Swan Song

Yesterday, I attended the funeral of a very dear friend.

Miriam, a beautiful woman, lived a beautiful ninety-three years. The funeral home was filled with those of us who love her. Three pastors officiated at the service. All four of her children, and two of her grandchildren, told stories of their life experiences with this remarkable human.

I talked to her husband, Jack, also a beloved friend, the day after her death. There are no words adequate to convey how heartbroken he is. Miriam was “his person,” and the cherished memories of them together will always be treasured.

“Swan song” is a metaphor for a final gesture—a final song—and at this celebration of Miriam’s life, her family played two recordings of her operatic singing—”Morning Has Broken” and “Ava Maria.” In her characteristically humble way, she probably would have vetoed that if she could, but those recordings were, I believe, Miriam’s “swan song.”

I was honored to read at this liturgy, both a scripture passage and a poem. And, although these words will never be adequate, I’d like to share them with you.


"Miriam"

memories dance through my awareness, 
some poignant:
"oh, you are so sweet,"
some prosaic:
"oh, I've had this old jacket for decades!"

the gentleness and the confidence
the beauty and the tenacity
the mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother 
the opera singer who discounted her talent
the hostess of visitors from far-away lands
the gracious woman who opened her heart to all 
the wife whose love story is one for the ages
the reader of literature and world news
and cookbooks....so many cookbooks
the lover of art and flowers and people and life

and so it is here
between the fractures of
the darkest dark and the brightest light 
that we reside in these days and hours and 
fragile poignant moments

laughter and memories, sorrow and loss
all mixed into one life that saw
more decades than most will witness 
but—because of who she was—who she is
not nearly enough years for those who love her

as I hold her in my heart,
the music of Verdi, Mozart, and Puccini
plays in the background
and she strolls through the beautiful garden 
on the arm of the man she loves ❦

May the rest of this week remind you of all that matters most.
Blessings,
Kay

8 thoughts on “Swan Song

  1. Kay – what a beautiful remembrance of a beautiful person!! I love the image of her strolling in the garden with the man she loves. Peace and Comfort to you! I’ve known Miriam and Jack for over 40 years.

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  2. Thanks for sharing this, Kay! You definitely have a talent for words. I envy this as well as all your other talents. ❤️ And thanks for my ride home. Love, Audrey On Wed, Apr 28, 2021 at 9:46 AM peace full home®—intentional living wrote:

    > Kay Malloy McLane posted: ” Yesterday, I attended the funeral of a very > dear friend. Miriam, a beautiful woman, lived a beautiful ninety-three > years. The funeral home was filled with those of us who love her. Three > pastors officiated at the service. All four of her children, and” >

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  3. 2,934,856,800. That’s how many seconds there are in 93 years. A lot. Time is the great equalizer. Aren’t you glad she spent some of her time with you. Please don’t spend much time mourning. Hope you feel the love of the wonderful people in your life right now. Be blessed.

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    • That’s a lot of seconds, Dan. I have been honored to walk in the company of both Miriam and Jack. Yesterday’s service was a celebration of her amazing life. I will not mourn but, instead, remember the beauty of the many years she had in this life. And, I will walk alongside Jack. Thank you, for all the ways you love each day. Blessings to you.

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