When a beloved friend of almost thirty years passed away, it was imperative to me to drop all of the details of my life and turn my attention to his dying process. I feel deeply blessed to have not been on my own throughout this time.
Ruth showed up with remarkable presence. Her gift was in her ability to listen — to listen with complete openness. She listened, deeply, to my friend in Hospice. Attuning to his deepest needs. She listened to family and community members. She listened to life. Ruth has a beautifully refined ability to look for what is best for all. She follows though. Her wisdom and compassion guided the community with grace.
Through CEOLT and Ruth’s offering, I watched the community align with deep and loving intention and my friend passed beautifully, naturally, and as he would have wished. The time directly following his passing continued with sacredness and a palpable reverence that I’m forever touched by. Ruth was steadfast, grounded, and supportive on all realms — addressing every question, from the mundane to the spiritual, with her shining presence and deep love. My appreciation of her offering is magnificent.
What we did was at Aunt Fran’s request, made possible through the help of a family friend, Julia Hunt, who was Fran’s hospice volunteer and Home Funeral Guide. What we did was the difference, for my family, in incurring debt and remaining solvent, and in saying an intimate goodbye in a language we all understood, as opposed to saying goodbye in the mortuary chapel of kindly paid professionals.
– Dawn Young
Yesterday, Jane’s body lay in state at Ruth’s house. No more Roman Senator. Jane looked like a Buddha. Intensity of focus suggested she was learning to walk or fly or swim the channels of light, while the vigil of the living continued around her. Serenity was sprawled all over Ruth’s home like a blessing. I saw that Serenity, Herself, had Sandra wrapped in her arms. The strawberries by the path lounged in the afternoon sun, speaking together of ripeness. Ruth’s roses, orange magnificence, glowed on the window- sill as beacons, guiding Jane’s transition.
Caroline came in from the porch. I was unprepared to see the clarity, the compassion, that unwavering depth in her eyes. Inside me someone said, “My body will likely lie there under that lace one day, while the garden continues to ripen and then decay, while the beloved companions keep the vigil, breathing and speaking of love, and simultaneously considering the conundrums of living. The luminosity will again, have gathered substance. Serenity will again provide a wrap for the living to wear as they say farewell to a body, to that diffusing Enormity crossing the doorsill.” After a while, they will pass through Ruth’s doorsill and walk back by the strawberries as they return to the world of living form.
– Deenen Fowler