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Dust to Dust: A Moment with Bill Reflection

Updated on January 20, 2015

A Stranger Was Buried

I attended a funeral the other day.

Lois Ackley was buried and I was there.

I did not know Lois.

Never met her.

Knew nothing about her.

I know, strange, right?

I was heading home from Fred Meyers, and my route took me by the cemetery. I noticed a funeral occurring, and for whatever reason, I decided I should be there.

I’m glad I was.

The final resting place
The final resting place | Source

Those in Attendance

It was a showery day with wind gusts, and umbrellas were in attendance. Maybe fifty people braved the January winds and stood on a tiny knoll. Most were wearing black, of course, and all were somber in appearance.

There was a minister there, reading from the good book, and the mourners listened attentively. Dust to dust, he said, a reminder we all need but rarely desire to hear.

I surmised that those closest to the casket were family, tradition being what it is, so there I turned my attention. There were three couples, all middle-aged, and six children in that front row. Could they have been siblings with spouses and Lois’s grandchildren? If so, Lois had done well. These were gentle faces I saw, caring faces, stricken with grief, for sure, but there was a kindness about them. They all stood hand-in-hand, a human wall of sadness, obstructing the outside world and containing their family boundaries on this day of reflection and goodbyes.

The children ranged in age from approximately five to eighteen. They were dimpled and blond, red-eyed and deflated. The youngest were sad, I’m sure, because their parents were sad, and they had yet to comprehend the true nature of that event. The older children were genuinely sad, their grandmother, a fixture in their lives, all their lives, suddenly was no more.

Their parents gave them all pats on the back, and from time to time they whispered reassuring words in their ears, and the children hugged their parents and gave them reassuring looks of love, for love never dies even when a human vessel does.

R.I.P. Lois
R.I.P. Lois | Source

From the Inner Circle Outwards

From the family the wave of grief moved outwards. The second line of defense, if you will, was an eclectic group of all ages, from toddlers to geriatrics, from teens to middle-aged. Some wore suits of fine craftsmanship. Some wore threadbare. There was a smattering of clothing color in this group, a sprinkling of red here, a light blue there, but the predominant color was black.

Skin colors were mixed with whites and blacks, yellows and browns, telling me that Lois reached across the human spectrum, that she was an inclusive traveler who bridged cultural gaps effortlessly.

This group whispered often, bowed their heads in genuine respect, and gave their utmost attention to the words spoken and the feelings felt. There was no silliness among them, no inadvertent glances at wristwatches wondering when this sad event would end.

I glanced at the parking lot and saw F150s, Honda Odysseys, Lexus sedans and Buick LeBarons. I saw Mustangs and Civics, Rams and a Prius, and under one tree sat two bicycles. It was a nice mixture of foreign and domestic, rich and poor, and again it spoke volumes about Lois as she was slowly lowered into the Earth from which she ultimately came.

And Then the Magic Happened

The final words were said, and then the group moved forward. They were each handed a rose, and in turn they each dropped that rose into the grave, bowed their heads once again, whispered words of goodbye, and then made room for the next.

When the last rose was deposited upon the casket, the group moved to the parking lot and began forming a line. When the procession was properly formed, a young girl, certainly no older than eight, walked to the head of the line and held aloft a handmade sign. On that sign were the words “We Love You, Lois.” The young girl began walking, and the adults and other children follower her, and they all walked around the cemetery, smiling and laughing, sharing in the memory of Lois. There were still tears, for sure, but the tears were secondary to the looks of happiness I saw, happiness born from knowing Lois, sharing parts of their lives with Lois, and being touched by Lois.

Finally the celebration of love ended, and the group dispersed. The Fords and Hondas, bicycles and SUVs, all slowly left the final resting place and began the business, once again, of living.

I did the same!

We all return eventually
We all return eventually | Source

REFLECTIONS

We touch so many lives during our journey from womb to grave.

I was profoundly touched by the burial of Lois. I left feeling her loss even though I did not know her. This was a woman who was obviously loved. This was a woman who impacted others with her love. The tax records will show one less tally, an insignificant subtraction of one while at the same time hundreds of thousands are born to take the place of Lois. In a world of seven-point-two billion, one left us, and it would be so easy to say she was insignificant when compared to the overwhelming numbers that surround us.

