to a young woman who died suddenly and unexpectedly just before Thanksgiving.
I'd never memorialized such a young person before and was not well-prepared for the emotionality of the service, although in retrospect it makes sense. How can you lose someone who is only 39, who has a child not yet grown, a husband of only a few years, a family who had counted on her to be around forever, or at least for the rest of their lives. And in such a tragic way----of a sudden blood clot to the lungs, with no premonition of danger.
I traveled to Vashon Island at the request of the family, whom I have known for many years and in several different ways. I'd known the father and his second wife through UU events in Colorado; I'd known the mother through my Vashon days; I'd known the young woman and her daughter through the Vashon congregation and learned then that she had been an acquaintance of my son in our Colorado days.
The little sanctuary was packed with friends and family members. The service itself was memorable for its wonderful stories and all the tears. I met her husband, her brothers, her best friends, her many relatives and acquaintances. The "community sharing" (aka "open mic") time was heartfelt and teary and lengthy.
But the question remains: how can such a thing happen to a young, vibrant, passionate, giving woman as Spring Cole Stuhlman? There is no reason, no explaining it adequately, no platitudes that give comfort. She is dead, gone, and only memories and love---and ashes---remain.