Technology brings a family together to say goodbye Graham Paterson D.Min. Chaplain for Compassus–Round Rock When Geraldine Harrison passed away earlier this year, her unique funeral service, in which I was honored to participate, reached across the country and even overseas through the wonder of technology. Gerry’s is a large, loving family, and her cousins, nephews, nieces and friends came from all over to see her before she passed, indicating the positive impact Gerry’s life had on so many people and brightening her last months on earth. After Gerry passed, her husband Fred didn’t want family and friends to bear the expense of returning to Texas for the funeral, so his sons Gregory and Jeffrey devised a plan to live stream the funeral on YouTube. A date and time were set. The funeral began with a 20-minute slide show remembering Gerry’s life. Then Fred from his armchair in their living room, took the microphone and opened his heart. Fred, who had to stop occasionally as emotions overwhelmed him, recalled their many joyous years together, along with their journey through disease. Fred had the most lavish praise for Compassus and the treatment we provided Gerry. He bragged on how their home health aide, Yensi, had become one of their family and expressed gratitude for Roberta, his angel of a volunteer. Gerry’s son Jeff moved us all as he reflected on the “best Mom in the world,” and how much fun they had growing up. When it was my turn, I thanked the family for allowing Compassus the privilege of caring for Gerry in the latter stages of her life. In all, 42 people watched the live stream, not only from around the United States, but from Holland, as well. The miracle of technology allowed Gerry’s family and friends to come together one last time to celebrate a woman who so lovingly touched all of their lives. 2 Everyday Compassion Vol. 8 Issue 2
Everyday Compassion is the magazine of Compassus.