December 18, 2018
With a heavy heart, I write to share with you the shocking news of the death of Peter Johnson. Peter sustained a serious injury in a work-related accident yesterday, and died in the ambulance on the way to the hospital. Those caring for him, were unable to revive him.
This happened just the day after Peter and Gabrielle and brother-in-law Dennis Burke sang a particularly splendid Advent Evening Service with the rest of our Choir. Today, Peter sings with the choir of saints and angels in light. And we are left in our sorrow to care for those who mourn. I was with Gabrielle and son Robin, at the Johnsons' home while she made very difficult calls to family members; her dear friends and colleagues Susan Oakley and Chris Jones came to be with them; and Dennis brought them dinner. Other family members will begin arriving today.
Chris has created an online sign-up for those who would like to provide the family a meal. This "Meal Train" site is quite comprehensive. be sure to click on the "Review All Instructions" gold box for important details. Here's thelink. Chris's reference to "any donations" refers to gift cards that you purchase in person. You can bring them to the office, or leave them in the mailbox which I'll check regularly. Once decisions are made about other arrangements, those will be passed along as well.
Wise counsel from Rabbi Offner came back to me yesterday: She spoke about the importance of sitting with our grief before we take action. The time for action will come, and there will be ways we can be helpful. But first, it is important to grieve. She didn't say this, but I will add -- there is no way around "the valley of the shadow of death;" attempts to escape that valley of sorrow, will only cause us problems later.
And in our grief, we can pray:
Rest eternal grant to your servant, Peter, O Lord,
and may light perpetual shine upon him.
Grant to Gabrielle, their family, and all who mourn,
the grace to lift their hearts to you, O God,
and know your abiding presence and the consolation of your love.
God's Peace be with you all,
We feature various authors from around our parish, commenting on topics of interest to our community. Enjoy! Comment if you are so moved!