Weaving Connections

After a busy conference schedule it was wonderful to walk in to the Weaving Connections – Service of Remembrance & Celebration and be greeted by the wonderful music of Trillium. Trillium is a group of volunteer singers from Vermont who harmonize their hearts for patients in their homes, hospitals and nursing homes. I was so moved by their voices, that I was reminded of one of my favorite quotes that is prominently displayed in the home of my mother in law which simply states, “Singing is like praying twice.”

The gathering, as shared by Dr. Christina Puchalski who personally had several losses this past month, reminded her about how the sharing of our losses together by our community allows them to help restore our balance and give us a place to heal as we mourn. Remembering and sharing in our communities helps to weave the compassion and return some wholeness to the empty voids of pain when we experience loss. The community helps hold us while we grieve and they help us to remember the gifts we have received from our loves ones or patients in the celebrations and stories we share.

Dr. Rachel Naomi Remen who I felt honored to be in her presence quietly and with great love and compassion shared with us the thought that sign language is more than words, it’s a whole body experience. She then shared and taught us in sign language a small recipe e could carry with us that loving ourselves is important as well.

Trillium closed the service with a song from South Africa about Peace and their last piece called “Here Is My Home.” I think we could have listened to them all night and it was a while before people wanted to leave. The most beautiful thing I heard after the service was someone expressing the celebration filled them up again and that if you missed it, you may have missed one of the best sessions of the day. I was in total agreement. I am glad this was included in the program.

2 thoughts on “Weaving Connections

  1. On behalf of the planning committee, we are so pleased that you found the service deeply meaningful. I, too, was very moved.
    Thank you for your thoughtful comments!

  2. I can’t think of any more powerful endorsement of the integration of the annual memorial service, now in its sixth year (imagine that!) than to say “if you missed it, you may have missed one of the best sessions of the day.” We have always tried to respond to the context of the Assembly — next year, in Vancouver, we have the possibility of Rachel Naomi Remen returning, and indigenous rituals and music from the First Nations by way of Academy members with connections among those tribes. This will be an exciting and worthwhile event again, if we can make it so. Jan Jahner and Charlie Sasser’s leadership will see us thru.

    Patrick Clary

Leave a Comment