Mary Kreilkamp Cowan: “Is that all? That’s easy!”

And then she began telling people she loved them, one by one.

This is how my sister Mary died, completely conscious and at ease, with utmost grace and presence. She had asked her husband, when speaking about how to die, “What do I do?” He had told her, “think of it as childbirth, only in reverse.”

None of the nurses had ever seen anything like Mary’s dying process. Neither had the priest. Those of my sisters and brothers who were present (all except Paula in Louisiana, Kathy in Hailey, Idaho, and me, in Bloomington Indiana), her two adult children, and all their spouses felt immensely grateful that she, a very private person, had allowed them to witness her extraordinary passing.

Those who had feared death, no longer do.

I will be posting more on my perspective on Mary’s extraordinary four decades of suffering, resistance, and final surrender, soon. Meanwhile, her husband John has graciously permitted me to share the eulogy that he read from the pulpit in Seattle last Saturday. During those final four hours of lucidity, she had instructed him to be the one to compose a eulogy. She would have it no other way.

Forgive the choppiness in this copy below. I took screen pictures from John’s pdf.

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Oh my goddess. Just as I was about to post this, I get a message from my sister Kristin. She and I had gone for a walk in downtown Seattle on Sunday. And lost the car! Couldn’t find it. Walked and walked and walked. This is VERY unlike her. After about an hour we did manage to find it (the black car next to me), and guess what? As she says in her message with this attached picture:

Thanks for the walkabout and the good laugh at ourselves. Thx Mary for the reminder.

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0 Responses to Mary Kreilkamp Cowan: “Is that all? That’s easy!”

  1. Sue M. says:

    Thank you, Ann, for your lovely post.
    Mary’s “that’s easy” reply is so much
    like her, always up for another adventure.

  2. Pamela says:

    Ah, Love. We are so graciously blessed by You.
    May we be consumed by the fire of your presence.
    What a wonderful story and perspective.
    We inhale. We exhale.

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