Between the Living and the Dead
On March 11, 2007, I gathered with Roberta Legare, Lucinda Pinck-
ney, and approximately 150 others to celebrate Faye Terry’s home-
going service. As is custom, most of the attendees, including her
six active and six honorary pallbearers, wore black or dark- colored
suits. Two of Faye’s eight great- grandchildren wore white—her
favorite color—in her memory. Her alabaster casket lacked the gloss
and luxury that typify modern funerary boxes, yet was simple and
classy in its understatement. Its presence clearly pronounced the
fi nality of Faye’s life on this earth.
Faye’s service was the programmatic embodiment of her life.
Even in death she was surrounded by friends, family, and commu-
nity members who loved and respected her dearly, and who sorrow-
fully refl ected on the signifi cance of her loss to their lives. She was
heralded for her role as a nearly lifelong member of Wesley umc, her
ongoing faithfulness to the church, and her faith and unwavering
commitment to God. There was no doubt among the participants
that if there is any such thing as a heaven, Faye would be there, and
she would be there waiting for the rest of us. During the funeral,
selected speakers and the offi ciating minister spoke openly about
her sense of humor, her generosity, and her at-times biting candor.
As Sarah, the woman who off ered remarks to the family on behalf
of the community, stated, “no one could tell you like it is like Faye
could.” Music fi lled the program more than traditional aspects such
as scripture readings and the eulogy. It included her three favor-
ite hymns—“Amazing Grace,” “Blessed Assurance,” and the ever-
moving “How Great Thou Art,” which the audience sang with fervor.