Yesterday I officiated at a Committal Service for a man who was a Valley of the Sun transplant from snowy New York almost a dozen years ago. I don’t know much about him except that he loved to work on cars and was a kind, hard-working man who was clear with his wife that he did not want a service when he died. The daughters indicated that he did not want them to spend money on his after-death care.
At first there was no service planned, but the mom and daughters changed their minds and decided a Committal Service at the cemetery would be appropriate before he was laid to rest and that it would help them say good-bye. Through a series of phone calls, I was contracted to write a short service and officiate.
What we saw took away our breath: A large eagle with a five foot wingspan was circling overhead. After two turns the magnificent bird soared off into the sky.
We all felt it—the intake of surprised air, the beat of our hearts, the misty eyes. No one will ever convince me we saw anything other than the spirit of this man blessing our gathering and soaring into the heavens.
That We Can Soar Like an Eagle
by Jay Althouse
That we can soar like an eagle,
Fly like a dove, run like the wind
With strength from above.
We will never grow weary, for love will prevail,
And those who believe,