But Lois was significant, as are we all.

We touch so many lives during our journey from womb to grave.

You may not even realize it. I know there have been dark days when I was convinced that I could pass on and nary a ripple would be felt by my passing, but the truth is that I have touched thousands, as have you. Seven-point-two billion people do not render my existence as insignificant, but rather underscore the importance of us all.

We touch. We impact. We struggle, we celebrate, we stumble, fall and rise again.

And most importantly, we love.

Rest in peace, Lois Ackley!

2015 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

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    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I totally agree with you, Deb. We just have to be willing to let them into our lives. Thank you for your thoughts.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Good people can touch us al, no matter whether we know them or not. Some are so good, Billy, they will touch you again, in the future...

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you so much, Anna! Whatever gift I have was nurtured at a young age. I wouldn't know love and encouragement if it hadn't been modeled for me, and for that I am very grateful.

    • Anna Haven profile image

      Anna Haven 2 years ago from Scotland

      We cause ripples in so many ponds over our lifetimes and the essence of our love never dies - absolutely.

      Beautiful piece of work Bill. You have a gift for reaching into the decent aspect of human nature and encouraging it to grow.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Cris, thank you so much. I truly believe we all touch many people during our lives. How our lives are judged is by the type of touch we share with others.

      blessings my friend, and hugs from Oly

      bill

    • CrisSp profile image

      CrisSp 2 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

      What an incredible read about life and death experience and how we are all able and capable of touching one's life consciously or not.

      Beautiful and I'm passing it along.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Brian!

    • B. Leekley profile image

      Brian Leekley 2 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

      Yes.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Peg, I appreciate it greatly. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      John, I will gladly settle for that one word description. Thank you, sir!

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Beautifully expressed, Bill. Sometimes in the eyes of a stranger we are seen clearly. I liked the celebration to summarize the event.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Bill, after perusing all the comments for this hub I will just leave the word that appeared most frequently "BEAUTIFUL".

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Alicia, that was my goal, so thank you for the affirmation.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Cristen. I am so happy that you have found love with Jim. Like you, I wish everyone could find what we have.

      Have a superb Thursday; you've earned it.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Flourish. I appreciate you taking the time to read my reflections.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you, Faith. It's amazing how someone we never knew can impact our lives. The key, I think, is in being willing.

      blessings my friend.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is a beautiful tribute to Lois, Bill. You've not only told us about a lady who seems to have been loved by many people but have also prompted us to think about our own lives.

    • Iris Draak profile image

      Cristen Iris 2 years ago from Boise, Idaho

      Yes, beautiful. You brought tears to my eyes and then made me laugh (in your video). Having found the love of my life I can wholeheartedly agree that love is the only thing that matters. And it makes me so happy to see (and hear since Bev is camera shy-what a sweetie!) you and Bev interact because I feel that way too when I am with Jim. I want everyone to have that. Louis seems to have had that too. That was a really lovely story and reflection on her life and on her death.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      Beautiful.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

      Beautiful beyond any words I can come up with, but I do not have to do so for you have shared them all here. Thank you for sharing about Lois.

      We can truly make an impact in the lives of others just in our daily interactions with all whom we come into contact, as you stated from all walks of life ...matters not for we all came in the world the same and will leave it one day. I believe we are here for one reason and that is to love and share our love with as many others as we can.

      Peace, blessings and much love always

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Vicki! It was a pleasure attending Lois' funeral and sharing it with all of you.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 2 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      That was absolutely beautiful. I loved your descriptions, your reflections. Loved it!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Genna, what is strange about this observing thing, is I don't remember being that observant about life when I was younger. I think it was incubating for decades and finally broke free. Whatever happened, I'm glad it did, because life is so much more precious to me today...thank you!

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 2 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Bill, you are one of the keenest writers/observers of human nature I have ever had the privilege to read. Lois Ackley was one of those individuals, like treasured others, that we remember because of the way they made us feel. I can’t imagine how empty our lives would be without them. Wonderful story; it reminds us to celebrate the life we live and give thanks to those who help make this journey so meaningful.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      You nailed it, manatita, but then I knew you would. Peace my brother.

