whispered the autumn leaf
       born of spring’s budding hope
       commissioned for summer’s verdancy
       yet most glorious in decline
         urged the autumn leaf
  As he,
        in trust and gratitude
        released his hold once, and for all
        surrendered into the wind
               and fell
  (From the Orthodox Church Funeral Service):  “The event of death is probably the greatest spiritual, intellectual, and emotional challenge which a person must face in his earthly existence. But the Christian should be prepared to face all the events of life with unflinching courage. These inescapably include the sorrowful reality of death.”

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