Jan 26th 2008

Izzy/Glen, Saying Goodbye, Pt. 1 (see below)

Posted in Glen & Ann, Izzy

January 26, 2008 – We said goodbye to Glen Saturday at a memorial service attended by friends and family at a local funeral home. Izzy came in early, and went and lay by Glen’s casket for about 30 minutes, until guests arrived. He looked at the casket, which was open, and just lay down near it.
Pastor Sharon Beyer led us in song – “The Old Rugged Cross,” and “Amazing Grace.” The family asked me to read “Tall Timber,” the Carl Sandburg poem I read Glen before he died. Paster Beyer talked about the love Glen had for his family, and said he was an inspiration to truckers everywhere. She also talked about riding with him in the local volunteer fire department, and as a paramedic.
Izzy greeted visitors, mostly hung out with Ann and the family. He bonded with the undertaker, the head of the local highway department and his wife, and got his belly scratched a lot. Izzy, more than any dog I have know, enters into the spirit of whatever place he is in, and was quiet, unobtrusive and affectionate when needed. And that was a lot.
Ann thanked family and friends, the Hospice staff, and also Izzy, who she said carried20 her like a cloud. A beautiful image. Below, I got this photo of Izzy and the hands of Glen’s family, and this picture does tell a thousand words. So I’ll leave it there, and once again thank Glen’s family for permitting and encouraging these photos, which not only document the presence and passing of a good man, but the power of a dog to uplift people, and also the hospice idea – quite powerful to me – that while death is sad, it need not be uncomfortable, lonely, without dignity, or depressing. Glen died a  good death, the death he wanted and deserved.
And a nod to my dog, Izzy, who has a gift and is using it.

Everywhere I looked at Glen’s Funeral, somebody was hugging or touching Izzy.  I told him he ought to think about a career in the ministry.