So nice to check in and see this thread so close to the top of the forum.
I wanted to share a beautiful thing that happened in our UU community. We have a much loved member who has been battling cancer and in the last week it has been clear that she is at the end of her time here. I had volunteered to help with our caring committee but each time I was scheduled for something (meals, driving etc) we were foiled by something else going on. Once there was a snow storm that caused her appointments to be cancelled. She was in the hospital one evening I was scheduled to bring dinner etc. Sadly we weren't able to do much to help and my kids and I were feeling sad about that.
Our member entered hospice this weekend and after church there was a group who went to form a circle around her. It was one of the most beautiful and moving things I have ever experienced. I took my oldest son (12). The other kids helped bake and made cards and waldorf window stars to hang in her room but decided they didn't want to go. I am so glad my oldest came. The lay chaplain who was leading the circle and her husband who was playing his ukelele (sp?) did such a wonderful job. Our chalice was there and our bowl of water and rocks. People stood at the end of Pam's bed and placed a rock in the water and shared their connection to her, a story, a quote, a thanks.
We sang some beautiful songs. There were lots of tears and lots of laughter, and lots of hand squeezes/hugs and beautiful connections.
At one point two of our members wanted to sing "we are sending you light" but most of us gathered didn't know it. My son had learned it in the RE program - it was actually taught to him by Pam's daughter. And so these two women and Ryan lead us in this song and the actions. He has been taking his place more and more in the community - volunteering for the Sunday Services Committee and a welcoming pod - but I could see this being a real turning point for him in really integrating in this community and realizing the benefits/responsibilities and gifts of it.
The whole experience was beautiful and I learned so much from it.