Will there ever be a time when
grief recovery sites will be obsolete?
© Betty Sue Eaton
When I began writing for Life After Loss and Rainbow Faith with Ferna Lary Mills, I wondered,
"Will there ever be a time that there is no need for web pages such as Life After Loss, or grief
websites such as RainbowFaith.com?"  Of course, I already knew the answer without even
asking the question!  As long as there is a mortal on Earth and another here to care what
happens to that mortal, there will always be a need for such places of comfort.

Tonight, I am glad that I can go to RainbowFaith.com for comfort as I remember my sister,
Louise, who was called home last Sunday evening. But tonight, I shed no tears for her. She
fought for many, many years to survive a horribly debilitating disease that took away her
independence, her ability to speak and control her emotions, and finally, her dignity. She
succumbed to a Parkinson's-like syndrome the name of which I cannot pronounce. Her
muscles had atrophied to the point that she had to be fed by a tube inserted into her stomach
because she couldn't swallow. She fought it constantly. Her mind was never affected until the
very last few years, but the horror of the illness was that it was trapped in a body going rigid
and she was helpless to understand or prevent what was happening.

Louise, third born of seven siblings, smart, intelligent, strong, determined like few I have even
known. She had so many great characteristics that space here will not permit me to enumerate.
But I must site a few: Loving, loyal, generous, God-fearing, ever the teacher, beloved wife and
helpmate, mother of one son and two daughters, grandmother to eight.  No, I should say that
she was mother to nine because she was always there for the other of her siblings at some
time in our lives when we needed a special loving hand on the shoulder and a little extra
encouragement at low points in our lives.

Her home was always a beehive of activity as she went about her days as though having as
many as 15 toddlers underfoot daily as she cared for them while parents worked was a normal
way of life. Along with making clothing for her girls, our mother who lived with them the last few
years of her life, herself, and bridesmaids gowns, band uniforms and pep squad outfits for
uncounted kids, she did alterations for the local dry cleaning shop. She was trained in college
as an Agricultural Home Extension Agent and knew the value of nutritious food and economy,
so her household and cooking was always 'by the book'!  Still, that wasn't enough to satisfy her
drive of energy; she taught advanced tailoring at Long Beach Junior College two nights a week
as well to a culturally and ethnically diverse group of people. Each time I made a garment for
myself or my daughters, she would want to inspect the inside side of it for neatness, much to
my chagrin!

We were raised in church with a minister for a Grandfather who shepherded us on the "Amen
Bench" and kept us very strictly in line! As we grew into adults, that teaching remained with us,
to the point that when Louise and her family sought to find a home church in Seal Beach,
California, and finding none, they helped to organize a small American Baptist church with
neighbors and friends. It outgrew several locations and finally became established in it's own
building with a very substantial congregation. She lived her faith through kindnesses to her
friends and neighbors - even people whom she did not know. Anytime there was a death on
their street, Louise organized shelter for visiting family members, food provisions, and any
other needs where she and her neighbors could be of help. No one argued with Louise
Murphy! They just followed her example of Faith with Feet!

I grieve the fact that she is gone, but I do not grieve for her life. It was an exemplary one that
touched the lives of so many others in a wonderful way that I cannot know the extent. I do
know that Louise is going to be welcomed by our Heavenly Father who will probably say, "Well
done my child. Now, let's get to work!"

Louise, my beloved sister, protector, confidante, confessor, mentor, surrogate mother:  we will
and have been missing you.


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