    • profile image

      manatita44 2 years ago

      Truly a message of beauty; of our own mortality - the need to remember, to be aware, to look inward; to reflect - and to express joy also. A philosophical piece, Bro.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      No, it isn't, Blossom. I've been to far too many funerals over the years. My adopted family is all gone now; I'm the only one left, and sadness will visit me on occasion. We must all be remembered. :) Thank you!

    • BlossomSB profile image

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 2 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      A lovely hub, so sensitively written. As a minister's wife, I often used to attend funerals of people I didn't know, but I often felt so for the mourners that it was difficult to not join their tears. We know that it should also be a time of celebrating a life, but saying goodbye is never easy.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you very much, Vellur. I think we all need such a tribute. Our time is valuable and meaningful.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 2 years ago from Dubai

      Beautifully written, touched my heart and this is what life is about being born and finally meeting our maker. What we do between that being born and meeting our maker is what matters most. A great tribute to Lois Ackley whom you had not even met. Great write.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you so much, Liza, and may God bless you.

    • lawdoctorlee profile image

      Liza Treadwell Esq aka Liza Lugo JD 2 years ago from New York, NY

      What a touching tribute to Lois, Bill. This really puts life into perspective. God bless you. Voting this hub "up" and "beautiful."

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      You are very welcome, Dora. I'm sorry for your loss. Thank you and best wishes to you always.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks for your thoughts, Maj. Cynical is allowed here. :) I'll look for the ads but I'll work for free when the time comes for you, but hopefully that will be a long time coming. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Social. It was a scene that plays out across this country daily, and yet goes unnoticed far too often.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you so much, Venkatachari M....I appreciate your kind words and emotional response.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Barbara, I'm glad you got that out of this...that is what I wanted others to reflect on. Thank you!

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Said beautifully, Bill. I lost one of my schoolmates on Christmas Eve and I'm still struggling through my feelings to write a tribute the way I want it. Thanks for your sobering thoughts on human loss.

    • travmaj profile image

      travmaj 2 years ago from australia

      Hi Bill, I received a huge lesson in observation from your post. I have to say though, many funerals I’ve attended are hiding conflict under the sad public scenario. Sorry to be cynical.

      Can’t help thinking of many countries where it is traditional to hire professional grievers. In some places it’s a good career move where dollars for attendance at the grave side can be tops - if you’re good at it.

      I imagine, one of these days, on my behalf, rent a crowd will be called in – just in case you’re interested in stopping by. Cheers Maj

    • social thoughts profile image

      social thoughts 2 years ago from New Jersey

      This is so interesting! I love these types of stories; getting to see and feel as the author does, during a small moment which causes so much reflection!

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 2 years ago from Hyderabad, India

      A very beautiful and touching description of the funeral ceremony. I was able to experience it happening in front of my eyes. Very emotional one. Thanks for sharing it.

    • Barbara Kay profile image

      Barbara Badder 2 years ago from USA

      The story is a beautiful reminder that we are important. It also reminds us to be kind and loving to everyone.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you mr-veg....I appreciate your kind words.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rhonda, good to see you again. Thank you for your kind words. You gave the perfect example of why we all can do more.

    • mr-veg profile image

      mr-veg 2 years ago from Colorado United States

      Nice one Bill !! Its always refreshing to read your hubs and thoughts, really amazing. Journey of life is so truly depicted by your words!!

    • Rhonda Lytle profile image

      Rhonda Lytle 2 years ago from Deep in the heart of Dixie

      It's heartwarming to hear Lois had many that loved her to say goodbye. Years ago I pulled a very brief stint working in a nursing home. I saw many wonderful people laid to rest with no one but a handful of staff at the end. God bless you for being the kind of soul that would take the time to pay respects to someone you didn't even know.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      It is strange, Heidi, and I'm sure this event will appear, one day, in a novel. I am, after all, a writer. :) Thank you, Chicago!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Bill, ain't life wonderful? I swear, it beats the heck out of the alternative.

