Ladies and Gentlemen:
Also see: In Memoriam Maggy Laws Brimelow
In the traditional liturgy of the Anglican Church, to which Maggy was devoted, there is no place for lay eulogies at funerals, which is why we had none today. But I do want to take this opportunity to thank you all for coming, some of you from great distances, and particularly to thank the clergy, the choir and the congregation of Saint John's. You all became to Maggy, on her long journey, a family that I can only compare with her own.
On the last vacation that Maggy and I took together before her metastasis was diagnosed, we went to Cap Raz, the westernmost point of France. It's a long rock spine reaching out into the North Atlantic, pointing as a matter of fact towards Newfoundland, where Maggy was born.
They don't have trial lawyers and liability problems in France, so people get to scramble out along the ledges and the cliffs a hundred feet or so above the sea. We did this for a while and then I wanted to stop. My excuse was I had a sprained ankle. But the fact was that I thought it was nuts.
Maggy as all of you know was an unusual woman. Not the least of this was that she had a great deal of physical courage, to the point of recklessness. So she said she wanted to go on—"just to the next headland." Then she vanished.
It was well over an hour later, and I was trying to figure out how I would persuade the authorities to launch a life boat—my French is as poor as Maggy's was fluent—when I finally saw her hove into view, her long hair flying like a triumphal banner. She'd been all the way to the very end, along with a couple of obviously insane teenage boys.
Now, again, Maggy has gone on before me. And I can't hope to see that blonde head returning to me anytime soon.
But I think of her—heading out, this time, toward an infinite sea—as Father Ficks just said, questing.
And that's how I commend her to you.