|In Celebration of the Life and Accomplishments|
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MESSAGE FROM LILY
MEMORIES & THOUGHTS
GUESTBOOK/ TRIBUTE FORM
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Tributes by Speakers
..Lily was a patient in our hospital when I met her. At first, my concern was for Lily’s quality of life--her dignity and her sense of meaning, purpose and hope. But she was pretty self-contained and so well supported by Julie and her dear friend, Jacqueline, that my attention went to supporting Julie. Julie was a single-mindedly faithful, conscientious, protective friend and caregiver! Julie taught me about Lilyan Chauvin, the great actor, director, teacher, and her own soul sister. She so wanted Lily to live! But that began to look less and less likely. And, Julie struggled.
As it usually goes, no one saw it coming better than Lily herself. She began to ask profound questions. In time, I came to know Lily with a quality of intimacy that can be the unique privilege of a hospital chaplain. My discovery, was a woman of deep beauty, intelligence and wisdom--wonderfully introspective and curious, honest, earthy, and forgiving. Her humor was delightful; her devotion to students, inspiring. I say our relationship came, “in time”--in dying, people enter eternal time, and intimacy can happen in the flash of a question, revelation in a gesture. When I read and hear your stories, I, who knew Lilyan Chauvin for only a few short days, can join the celebration of Lily, the artist, teacher and friend.
It was Lily’s dignity and courage in the face of death that was most moving to me. She was stunned by what was happening to her. Her spirituality shone through, not in religious beliefs, but in her questions, and in the way she loved her neighbor as herself. Lily approached death with characteristic mind and heart, with great dignity. In addition to all she has left to the wide world, Lilyan Chauvin left our little hospital a better place for her brief presence in it.
We’ve come to the moment of ritual blessing. Blessing actually occurs always and everywhere: Lily’s life was and is and always will be a blessing. Our memories, stories and heart-connections to her are an ongoing blessing of Lily, of ourselves and of whoever will hear them. To mark the blessing I’m going to use the ancient and familiar words of the Priestly Blessing. After all, it is meant for community, for all of us--you, me, and of course, for our beloved Lily. I think she would like it that way. I invite us to let these ancient words wash over us as they’re meant to wash over our Lily, for all eternity:
The Priestly Blessing
The Lord bless you and keep you;
the Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you;
the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace. Amen
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