Eulogy for my Sister

joann-last-picture

Spoken for the wake of my beloved sister JoAnn –

In the conclusion of The Hero with a Thousand Faces, Joseph Campbell tells us it was Nietzsche who said “Live, as though the day were here.” He goes on to say; That every one of us shares the supreme ordeal – carries the cross of the redeemer – not in the bright moments of the tribe’s great victories, but in the silences of his personal despair.

Jo-Ann, today we hear your silence. A voice that speaks in our memories of your trials and your victories, as living proof of all we’ve seen you stand up to. Not only a disease, but your love of family, of life, and your voice for the law, equity and justice. A voice that will long echo your story … A young mother who knew, in her time, education would pay her the best dividend. You worked and attended Law School full time, not just chasing, but grabbing hold of your dreams … all the while knowing, as you often said, for a woman it was: “Another day, another 78 cents.”

You told me not long ago, in the midst all those therapies, that each day you had a choice; Stay in bed, or get up, put your feet on the floor and face the day. Gathered here, are many witnesses that every day you chose Nietzsche’s advice.

By God’s grace, you and I became brother and sister. We grew up in one of the best examples of a dysfunctional baby boomer family, and we remained lifelong friends. I have celebrated your joys, known your darkest fears, shared your remarkable dinner table, and felt your deepest sorrows. There are no regrets where love lives in the heart.

We laughed often, cried together, and yes, we argued a bit … I was blessed. Not with the quiet blessing at a dinner table, but a hard won blessing from all the bits and pieces of a lifetime of love that now lives forever in my soul.

Sis, you have opened my eyes to a truer understanding of our reason for being… To live every day as Spirit meant it to be … Full of breath, of heartbeats, and emotions. Seizing every day with a love for all life has to offer, always remembering that – “The sky would have no rainbow, if the eyes had no tears.”

I love you … and I will truly miss your voice …

Link to Remembrance of JoAnn R Sensale

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23 thoughts on “Eulogy for my Sister

  1. This is such a beautiful tribute to your sister. I am glad you had each other throughout your lives. You express yourself so poetically and I greatly appreciate that you shared this.

  2. I’m so sorry for your loss, Peter. JoAnn sounds like and amazing woman and a wonderful sister. This beautiful eulogy is full of love, wisdom and grace. May you feel that grace in this time of grief.

  3. your poetic rendering lifts Spirit. so full of heart. thank you for the honor of witnessing. she was blessed. as are you to feel this depth of heart. so sorry for your loss g.f.s……

  4. In the still before forever, yellow tulips sway…..and we are reminded of the times we knew love best. Beyond this winter of sorrows, she awakes in eternal spring. She lives now….she loves now. May your heart expand to hold an abundance of blessed memories 🌷

  5. I am sure some of the hardest moments will be when the world has long since moved on and you continue to hear her silence. You gave us the poetry of her Spirit and Person here, Peter.

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