---- — To the editor:
On Feb. 15, I bore witness to the unbreakable bond of a small community that observed the passing of a sweet soul at our place of gathering, the Congregational Church. For countless generations, this place has accommodated every condition experienced by humanity: from joy, to elation, celebration and at times a collective, inconsolable sorrow as we experienced today.
For over 300 years, this place has delivered the truth for those who, through worship, believed. It has enabled those who have sought redemption, to receive it . And, it has been a place that empowered those with a vision of a bonded community to affect it.
Therefore, at this place it was fitting to reflect on the golden life of our daughter, sister and friend, Jacquelyn Ann Kastrinelis. It is her passing that enables those of us with faith to have it strengthened and those without it to contemplate its merits for a possible intervention in our lives.
As our Jackie’s soul passes through the valley that we will all inevitably visit we are reminded that life is the only human condition that is temporary.
Jackie’s young life being the most temporary form of all delivered a level of passion, energy and compassion that most of us will never fulfill even if our temporary condition is longer than hers. But yet from her life we gather clues of how to expend our limited allotment.
We should endeavor to live it completely, with purpose and commitment to bring solace in times of sorrow and hope in times of doubt to others. We should live our lives selflessly and existentially to bring joy to those lacking it, or increase it in those who hold it marginally.
We should serve those we love and especially those we don’t know.
And, finally, we should live it with at least a faint awareness that life is a fleeting condition that is as susceptible to revert to a soulful state as dust is vulnerable to be swept away by an unexpected wind.
God’s purpose for Jackie is only partially understood. She brought inspiration and delight to many with her song. Her voice was the sound of her soul. But it will take either a leap of faith or conviction that our conjecture is validated by special insight to neatly accommodate a complete explanation.
For most of us, this will be an elusive exercise.
The reality is there are mysterious purposes for both her life, lived, and her passing.
And to tentatively discover them, what we need to do is to make our actions, thoughts and intentions be more like Jackie’s. In doing so, we can look back at this day and replay in our minds and let resonate in our hearts the experiences of this hallowed place , the core of our community. If we are fortunate the truth over time will reveal itself.
We will all be better for it most assuredly whether we find it or if we never do by the glorious energy exerted in attempting to do so.