Thursday, October 12, 2017

Honey Bunny's Funeral

I know it is a lot of posts about death and dying, but as we are all too aware, that is part of life.

On Monday, October 9, 2017 we held a beautiful service celebrating my mother-in-law Joyce Pillsbury's life at Poulson & Van Hise in Lawrenceville, NJ. It was a lovely celebration of her life. The family arrived around 9:30 in order to say good-bye without everyone else. Of course I felt she did not look like herself. No matter what picture you give a funeral director, he manages to try to make her look better than herself. Honey Bunny was a simple woman who rarely wore make-up. I never saw her wear nail polish. She is greeting dad with beige nail polish fully made up. The hair was all wrong, too. I'd post a picture, but some people find that ghoulish.

Official viewing hours began at 10 AM. It was a non-stop group of people. A beautiful testimony to her life. We never gathered in a line, so instead our friends sought us out and talked to us individually. Somehow I was by the entrance to the room. Don was further in the room. Sue and Dave were in the lobby. I'm not sure where everyone else was.

At 11 AM the directors kicked us out of the room and rearranged the flowers as they closed the casket. On Friday when we talked about doing this we thought there were be mostly just us -- a dozen or so able-bodied people. I didn't anticipate nearly 70 people in various stages of ability to move. Still it happened. It is not traditional in a Presbyterian service, but it made Ashley and at least one other grandchild more comfortable.

In an effort to not forget the service, here is the order of service. The day of the order was rearranged, but in the end the different parts were included. Please follow the links to the scripture and music. All was carefully selected.

The Reverend Paul L. Rhebergen, the Transitional Pastor at Ewing Presbyterian Church led us in worship. My sister and brother-in-law, Melissa and Chris Clark played violin and string bass to lead us in music. I was told that is not normally done at a funeral parlor, but the funeral director was up to the challenge.

Call to Worship
Prayer of Invocation
Hymn #14: For the Beauty of the Earth (I don't remember which verses, maybe the first two)

Remembering and celebrating the Life of Joyce Pillsbury

  • Don's brother, Allen
  • Me
Remembering and Celebrating in Music: This is My Father's World
(This was her favorite hymn, especially verse 2)

New Testament Lessons
Witness to the Resurrection
Prayer of Thanksgiving
The Lord's Prayer
Hymn #649: Amazing Grace (verses 1, 2, and 5)

Then we gathered her pictures, and the photo boards, and ourselves, and went out into the pouring rain to gather at the graveside.

Graveside was mercifully brief as it was pouring. 

The afternoon concluded by hanging out at our house for lunch.

In age order: Sue, Ed, Al, and Don
Ed and Al are twins, Ed came out first

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