Sunday, July 20, 2008

Grief, solace, music, memories

The Memorial yesterday was beautiful. I'm so thankful to the members of our group who managed to pull it together on such short notice and with such style -- Nancy would have been proud.

Visitors were asked to write messages in memory books as they arrived, as John Mayer's song "Say" played in the background. The short walk through the woods to the amphitheater reminded me of the dozens of times we had been there together. When Bella came in, I almost expected her to have her face painted as a shining butterfly.

Hundreds of white roses in gorgeous arrangements surrounded two beautiful portraits of Nancy with her children by Elizabeth Galecke. Flutist Catherine LeGrand and classical guitarist Randy Reed played uplifting, soothing music as we came together to mourn and remember. During the service, Julia Cobley, the girls' music teacher, sung several songs. She was accompanied by a harpist, Anita Burroughs-Price. Each song brought me to tears.

A family member shared with me later that the service helped him get a lot of grief out. I felt the same way.

I'm not sure how much money was raised for The Nancy Cooper Memorial Fund, but last night a friend set a lofty goal for Bella and Katie, and I for one hope it's met. Please help us provide for the two people Nancy lived for. They won't be able to know their mother in person, but they will certainly know what kind of person she was, and how much she affected the lives around her.

I'm hoping to rest today, but we will be setting up a website where people can record their memories or messages of support. I will also be compiling all the wonderful sentiments that have been sent via email or the volunteer form, and all of this will be made into a book for the family.


libby said...

As a mother of 3, a wife and a runner, I feel as though Nancy could have been one of my wonderful friends. My thoughts and prayers are with her beautiful girls, her parents , her sisters and her many friends. From the pictures, you can see that Nancy was a beautiful woman and from the words that have been used to remember her, she was beautiful inside and out. I thought that the lyrics posted - Heaven Needed a Hero - were very moving and perhaps could try to make some sense of such a senseless tragedy. I hope that the spirit of Nancy helps her friends and her family gather the courage and strength that will certainly need in the months and even years ahead. Nancy was fortunate to have such a wonderful group of friends and family - she has made me hug my children more and enjoy life in the moment - she was taken away much too soon. Gob bless all of you and especially her daughters.

solo polo said...

what wonderful friends you are

i have been following this since nancy went missing. you have all done a wonderful job in looking for her and then dealing with the tragic news.
how nice for her family to know she was so loved by her Cary friends.

god bless

Anonymous said...

The Rise Beyond The Fall ( I )

A light gone out,
The world diminished by her passing,
Tragedy, cannot be undone;
The hearts of those she touched,
Bewail as much,
Her mourning full begun;

Our eyes have lost a lustre,
Our tears cannot console,
We cannot find death's purpose,
It hazards tortured soul;

Expressions of her being,
Play upon our past,
And echo in a feeling well,
Its depth entrusts,
Our love to dwell;

A finely petalled flower,
With strength at her core,
A zest for life and friendship,
Always eager to explore;
Her bloom unmistaken,
Reflecting carefree joy;

Her image will not fade,
The ripple of her light,
Her laughter and blithe energy,
Her smile with warm felicity,
Her nature's burning might;

The depth of mournings' sorrow
The damage by our loss,
Bear sadness to tomorrow,
Grief destined not to last;

Beyond the beautied memories,
To guide a fond recall,
To build upon her legacy,
And rise beyond the fall,
Two tributes to her permanence,
Daughters next in line,
Reflections of their mother
Growing over time;

I cannot see the sun,
Yet know its only hid,
One day the clouds will pass,
Rewarm me as she did.

Anonymous said...

The Rise Beyond The Fall ( II )

Death be unconsoled,
Your dominion does betray,
A limit to your senseless path,
In unsuspecting ways;

You seize future by your grasp,
Break the thread of life,
You damage with impunity,
Wielding paths of strife;

Yet hidden in the darkness,
A spark, renewed despite,
Remembrance of the fallen,
To burn away your shadow,
And redeem a stolen light;

No grievance in your loss,
Your ruin held at bay,
The sadness in the lives you take,
Cannot go back a day;

So lost to your affliction,
Your hollow victory,
Is that which has been written,



And defiant to your call,
We hold from you contemptuously,
To rise beyond the fall.

Anonymous said...

I'm an old close friend and want to thank everyone for their efforts.
I hope you don't mind me sharing my writing on Nancy's passing.


Catherine said...

The guitarist who played with me at the memorial service is Randy Reed, adjunct faculty at Duke University.

I am grateful to have been able to offer my efforts for the service and glad so many found the music helpful.


lindaangier said...

I would like to know if anyone can get a hold of Nancy's mom or sister or any family member. i would like to make 2 :memory "quilts out of Nancy;s clothes for her children. i have made many in the past as a loving memory of them..