(Guitar piece by Joanne's brother, Wayne Siwak)Whatever is born is impermanent and is bound to die.
Whatever is stored is impermanent and is bound to run out.
Whatever is joined is impermanent and is bound to come apart.
Whatever is built is impermanent and is bound to collapse.
Whatever is born is impermanent and is bound to die. Thatís not so easy to think about, but it is true. We humans are fragile creatures. And whatever you believe about the afterlife, weíre only here in these bodies, at this point in time, for a very short time. That fragileness, that impermanance, is part of the beauty of life. Itís why we need to love each other so strongly and treasure each other so dearly while weíre alive together. And itís why we need to remember those who have passed and to love and treasure those memories. Grieving is part of human existence. And as we say goodbye to Joanne, I want to remind you that itís all right to grieve. Itís good and itís healthy and itís part of being human and being impermanent. I also want to remind you that Joanne would very much want to be remembered with smiles as well as tears. She would want you to remember her and love her, but she would also want you to take care of yourself and love yourself and heal yourself. To remember Joanne only with the pain of grief is not the best tribute you could pay to her. Remember her with love and remember - and share - her joy of being alive. And remember to love each other and take care of each other and treasure the time we have in this wonderful, fragile, impermanent life. Treasure life. Thatís the lesson Joanne would want you to take with you today. Not grief, but happy memories. This service is ended. Mr Ronin will give you details of the procession. ------------ Graveside service
You all know that Joanne loved the ocean. She loved to sit by it and watch it. She could read the waves and the currents and tell the weather. She spoke to the ocean and the ocean spoke to Joanneís heart. She told me once a long time ago that what she wanted after she was gone was to have someone love her enough to remember to pour seawater on her grave. So this is for you, Joanne.
(pour ocean water)
When you come back to visit Joanne in this beautiful place, you might want to remember to bring some ocean water or a shell. Sheíd like that.
The other kind of water that Joanne loved was a cool glass of water to drink. In her last illness she was craving water so much. She once said that if she could swallow sheíd drink all the water there was in the world. So our last gesture today will be to offer Joanne water, now that she can drink as much as she wants.
Iím going to start a song with new music but very old lyrics about the seasonal flooding of a river - the Euphrates - and the life it brings to the land. Youíre invited to join me in the chorus.
While weíre singing, Iím going to pass this pitcher around and each of you who wishes to will have the chance to come forward and pour some water.
The crescent shaped barge of heaven
Brushes close to touch the earth
Full of loveliness, full of bounty
The fertile fields well-watered
Hillock lands well-watered too
At your mighty rising
The vines rise up and the fields rise up
And the desert fills with green
A well of water in a dry, dry land
Swelling fruits to feed the hungry
Sweet water to quench our thirst
Pour it out for me, pour it out for me
Everything you send me I will drink
Goodbye, Joanne. We wonít forget you.
This graveside service is ended
Go in peace and blessings and love
--Rev. Norma Hoffman, GOG, ADF (*Song paraphrased by Norma from Starhawk' Reclaiming Collective chants; - Adapted by Starhawk from Sumerian, translated by Thorkild Jacobsen)