Friday, March 24, 2006

Sad news of the death of Barbara Greenler

An anonymous comment made to my post about the Missouri Sacred Harp convention repeated the news we all received earlier in an e-mail on March 23:

Dear Ones,

It is with sadness that we write to tell you that Barbara Greenler passed away last night. She died calmly in her sleep while at home. In the last days she had continued to weaken but seemed to be at peace with her approaching death.

All of us, including Barbara have deeply appreciated the connections, thoughts and care expressed in the cards and letters. We feel powerfully supported by your prayers and love.

We will send out memorial service information in the next days.


Bob, Lee, Karen, Robin and their families
Those who knew her would have recognized a brief reference to Barbara in a post last summer after the summer Nightingales gathering:
One of the beloved Mothers, not yet 80 and the grandmother to a whole flock of young Nightingales, has already lost much of her strong, beautiful voice to thyroid cancer a couple of years ago. Now, the cancer has returned and the outlook is uncertain. She looked strong, but had her limits. We know that she made a heroic effort to come, knowing that this might be her last time.
I saw her only once since then, briefly, at meeting in Madison in October, and remember thinking how well she looked, almost glowing.

It is beyond my power to say what this sad news means to me. Any attempt I might make to explain what Barbara meant to me and my life as a Friend, and as a human being, can only dishonor her by its pathetic inadequacy. All I can think to say now is from a verse of the song "Special Silence" from the old Songs of the Spirit:
In that silence I can share my thoughts with Friends who really care,
And sometimes I can even see the kind of Friend I'd like to be.
Barbara was a friend who really cared. She's the kind of friend I'd like to be.

Later: Liz Opp has a lovely, personal rememberance of Barbara here.

1 comment:

Liz Opp said...

Yes, Paul, Barbara was the kind of Friend I'd like to be, too. Glad you thought to include a link from your earlier post...

And of course by now, perhaps, you've received word that Nightingales is still on for its spring gathering, despite the loss of Barbara and the grief so many of us feel.

I can only imagine that it was one of Barbara's hopes and wishes that we all gather "to sing after her" and carry forward the tradition of such tender fellowship through song.

Liz, The Good Raised Up