Goodbye Prayers in Loveland, Colorado

Hospice became the best option for my sister-in-law more suddenly than we anticipated. Our extended family gathered–virtually and in person–at the hospital where she had been admitted, working together to find the best solution for her care.

The World-Wide Labyrinth Locator pointed me to several labyrinths near our hotel where I could go and pray through my shock, grief, and desire to stay present.

Arriving at the United Methodist Church labyrinth, we circled the building but didn’t see it. Then, we matched the tree from the locator photo with one in the yard. I still couldn’t see the brick labyrinth through the winter grass, so I went to investigate and found the Tree of Life Labyrinth sign and the medieval style pathway.

Tree of Life sign

Metaphors for the time of transition between life and death jumped off the ground into my mind as I prayed my way to the center and back out to the threshold.

Every life has light and shadow. Every relationship too. What highlights and challenges of my forty-plus years of being Norma’s sister-in-law did I want to remember and share before we said our last goodbyes?

Pathway, winter, Loveland Labyrinth UMC

What grew from the center of Norma’s faith, holding everything in place below and above ground?

What roots were exposed now that she had lived a full life? What words might show their beauty to her family and friends as she was dying?

Even though I couldn’t always see the way through the overgrown grass, I knew the brick wall dividers were there and trusted I could follow the path where it was leading. I prayed that Norma would find her way too.

Loveland Colorado Labyrinth

I walked, I prayed, I wondered, and I allowed myself to be moved. I’m grateful for the labyrinths that others have built and maintained–and the way they are gifts when I and others need them. Thank you, labyrinth enthusiasts, everywhere, especially those of you who let us know where your labyrinths are!

Please keep Norma and her family in your prayers.

Thanks to Ken Geoffrion who took the image above.

To find a labyrinth close to you use the World Wide Labyrinth Locator. Hats off to Jeff Saward for all he does to keep this resource up to date.


3 thoughts on “Goodbye Prayers in Loveland, Colorado

  1. Thank you for sending this Jill, it’s good to have faces with the names we talked about. I’m glad your families are able to share deep connections in Norma’s final days.

    I loved our time together yesterday, great fun and laughter along with sharing details of these past months. I am deeply grateful for our friendship! Love you!

    Sent from my iPad


  2. Dear Jill, thank you for sharing the peace of love and Norma — beautiful Norma — lives her final days. You all look incredible on the picture. Jill, kindly include Mike Klug in your prayers. He is also in his final days. He has been such an amazing friend, sharing his passion and knowledge of Notre-Dame de Chartres throughout the months of his illness. Much love, Dominique

  3. Jill, thank you for sharing your inner thoughts of precious Norma. Your words helped us with our grief as we think of Norma’s final days. She is a blessing to so many of us.

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