      Thank you my friend and Happy Wednesday to you.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      PS, thank you my dear friend. I want my ashes sprinkled to the wind at Yellowstone Ntl Park....the perfect way to leave this earthly existence.

      Blessings, hugs, and many thanks heading your way

      bill

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 2 years ago from Chicago Area

      Sounds like you have some inspiration for another story in another novel. Maybe that's what compelled you to stop by. Strange how the Universe works, eh?

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 2 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Bill. Guess we never know what each new day will bring. I'm sure you never imagined that you would be in that place at that moment. A wonderful read, great job.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 2 years ago from sunny Florida

      This calls to mind for me Mr. Donne's famous words....'no man is an island;...

      We will all be Lois one day. O, to know that someone would care enough to show love for us in this way. My ashes will be scattered to the four winds, hopefully, amidst laughter and joy.

      As always Bill...I was captivated from the first words till the last.

      You have a gift and thank you for sharing it with us.

      Many blessings and Angels are on the way to you and yours this evening. ps

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Billie, thank you for your honest reflection. I have found, in my sixty-sixth year, a wonderful freedom in being able to speak about myself as you have done. No more games...no more secrets....just an honest summation of who I am. It was a pleasure reading your words.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Clive, I would be greatly concerned if we all crashed funerals. :) Seriously, thank you.

    • clivewilliams profile image

      Clive Williams 2 years ago from Nibiru

      Bill, you surprise me with all the stuff you find to write about. I don't think i will ever be a funeral crasher! lol. Very nice piece.

    • Billie Kelpin profile image

      Billie Kelpin 2 years ago from Newport Beach

      beautiful piece on a creative concept! With my upcoming 70th birthday in February and the death last month of a dear friend from college days and the news of the death of a beloved student of mine, your piece and the comments accompanying them affected me differently (That's what universal art does I hear). So after reading this, I searched for the song that had the lyrics "and now I'm lost, so gone and lost, not even God can find me". It's from a song I liked to listen to when Frankie Laine sang it: "They Call the Wind Mariah". Your piece made me realize how cynical I am of late and how much I want to stay that way whether for my emotional detriment, or not. I think for me, right now, to tell myself that I may or may not have affected someone positively, is ok. Words like Leonard Cohen's "I did my best, it wasn't much...and even though it all went wrong..." are what ring through my head now. Somehow it comforts me to think that about 5 people will grieve for a week over me. I guess I use that to push me to write because it's that that lives on (at least for a few decades on the internet). I say this only to tell you, Billy, that your piece meant something to all of us who read it - even the lost cynics as myself :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      DJ, you just don't hang around the right people. Now that I think about it, my friends are all rather dead in personality. Maybe I should take a closer look at them, eh? :)

      Thanks my friend, Inspiration comes from the strangest places sometimes.

      bill

    • profile image

      DJ Anderson 2 years ago

      Bill, I cannot imagine driving by a cemetery and stopping to pay respects

      to a person unknown to me. I might go home and pray for the surviving members of her family.

      Dry wit to follow: I don't know that I have ever been that hard up for story inspiration as to drive into a cemetery. Would you be the one to bring the marshmallows to a crema....nope, not even going to go there.

      End of dry wit.

      It has been a strange day. You did a fine job with this article.

      No, I do not know of a single person who goes for a walk in a cemetery.

      DJ.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rolly, it's interesting the number of writers I know who enjoy walks in the cemetery. Yes, a respect for human beings. I think that is vital for our growth individually as well as a species.

      Thank you, brother, and peace be with you.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mary, I suspect you have touched thousands of lives. I know you have touched mine. Sorry about the video problems. I'll check my end and see if it's my problem. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jan, you have my sympathies for your father-in-law and yes, I will be there in spirit. Blessings and thanks to you.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you for your thoughts, Peggy. I love the way you worded that, and of course, I completely agree.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Well, Ruby, I know I would..and Bev would...and I'll bet you would. That's three of us, so we'll start a club. :) Thank you for your kind words. I happen to think you are pretty special as well.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Catherine, thank you! I just like to think that we are all connected in so many ways, and we each deserve to be noticed.

