Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Goodbye Jean Mary Lewis

Display at the bathing ceremony
Zen Hospice Sunday 2/17/13

Jean with rose petals
Zen Hospice Sunday 2/17/13
Jean left us at noon on Sunday.  A fighter to the last, she breathed on for 48 hours after a nurse told us Friday she only had hours remaining.  But after two days there was no way out, her breathing was rapid and labored, and it had been a week since she had spoken or eaten.

Jean with rose petals, family and friends
Zen Hospice Sunday 2/17/13
Sunday evening the hospice had a bathing ceremony. Friends and family took turns washing Jean's face, hands, and face with cloths, while saying words of appreciation.  Afterwards we took turns covering her with rose petals, and getting in a few more words.  For the length of that ceremony death was a gentle, tentative presence, as if Jean could still decide to flash her impish smile, shake off the petals and leap out of bed.  Then the crematorium workers came, strapped her body to a gurney and took her out the hospice gate.  That gate shutting made a mournful sound.
Jean's memorial will be on Sunday, February 24 at 1 PM, Oakmont Memorial Park/Redwood Chapel, 2099 Reliez Road, Lafayette CA, 94549.  Please send email to if you would like to speak at the service.  Jean was an avid gardener and rose aficionado, so feel free to provide flowers.  Finally, we are asking for donations and recruits to our team on the 2013 Bay Area Brain Tumor Walk, scheduled for May 4 in San Francisco.  If you are interested you can sign up using this blog post:

1 comment:

  1. Jean's bathing ceremony was a beautiful celebration of a community's love for a very special person. I am grateful for having participated, and also for having become close to Jean and you, Matt, this past year. Goodbye, Jean. You will live forever in my heart.

    - Tara McCulloch