Tuesday, August 14, 2012

R I P Aunt Ruth

The view from Aunt Ruth's window--the birches, the knoll

Her wish came true.  A devout lover of Nature, all its beauty, its changing seasons and nuances and grandeur, Aunt Ruth wanted to be in the middle of it, connected by more than thought, surrounded, sustained, and soothed by it.

She quietly, sweetly, gracefully left her body March 4 at the age of 99.  She apologized for not making it to 100 and was surprised a bit the morning before her passing that she hadn't slipped away in the night as she had expected!  Goodness and grace right straight through to the end and beyond.

But she wanted to visit those gentle birch trees across that field who moods had entertained her year round--naked and black-branched against the snow,  fresh and bright in spring, green and fluttering in the summer wind, and brilliant with fall yellow.  And now her wish is granted.

July 28th her huge family, 8 children and all their children and all their children, plus nieces, nephews and friends made their way from the house, along the fence line and up the little hill.  Music as sweet as the summer breeze floated through the trees and down the knoll as each of her children took her/his turn with a scoop of ashes to be joined, finally, with the goodness of Nature.

  May she Rock In Peace!

Part of the Things I get to do today: watch this sacred ritual from the sidelines and remember the last stanza of "Thanatopsis" which fit her to perfection.

So live, that when thy summons comes to join that
Innumerable caravan which moves 
To that Mysterious Realm where each shall take 
His chamber in the silent halls of death,
Thou go not, as the quarry-slave, by night, 
Scourged to thy dungeon; but, sustain'd and soothed 
By an unfaltering trust, approach thy grave,
As one who wraps the drapery of his couch 
About him and lies down to pleasant dreams.
William Cullen Bryant

"Mom's Mountain Salon" the plaque reads.


  1. How beautiful. Sorry for your loss.

    1. Thanks, Gabby. She left a us a lovely gift in her passing--showing us the way it could be done! Wow--such a gift. Several of her children mentioned that they no longer are afraid to die. That's a tremendous shift.

  2. Thanatopsis is such a beautiful memorial for any one. May you all find joy in knowing she lived a good life!
    Can you still recite it from memory? Sometimes it's like a mantra for me. It has stuck with me every since Mrs' Winters demanded that we memorize it. I have always found it comforting and a call to live my best life.

    1. Yup. Mrs. Winter gets the credit here from me as well. That's why I knew to put it in. Yes, from memory, but checked for phrasing and punctuation. Found I'd left out a few words!

  3. I have come back to read this over and over. And now in the quiet of this evening, I am finding myself drawn back here again.
    Your writing describes such a beautiful soulful woman. And peace came to her as she closed her eyes for the last time. Peace in communicating with those beautiful birch trees that she loved once again.
    The words and meaning in this beautiful post is sweet like a quiet cool stream sending comfort on a hot day.
    The poem touched me.

    1. Tree roots go deep into our souls. This poem settles in there as well.