    • Rolly A Chabot profile image

      Rolly A Chabot 2 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Hi Bill... thank you for joining the family and friends at Lois's service. To me that shows respect even though you had never met Lois. I often find myself with a little time on my hands. I love to take walks in cemeteries, some I know others not. The significance is each has had an impact on the world they have lived in. I recently visited my old hometown I left 50 odd years ago. Many there in the small patch of land I knew, many had an impact on my life.

      This is a touching piece Bill and certainly food for thought. Thank you for sharing...

      Hugs and Blessings

      Rolly

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 2 years ago from Florida

      So many people in my life have touched me in so many ways. I hope I have touched a few, too. I'd like to be remembered in love as this lady was.

      I tried to listen to your video, but I could not get any sound. I even checked it out on YouTube. Might be my computer, although I have the volume turned up.

    • janshares profile image

      Janis Leslie Evans 2 years ago from Washington, DC

      Beautiful reflection on the impact of death and burial, Bill. Also, an amazing tribute to an unknown soul. You have displayed your own humanity as well as that of Lois Ackley, with this loving acknowledgement. This was right on time for me as I prepare for my father-in-law's memorial service this weekend. I will imagine you standing at a distance, with love and support. Thank you in advance, up and beautiful.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 2 years ago from Houston, Texas

      We may never truly know the effect we have had on others but unless we live like solitary hermits, definite ripples are made in the pool of life by each and every one of us. Well written and a reminder that all of our days are numbered. We should make the best of what we are given!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you very much, Prabhjot!

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jaye, thank you so much. My inner philosopher stayed quiet for a number of years. It's about time he surfaced while there is still time. LOL

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Suzette. I think it's important that we walk the talk, and I know you do as well.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

      How many people would be passing a cemetery, pull in, and observe all the people in attendance, then write a beautiful piece like this? You are an amazing man Bill! I am so proud to call you a friend. Your creative writing not only inspires, it lifts the inner being to be more aware, be more involved and love more deeply. Thank you.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image

      Catherine Giordano 2 years ago from Orlando Florida

      A beautiful story, Bill. I have asked for cremation and a memorial service. Perhaps someone will wander in and be moved by my mourners.

    • Prabhjot Saini profile image

      Prabhjot 2 years ago from Delhi, India

      Really liked it....... beautiful

    • JayeWisdom profile image

      Jaye Denman 2 years ago from Deep South, USA

      What a beautiful reminder, Bill, that the life of every single human should be celebrated at its end. Yes, every life does matter--perhaps to many, perhaps to only a few--but each leaves an indelible mark in her or his sphere of influence.

      I like the way Lois's family and friends paraded around her grave with the sign proclaiming they loved her. That was a remarkable eulogy.

      The essays you write, Bill, bring your inner philosopher to the fore, and those of us who read them are the richer because you share your heartfelt thoughts.

      Voted Up++++

      Jaye

    • profile image

      suzettenaples 2 years ago

      what a beautiful write Bill. You can sometimes tell a lot about a person by who attends the funeral. Lois sounds like a wonderful person. So nice of you to stop by to give your regards to a fellow human being! Kudos to you!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Kindred, the feeling is mutual, dear friend. Thank you! It was an eye-opening experience for me, and I have Lois to thank for it. I am a better man because I attended her celebration.

      love,

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I appreciate it, DDE. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sally, thank you very much. I wish we could all have our story told. We all make an impact and we all matter. That's the message I wanted to come from this.

      Thank you, Sally!

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      and I thank you again, Eric.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you so much, Eric! It was an enlightening experience for me.

    • lrc7815 profile image

      Linda Crist 2 years ago from Central Virginia

      This piece is proof that you my friend are an extraordinary man. What a lovely thing to do and who but you would ever think of joining in the celebration of a life they had never met. What makes it even more special is that you turned the experience into written word to live on as an example to all of us. Paths do cross in unexpected ways, don't they? I feel so blessed to have had mine cross yours.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 2 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      I am not one for funerals. Too much to take in. Thank you for the interesting read.

    • sallybea profile image

      Sally Gulbrandsen 2 years ago from Norfolk

      I love this piece of writing Billy.

