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Tranq, please give your mom (and dad if he’s still around) a big hug. She’s going through a special kind of pain and anguish no parent should ever have to go through. You guys are in my prayers.

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I am so, so sorry to hear this news. My heart goes out to you and your family Tranquilis. What a wonderful person, a wonderful writer, advocate for dogs, and what a wonderful life. She touched many people.

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Public service reminder:


Update your wills, folks - and put them where they can easily be found. Even a hand-written will with a signature and a couple witnesses will be better than nothing and can save everyone much trouble.

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Hilary's ashes were spread on her home lake today. For those as don't know, she lived on a peninsula on a lake. Out one side of her house, she had a view of the Alaska range. Out the other, across the Norton Sound, there was the Chugach range. She loved the sound of loons, and their return to her lake was the turning point in her year.

 

 

Hilary has joined with the lake she called Her Lake, where Her Loons nested, the one she always spoke of. Celeste and Joe set up the barge and cast us off, Joe taking us out and down the lake toward Hil's house.

We glided quietly on the barge down the lake to a single bagpipe playing The Flowers of The Forest. Rae shared out a bottle of red wine Hilary had made (Dragonfly House Merlot).

Susan and Sarah said a few words and then together spread her ashes. We toasted her with the toast she loved when she was home, 'here's tae us, there's like us, damn few, and they're ae deid.'

Mom recited the last stanza of the Rubyat, and we all turned up our glasses over the lake, to share our wine with her.

We stayed out on the lake a while in the gray Alaska rain, the barge drifting in slow circles, mixing the water where both her ashes and the wine we had shared with her had gone.

We returned down the lake without her to The Abbott's Bromley Horn Dance, followed again by The Flowers of The Forest, then just to the sounds of the lake in the rain, chilly damp constant rain, perfect Scottish weather for her farewell.
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I never interacted with Hillary, just enjoyed her posts temendously. Yet for some reason her passing has hit me harder than I ever expected. I have thought about her often this week and even have come to tears several times. She had a gift for touching people.

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I never interacted with Hillary, just enjoyed her posts temendously. Yet for some reason her passing has hit me harder than I ever expected. I have thought about her often this week and even have come to tears several times. She had a gift for touching people.

Aye, that she did.

Yours is not an uncommon experience, I've come to learn.

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Exactly.

 

I never interacted with Hillary, just enjoyed her posts tremendously. Yet for some reason her passing has hit me harder than I ever expected. I have thought about her often this week and even have come to tears several times. She had a gift for touching people.

 

If I (never having met her in person) share so deeply in a sense of loss, it must be immensely harder for those who were close to her. And I also mourn for those who never got to "know" her through her writings.

 

Godspeed, Hillary. And thank you, Tranquilis, for keeping us posted. May those I eventually leave behind celebrate my passing (and my life!) in such a manner!

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My deepest sympathies to all of Hillary's family, two legged and four legged. She helped me find information for the treatment of my Sara when diagnosed with liver cancer in 2007 and I have never forgotten her kindness in doing so. And of course, I followed her postings here with interest. From all apparent appearances, a life well-lived.

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  • 4 weeks later...
We had the The 'Local' Memorial for Hilary yesterday. Or maybe the 'Remote' one. Depends on your point of view. More family came out of the woodwork than I've seen in decades. Plus people who knew her, or us, or had been somehow impacted - Even people from the internet. One anonymous woman arrived, said beautiful things about Hilary and stained glass windows, and being of the light which illuminates the windows of our lives, then vanished - Each of us thought one of the others of us knew who she was, but none of us recalled her name in our emotional state, so she remains known only to Hilary. Until we learn otherwise, we're calling her Elijah.
Scores of Day Lilies came from my father's wife's garden, filling the place with color. Other bouquets arrived from friends who could not be present; we even received a lovely arrangement from the crew who helped clean her house after her passing - signed by the entire crew.
All the effort to assemble the Order of Service and plan the readings and hymns went well-repaid, and it was a lovely Service of Memory. Dry eyes were not to be found.
We toasted her with tiny little sample cups of Bunnahabhain - AKA "Bunny Brains" - and sampled smoked Alaskan salmon, and looked through her scrap books of photos... And we cried and hugged and told stories of her life and our memories of it.
Later, we scattered some of her ashes in the Fellowship's Memorial Grove - She will rise with the turn of the year as lilies and ferns.
We are still devastated, and the wound in our collective souls remains vast, but there are places around the edges where we can see new growth, and the healing has begun.

 

 

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.598025946896452.1073741831.100000671572783&type=3

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The value of the life she lived is measured in the hearts she left behind. So many people (and animals) loved and appreciated her in so many ways.

 

Thank you for sharing so much with us, Tranq. It's what she would have done.

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It was one of the loveliest memorial services I've ever attended, both in itself and in the way it reflected the unique spirit of the person remembered. Beautifully chosen readings and music, funny and touching reminiscences from her family, and a table of objects that were significant to her and about her (including a painting of Finn that she'd done and a set of sled dog booties, as well as her photo scrapbooks) that could not have been more perfectly chosen.

 

A goodbye that did as much as could be done to ease the sadness of goodbye.

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Thank you, Eileen.

 

Your words were lovely - we are very grateful for your presence among us. It would not have been right, that the BC community went unrepresented, and you represented with grace and love.

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