The Pall

The Pall that covered Diane‘s coffin at her funeral was an unusual sight. It was big. It draped down front and back and on both sides to the floor. It was made of the clothing she had with her in Guatemala while on tour.

She was a vibrant dresser, so the pall had bright colors. Kirsten had it made so that it could be easily divided into four parts, one part for each daughter and one part for me. It stayed on the coffin in the hearse to the cemetery.

There was a short ceremony in the early spring chill, and then the coffin was to be lowered into the grave. Kirsten took the pall, folded it and carried it to the car.

Not too long after the funeral, she had the seamstress who sewed it cut the threads that allowed the big quilt to be separated into four quarters. Kirsten, Lara, Rebecca and I each got our piece.

A photo of the Pall became the background for the funeral notice in which there was an obituary. Several months after the funeral I organized a musical tribute to Diane, and the Pall was displayed on the stage of Saint John’s Cathedral where the music program took place.

The Pall is a colourful but grim reminder of a tragedy.

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