      I too have been to several funerals in the last couple of weeks and they made a deep impression on me. I am struck by the fact that you were there as an observer - which is something I love to do, just stand on the edge and look in, to notice the little things others seem to miss.

      I think that is why I love photography so much, it seems that it affords me the opportunity to capture things which others fail to see.

      I would have loved to be at this funeral. You made me feel as if I were there and so, I say my own farewell to Lois Ackley. I am glad that she were loved and that her story was not just another one of those which was simply written in stone.

      Really beautiful Billy, I loved it.

      Sally

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      What a wonderful hub. You certainly had me there with you and as usual with your writing I just wanted it to go on and on. Thanks

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      What a wonderful hub. You certainly had me there with you and as usual with your writing I just wanted it to go on and on. Thanks

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Will, thank you for sharing that, and you are right of course. I never really thought of doing that, but I'll give it thought now. Thank you for your kind words. I'm happy you enjoyed this.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you so very much, Mary. That's what I wanted people to remember when I wrote this. Beautiful summary on your part, dear friend.

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      WillStarr 2 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      I've been asked to write a historical fiction story about my grandparents, but I suddenly realized that although my grandmother lived to be just weeks shy of one hundred, I knew almost nothing about how a lovely young actress from Maine came to be married to an Iowa farmer. I just never bothered to ask.

      So many lives and their complex stories are summed up on a tombstone with nothing more than two dates...their birth and their death. All else is lost to history.

      As writers, we might consider creating an autobiography for our own descendants, because one day, they too will wonder who we were.

      I loved this Hub, Billy.

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      Mary Craig 2 years ago from New York

      Beautiful. We have no real sense of the ripples our life sends out to others. We touch many people in many different ways, some knowingly, some not. This beautiful hub reminds us we are important. We are loved. A hopeful piece Bill, offering hope to all who read it.

      Voted up, useful, awesome, beautiful, and shared.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Jo. I am so lucky that I followed a whim and stopped for the funeral. I'm glad I was able to celebrate her life.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Isn't that remarkable, Carol? I love stories like yours. We do touch others....I have no idea how many people I have touched, and may never know, but I do know that Lois' death and funeral touched me, and I think that is so cool. Thanks for sharing that story.

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      Jo_Goldsmith11 2 years ago

      What a bitter sweet read here, Bill. Thank you for your reflections about how we do matter in this vast space on earth. And those we matter too, we hope each day that we can impact their lives, the way it appears sweet Lois has for her family and friends. Awesome read!

      Shared, and Up ++++ :-) Blessings always dear friend.

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      carol stanley 2 years ago from Arizona

      Something drew you to the funeral. And this happening created a beautiful tribute. I am in awe. Our lives are so short and you are right we do touch many people..many who we don't even know. Years ago I was stopped at Christmas market in Dallas on a buying trip. I mentioned my name to someone and someone came up and threw their arms around me and thanked me for the wonderful book I wrote on the Gift Basket business and how they have a successful business because of me.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      MizB, what a wonderful story about those men who came back 23 years later to pay respects to your mother. That is a remarkable testament, not only to your parents, but to people in general. There is a lot of good out there, my friend. Thank you for your kind words.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Larry. That means a great deal to me, my friend.

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      MizBejabbers 2 years ago

      That is such a lovely tribute to a lady you said you didn't know personally. We are all touched by the lives of people we don't know personally. Their very presence had an effect, good or bad, on our lives depending upon their contributions to society. You moved me to tears.

      Bill, I have to say that at my mother's funeral, there was standing room only in the large room at the funeral home. Afterwards people whom I didn't know came up to me to express their condolences. Those who made the most impression on me were the several men who said that they knew my father, and they wanted to pay their respects to his family by attending mother's funeral. Daddy had been dead 23 years. People can be so wonderful. And so can you for stopping to pay your respects.

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      Lawrence Kitzmann 2 years ago

      As always well done Bill. Your reflection pieces remain my favorite of your writings. Take care my friend.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      LOL...I knew it, Ann!

      bill

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you, Maria. My only regret is that I did not know Lois. :) Blessings and love to you, today and always

      bill