Blessed are those who mourn

It is with a very heavy heart that I share the news that Luleen Anderson, beloved by so many in our worshiping community, passed away just before noon today, having lived a love-filled 88 years. I know this will come as a surprise to many, especially those who visited her in rehab as recently as last weekend, but her condition took a downward turn, and began hospice care on Tuesday.

Ever-present in caring for Luleen these many years, her son, Eric, has been by her side, and was joined by Luleen’s sister, Gloria, and niece, Mitzi during the week. Her godson, Nathan Finnin, was also among those who encircled Luleen with love as she transitioned peacefully from this earthly realm to the next. I’m sure she is already sharing stories and an inquisitive hear with each heavenly spirit she encounters.

Under Luleen’s name on her website it says “Clinical Psychologist, Published Author, and Public Speaker,” yet these titles don’t begin to scratch the surface of who Luleen was, and is, to those whose lives she has touched. We will have an opportunity to remember and reflect on her rich life and hear heartfelt stories on Wednesday, August 24 at 11am when we gather at Church of the Servant to celebrate Luleen’s life (a reception will follow).

Having spent her adult life as a loss and grief counselor she would want to help us move through our journey of grief. I believe a balm can be found in the gift of her many insightful and inspirational written reflections. Here is one excerpt that seemed particularly true today:

“As I approached my 80th birthday, I was reflecting on the stories/eulogies I’ve written about others when a totally unbidden thought popped into my mind: who will write my eulogy?

When I was turning 65, I wrote a hilarious (I thought!) piece about that milestone. Approaching 65 seemed to have many funny elements. Turning 80 and facing my own mortality, not so much. But I recall what my friend Ma Barefoot told me as she dictated her funeral plans to me shortly before her death. “What about the eulogy?”, I asked. She smiled. “Well,” she said, “You know you write your own eulogy by the way you live.” I find her words reassuring. I’m thinking that when eulogy time comes for me, I may be covered, after all.”

I hope you can join us on Wednesday at 11am. For now, let us hold Eric, Gloria, Mitzie, Nathan, Janie and all of Luleen’s extended family in our prayers, as well as each other. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

God’s Peace,

Rev. Jody


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