Thank You For Those with the Strength to Honor The Dead


I just returned home from Kaelin Glazier’s memorial in Southern Oregon.

It was a confusing emotional experience that left me unsettled and sad for the loss of a precious fifteen year old girl who was a delightful example of innocence and joy.


The memorial was dominated by religious propaganda except for the few actual words about Kaelin spoken by her father Paul, her grandfather Otto, and her mom Kim.


I was disturbed by the attempt to assuage such great sorrow with impersonal references toward a certain organized religion and the agenda to penetrate my own soul with completely inappropriate songs about  being “buried” in the ground and “the bride of Christ” and “the rose beneath the snow” and “the purpose of this life is only the seeds of a beautiful rose to bring us together in Christ, not the beauty itself”.


Kaelin’s middle name was Rose. She was the personification of beauty. 

Her body was found in a field and she never got to bloom and she never got to be a bride to anyone, let alone the bride of Christ as though she was a sacrificed virgin to appease the Church and all it represented with its ostentatious amphitheater and mind numbing diatribe designed to create followers without questions or authentic feelings and thoughts of their own.


It felt like we were supposed to forget that Kaelin was a living breathing child with dreams and laughter and sweetness that will never be experienced again. 

We were instructed to celebrate her death with “hallelujahs” because she was with Christ now.


I was offended and I felt like the “fellowship” leader made Kaelin disappear AGAIN. 

I felt like this was the kind of denial and insidious brainwashing that oppresses humanity.


Even elephants honor their dead. They visit burial sites and poke through remains as though they recognize that one of them has passed.


I am not an expert on Loss or Grief but I have experienced it enough to know that it is not something that withstands denial for long.

I am reminded of those I respect immensely for demonstrating amazing strength to honor lost loved ones so that we may honor them as well.


My friend Linda honors her son Owen, reminds us daily of what an amazing young man he was, speaks of him so we can remember how much we loved him and that he is a part of us.


Paul spoke of his daughter, Kaelin in this way. He spoke her name, talked about her eyes, the joy she spread, and the delight of her existence among us who will never forget her.

Otto, her 93 year old grandfather stood before this congregation that would have us look through the veil of their prosthletizing, ripped the veil back and spoke of Kaelin and told real stories about a real girl  who’s life was not saved by being a member of a church that would have us celebrate her death.


~ by leakelley on May 4, 2008.

6 Responses to “Thank You For Those with the Strength to Honor The Dead”

  1. Hear, hear …

    Plainly, perfectly & powerfully said.

  2. I know that Kaelin was honored, and remembered, in other, more personal, and more appropriate “ceremonies.”

    My new home is surrounded by roses. When the first one blooms this year, I will let it grow, and say a prayer for a precious young girl.

    I am sorry that a revival meeting took the place of the celebration of her life, and the grief of her tragic, untimely, and horrific death.

    Sometimes people confuse the hell out of me. I pity those who decided to use this tragedy to further agendas.

  3. Memories of Kaelin will live on, and she will be honored by those who truly knew and still love her. I’m so sorry her family and friends, those who actually remember the fine details of her life, had to endure such callousness toward her as an individual; and that the church appears to have used her as a “prop” for their message. Thankfully, her dad, mom, and grandfather chose to remember her in their own personal ways.

  4. I’m still struggling with whether the learning experience of that day was worth the horrible-ness of living through it, i guess I will never know…

    But I am so glad that I was able to be there, and process through it afterwards with you.

  5. Great post. Intesting

  6. Sorry (sp) interesting

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