Tag Archives: condolences


love who god gave you

I attended another wake this afternoon.  This one was for another young woman who died too soon.  Meghan was a student from the first school I taught at.  I actually taught her brother, but the school was small, the families were close and everyone knew each other.  She was 25 and her death was sudden.

As I sit here right now, I am trying to remember what I can about her.  The Meghan I remember was a sweet little blonde girl with a huge personality!  She was a leader and had so many friends.  Her brother Teddy, who was in my class, was more quiet and reserved but you could tell that he adored his sister.  Their family was tight knit and I knew her mom well from her volunteering in the school.

I hadn’t seen the family that often since I left that school sixteen years ago, other than in occasional meetings in town or at church, yet I felt compelled to go to her wake today and offer my condolences to them.   When I got there, the line of visitors was already out the door.   Hundreds and hundreds of photos filled the funeral home and in every one of them, friends and family surrounded her.  Exactly how I had remembered her when she was a little girl and in everyone of those photos, she wore an enormous smile.  Her beauty radiated from within as she proved to be the sunshine that I remembered from elementary school.

As I greeted her mom, who was standing there like the pillar I remembered her to be, she comforted me, as much as I did her.  She offered me condolences for my mom and Francine as I offered mine to her.  She told me that my blog has helped her during this incredibly sad time.  I cannot even put into words how much that meant to me.

I greeted her brother, who has probably not seen me since he was in Kindergarten, and asked him if he remembered me.  He said, “Of course I do Mrs. Sinclair, you are the reason I am a Devils’ Fan”.   Again, nearly moving me to tears.

As teachers, we might only get these children for one year, and perhaps never see them again, but they remain in our hearts for the rest of their years, as we hope, dream and wish for them to grow into confident, happy adults.

Meghan will be missed but from the incredible show of support I saw today, she will never be forgotten.

Another Eulogy


Today, I gave a short eulogy for my sister-in-law at the cemetery.  I am sharing it here.

 We have gathered here together to offer our support to Francine’s family and friends who cannot believe she is gone. We gather for Tim and her parents, and for all of our family members.

 For those of you who do not know me, I am Timmy’s sister Claire.  Our families want to extend their gratitude to all of you who came here today and have supported us through this extremely difficult time.

 There is never a convenient time for any of us to die.  Sadly, our lives have been touched by death twice this month and how do we make sense of it?  How do we deal with it when a person’s life cut short?  We are all grieving and trying to figure out why Francine had to leave us so soon.

 Francine was not afraid of death.  She dealt with it on a daily basis while working part time in the funeral home while she finished her schooling to become a mortician.  This was her dream.  Perhaps when you regularly deal with death, there is not much about it that will faze you.   She talked openly about it to her family and friends and I can only hope that this will bring them all comfort.

 If you live in this area, you probably noticed the wicked thunderstorm that we had on Wednesday night.  The storm began with an enormous black cloud rolling in.  We did not see in the hospital, but many people saw it and it was so ominous, they remarked about it.  An enormous thunderclap shook the windows of the hospital right at the time Francine died.  There was no way to not have noticed it.  We remarked that it was a sign from Francine, letting us know that she had arrived.  Francine liked to make an entrance and perhaps this was her way of letting us know that she was crashing  through the gates of heaven.  The storm went on for quite awhile and several hours later, as we all left the hospital, the rain and thunder were over but the most beautiful lightening was filling the sky.  Every single one of us thought of Francine.

Francine and Tim had just found out that she was pregnant- it was very early into the pregnancy. They knew that it was much too early to tell anyone yet, so they had not shared the news yet.  They were waiting to get results of their first ultrasound before announcing it.

Only my mom and Francine’s mom knew that they had been going for fertility treatments.  Although my mom died before they got pregnant, I know that Tim found comfort in the fact that she knew how hard they were trying.

Sunday would have been their 6-year anniversary. They should be celebrating what should have been the happiest time in their lives with this new addition to their family.  Tim should not be spending it burying his wife.

I realize that death will leaves behind scars that don’t seem to fade, but when a death is unexpected, it just seems so much more painful.  For our family, two deaths so close together also seems unfathomable.   It will take a long time to recover, especially for Tim.  It seems so very cruel.  We can only hope that there truly is a reason for everything and that God has bigger plans for all of us.



Last night, my dad and I sat and went through all of the mass cards, sympathy cards and flower cards that people have sent over the last week.  Tonight, I tried to organize all of them for him on a spread sheet so that he and my siblings and I can divide up the thank you notes so it is not too overwhelming for anyone.  Thanks to all of these people,  my mom is going to have prayers and masses said for her all over the country.  I know that this would make her so happy.  She had to stop going to church awhile ago because she just wasn’t able to get through the whole mass with all of her breathing difficulties.  I know that was hard for her – not just her breathing, but emotionally as well.  I know she enjoyed mass.  She always sang louder than anyone there, so for her funeral we chose all of her favorite songs.

I have had so many people come up to me over the last week to offer their condolences.  A lot of them knew my mom.   Some did not, but after reading about her and all of the great things she has done for the community, many of them realized that they actually knew who she was.  Whether they knew her as “The Duck Lady” or” the lady on the bench who talked to everyone,” she was a presence around town.

Her death has made a lot of people sad and although we may not understand why sad things happen, I know that what is helping me, is knowing how much others cared about her.  Her kindness towards others was evident and as more and more people tell me how special she was to them, the more uplifted I become.