Saturday, August 06, 2011


I knew the moment I heard the tone of my dad's voice, rising softly, "Norb?" My brother came down the hall, "Uncle Norb died." I abandoned my brewing tea on the counter. My 93 year-old great uncle, here to escape the upheaval of selling his house down south, had unexpectedly died in his sleep early this morning. His rosary was on the table next to him, tucked into his pajama pocket were two medals — St. Anthony and Padre Pio.

The priest has been here, the deputy sheriff, the funeral home. As people came and went, I sat there with him, praying the Office — for the Transfiguration, not the Office of the Dead, somehow that seemed more apt — and the rosary. As we prayed the Litany of the Saints, invoking Augustine and Ignatius (and even my friend of the moment Athanasius), I imagined the heavenly court, out there to greet him.

Now I'm exhausted — even such a gentle transition as this one seems to have been leaves us mourning and shocked. I wonder if we're tired because a part of us has departed as well, we are stretched between heaven and earth.


  1. I'm so sorry, Michelle.

    What a grace that you are all there together.

  2. What a beautiful way to say good-bye. Michelle - he was lucky to have you in his life! The transfiguration is such a wonderful image. I'm sorry for your loss.

  3. Anonymous9:18 PM

    I would only hope to have my clan with me, when I pass gentle into that sweet night. Peace be with you all.

    Steve P.

  4. I am sorry for your loss, Michelle...and grateful to hear the beauty and consolation that were also there in his faith and yours and the prayer of the church.

    I will offer mass for the repose of his soul and the comfort of all who mourn him.

  5. I am so sorry for your loss. Prayers of peace and rest for your Uncle Norb and for consolation for all of you who loved him. Your imagery is remarkable and yes, as Robin said, grace that you were all there.

  6. I'm so sorry. My prayers today are with you and your family.

  7. Peace be with you

  8. Michelle, So sorry for your loss. May your Uncle Norb be at peace with God.

  9. Paul Brian Campbell12:32 PM


    How sad, how poignant and how beautiful. I'm glad that your Uncle Norb was with you all when it happened and glad, too, that you were there for him and for each other.

    You and in your family are in my fiercest prayers.


  10. Blessed be. I am sorry for your loss, and holding you in the Light.

  11. Dear Robin, Kathryn, Steve, Laura, Fran, Gaye, Wayne, Marg, Paul and Stasa,

    Thank you so much for all your kind words, fierce prayers and holding us in the Light. My family and I are deeply grateful. It is indeed grace to be together to send Uncle Norb forth. We were blessed by his presence in our lives.



  12. I am so sorry for your loss. Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and may perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace and may your family be comforted.