My Letter

December 20, 2018

To whom it may concern...

I am writing this letter to you regarding my thoughts concerning death. Being an ordained clergy person as well as a funeral service professional, I view death from many sides.

I see death in various capacities, on different fronts.

From a religious stand-point, death is the gateway to eternal life. It is a necessary event that has everlasting reward for believers and people of faith. There is an assurance that if we profess our commitment to God and recognize His Son as our Savior (and adhere to His commands), Heaven will be our home after death. What a blessing!!

As I navigate the many facets of Trust, Service and Compassion, helping families through the bereavement and funeral process, I am also learning that death is a release, relief and culmination of a life well lived.

Sometimes the realization of death is embraced while other times it is met with apprehension and fear of the unexpected... just how life will be without the presence of a loved one.

Recently having experienced the passing of my father, I have embraced death and understand why it must be.

The pain is real. The emotions are raw; yet the support received has helped to bring comfort.

Leaning and depending on God first then being surrounded by family and a community of concerned persons has been most helpful and inspirational.

It is my belief that death is truly an experience like non-other. In it and through it, we can find strength, understanding and acceptance. It's a process but in the fullness of time, support, prayer and helps, the sting of death will be eased and acceptance will be realized. Personally, I am grateful to serve in two capacities, helping people through death, while coping with the experience there of myself.

"Death - the last sleep? No, it is the final awakening."

This is not just for the dead but all those who experience loss, grief and pain. Thank God for the victorious awakening.

Dr. Steven L. Lyons

Dr. Steven L. Lyons, Funeral Service Practitioner

This letter is part of the Death Letter Project - North Carolina, a means to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Historic Oakwood Cemetery in Raleigh, NC.


Michael Palko