Speech for my Grandmother's Interment Ceremony
Following the funeral on January 22nd, my grandmother's final resting place at Calvary Cemetery was dedicated February 20th in a brief ceremony with immediate family present. I wrote and delivered the following dedication:
Fear Not the Night
With the passing of one day’s light comes the promise of light born anew. The sunset entails promise of a sunrise to come. An apparent end serves only to signal a new beginning.
And yet although we know night is but part of a perpetual ebb-and-flow, we still fear the dark and the unknown it has come to signify.
Night does not negate; it merely obscures ordinary modalities. Night wields a brilliance all its own; a heightening of senses and honing of awareness forged in the subtle serenity of the nocturnal realm. Night is adorned by its shimmering crown of stars, themselves obscured by the light of day. As much as the shadows of night are the familiar sights of day, the secrets of day are the wonders of night.
In fear, imagination supplants reality; in sorrow, possibility transcends perception, beholden as we are to the boundaries thereof. Beyond those boundaries lies a frontier traversed by those we love who have bid us farewell; neither forgotten nor ever truly gone.
This space we memorialize and honor is a not a destination, but a symbol and a reminder, the intersection of known and unknown -- of seen and unseen. We gather not so much to say goodbye as to cherish and remember.
Ponder the night but fear it not. Cast your gaze upon the darkness but know it does not entail emptiness. The day brings light and warmth, but only because there is that to which light and warmth can be brought, just as the light and warmth of love and of memories bring an immutable illumination to bear, undiluted by the brightest days and undiminished by the darkest nights.
Celebrate the day, but embrace the night. Take comfort even in darkness, knowing always that there is a new day yet to come.