Heaven,
    And shares "Emily's Love" with mankind.

    Cherish the memories of "Emily's Love"
    As she feels the love in the strength of God's arms,
    And live with the legacy of "Emily's Love",
    Through the splendor of "Flyng Horse Farms".


    Sara,

    My heart goes out to you and your family. Emily has had the great fortune to touch so many lives, so many hearts.........

    ReplyDelete

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