Thursday, July 31, 2008

Peace, Diana

Diana Margaret KellerDecember 26, 1944 - July 19, 2008
I've been trying all week to post this, but everything I write seems inadequate. For now I will simply share the remarks I made at Diana's memorial service on Saturday. She had asked me to speak a few weeks before she left us, knowing that her time was near. She knew that public speaking turns me into a quivering mass of nerves, but she asked anyway, and of course I said yes. As I said on Saturday, one of her great gifts was encouraging you to step outside of your comfort zone, and one last time she asked that of me. I only wish my words could do justice to the woman who was Diana Keller and the incredible life she lived.
Diana was one of those truly special people, the ones who come into our lives all too rarely. Her life was dedicated to the causes she believed in: equality, peace, and justice - and in her mind, all those things came down to one thing - it was always, always, always about the people.
The people in this room, certainly, but knowing Diana, there are countless others who were touched by her kindness and her service, unknown to the rest of us. She had the gift of making everyone she came into contact with feel like they were the most important person in the world, and at that moment, to her, they were. In spite of all the awards she has earned over the years, and she deserved them, Diana wasn't about accolades - she was about making the world a better place, and that she did. She left us much too soon, but we are all better people for having known her. Diana was my teacher, my cheerleader, my mentor, and most importantly, my friend. I will miss her terribly. I would like to leave you with a passage that has always helped me in times of grief,and especially during this past week, words of the Greek poet Aeschylus, spoken by Bobby Kennedy on the occasion of Martin Luther King's death. I hope they will comfort you as they have comforted me:
"Even in our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop
upon the heart, until, in our own despair, against our will,
comes wisdom through the awful grace of God."
Godspeed, Dear Friend
Peace, Diana

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