Ways to Remember
A Remembrance
Journey of Hearts
A Healing Place in CyberSpaceTM
It has taken some time, to finally be able to put into words the memorial service that I created in May 1996. The service started as a way of being able to remember a dear patient, since I had been on call and unable to attend her funeral service. The service became a remembrance ceremony, a way of letting the Resident Physicians remember special patients that we had lost. I was blessed to have the Reverend Susan Cropland help me in this memorial, something that she recognized was long overdue. It was an interfaith, nondenominational, combination of song, poems, to connect with friends, family and colleagues in a powerful way of remembering. It is an experience I will not forget.

The parts of the service came from different sources.

For music one of our attendings and friend, Dr. Steve Hosea suggested Bobby Mc Farrin's acapella version of 23rd Psalm. The first verse of Amazing Grace was sung as a tribute to Sandy Rogers by a friend, Cynthia Stoddard, and then the remaining verses by the participants. One Sweet Day, the song by Mariah Carey and Boys to Men, was uggested by one of the Clerks from the Oncology Ward at Cottage Hospital in Santa Barbara, who had seen her share of losses with patients and their family members.

The words from the Tibetan Book of Living and Dying were found by a friend, studying Buddhism.
For me these words describe the essence of what I try to share with my patients, and remind me of the reasons I became a doctor..."May I be the doctor, the medicine and may I be the nurse for all
the sick beings in the world, until everyone is healed." I included my poem, Transformation, as a symbol of change, of coming out of the grief and being Transformed.

The original blessing that was used was read by the Reverend Susan Copeland. It was a blessing for the healers. A Prayer similar to the original (if not identical) came in the mail a bit more than a week after I did this page. It has been edited in to reflect the original experience.

A Remembrance
Reading from The Tibetan Book of the Living and Dying
23rd Psalm
Reading of Names
Amazing Grace
One Sweet Day
Blessing for the Healing Journey

23rd Psalm
The Lord Is My Shepherd
A Psalm of David

Reading of Names

The following names were patients lost over the year 1995-1996 at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital. They were compiled from the resident physicians, nurses and attending physicians, some submitting many names, some just one or two, and others not wanting to participate at all.

These people touched our lives in many different ways.  We changed by caring for them and by knowing them.

I have changed the listing from the original version to an alphabetical one:

Gary Blades 
Alvin Borgardt 
Shannon Kay Borgardt 
Willard Burtsfield 
Doris Cannon 
Norman Case 
Elizabeth Davis 
Jean Deason 
Charles Dominguez 
Judy Frederickson  
Richard Fargo 
Carl Hall 
Ron Hart 
Helen Henrotin 
Gloria Holmes 
Marcia Kamka
Lana Keith 
Frances Kuchma 
Irene Lamberton 
Imogene Leadbetter 
Robert Leavitt 
Josephine Lerda  
Pearl Mudgett 
Vicki Paulsen 
Paul Pico 
Billy Ray 
Dixie Reese 
Sandra Rogers 
Vivian Rosedale 
Walter Solomon 
Celia Sevilla 
Carol Velasquez

We could like to thank all the participants
those here in person
and those with us in spirit.
May you leave here with peace in your heart.
I had created and covered a table with origami butterflies for decoration, and as symbols of joy and of Transformation. At the end of the ceremony, a gust of wind picked up and carried off several of the butterflies, making them "fly." The Reverend Cropland looked at me to see if I noticed they were "flying," but more so to see if I too felt the presence of those we had lost. I believe that this gust of wind was a way for those we were remembering to let us know they were with us and approved of the celebration and remembering--not in sorrow, but in joy.

After the service, people remained, not wanting to leave. Each took away an origami butterfly, and I would like to believe was transformed by the experience and left...

With Peace in their hearts
Last updated January 2, 1999
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