It was a service of caring, of sharing, of laughter, joy, and poignancy, the pews filled to overflowing in a beautiful non-denominational church called The Gardenia Center in Sandpoint. I sat quietly behind the piano after my accompanist, Laura Clark, and I started the service with “Greensleeves,” chosen by Patrick because it harkened back to their wedding. Laura then bridged between the Western and the Eastern with an improvisation on Native American flute.
The Buddhist ceremony, led by the benevolent Reverend Master Zensho Roberson, was short, yet beautiful, gentle incense discreetly flavoring the air, after which came Patrick’s eulogy, an extemporaneous expression that brought much, much laughter, joy, and delight from the attendees. Patrick is a wonderful extemporaneous speaker, always engaging his audience with encouragement and embrace. His eulogy broke the shyness of others who then shared with us how Elaine had touched their lives. It was a very good send off. We finished with the playing of ‘Here Comes the Sun’, a bright and hopeful ending, and people seemed satisfied. I didn’t stay for the reception afterwards, but, by all accounts, it went off very well, too — Elaine remembered well and surely with joy and a few tears.