Archive for the ‘Death’ Tag

Eulogy for My Father   1 comment

Nell Taylor and Probably Jack Taylor

Above:  My Grandmother, Nell Barrett Taylor, with My Father, 1943




NOVEMBER 2, 2014

Before I departed Athens last Thursday, I posted a notice of Dad’s impending death in the Facebook group of my parish, St. Gregory the Great Episcopal Church.  Many of my fellow parishioners expressed sympathy and informed me of their prayers not only for me but for my family also.  One person commented on my Facebook page that I am a “living tribute” to Dad.  That thought had not occurred to me, but may the sentiment be accurate.

Each of us carries the legacies of other people, extending back into generations immemorial.  Much of Dad’s influence is evident in me, from my bookish ways to my preference for classical music.  Most important, though, are lessons in faith and mere decency, which he taught primarily via a pattern of mundane deeds.  Among my earliest memories is one, from the late 1970s, of him preaching and mentioning the “presence of God.”  I, being a concrete thinker at the time, was confused, for I saw no wrapped packages with tags reading “To Ken from God.”  I see clearly, with the benefit of hindsight, how many presents (even some in wrapped boxes) God gave me via Dad.  The best such gifts, however, are intangible.  And they are for the benefit of others, not just myself.  Dad taught me that also.

Now he belongs to the Church Triumphant.  This being All Saints’ Sunday, a verse from “For All the Saints” is doubly appropriate:

O blest communion, fellowship divine!

We feebly struggle, they in glory shine;

Yet all are one in thee, for all are thine.






These were my prepared comments.  I remained close to them as I extended them.–KRT



Thoughts at Twilight   Leave a comment


Above:  The Gray Robe of Twilight (Between 1900 and 1912), by Charles Melville Dewey (1849-1937)

Publisher and Copyright Claimant = Detroit Publishing Company

Image Source = Library of Congress


Reproduction Number = LC-D416-29865


As twilight draws her dusky curtain

In silence o’er the earth;

As stars their twinkling rays and daw

With sparkling lights of mirth,

Mankind is drawn in restful silence.

To homes of peace and love,

Where thoughts of each are giv’n full-play

From soil–to heav’n above.

The children soon are all at rest

Content with joy and fun;

The working folk are happy, too,

I know their task’s well-done.

Others in the dusk of life,

Begin anew to think

Of what this life has been to them,

For now they’re at Death’s brink.

From East and West, from North to South,

As twilight falls around,

Man’s thoughts are ever turned to God

Who made the earth, silence, and sound.



Death the Gate to Heaven   1 comment


Above:  Our Martyrs at Heaven’s Gate, 1881

President Abraham Lincoln greets President James A. Garfield.

Image Source = Library of Congress


Reproduction Number = LC-DIG-pga-02234


Jno. 14, 2-3

1.  Jesus goes away to prepare a place for them.  He came from heaven in their behalf; now he returns to serve them further.  The odds are against their highest enjoyment here; hence he seeks an abode free from all hindrance.

2.  But he will come to them and help them.  The Holy Spirit did come to counsel and help them, that they may prepare for higher things.  Finally he will come to take them to himself.

3.  They are to be with him where he is.  They loved him and followed him here and he wants them to be with him there to behold his glory.  He prayed for this.  Immortal bliss awaits all his children in his gracious abode, the house of many mansions.

4.  Hence death is but the door of entrance to higher, holier things.  He arched the door with bow of hope and planted there most fragrant flowers.

Where he is is heaven to dwell with him and the good of all ages.


The Wages of Sin   2 comments


Above:  Whirlpool Rapids

Copyright Claimant = Detroit Publishing Co.

Image Source = Library of Congress


Reproduction Number = LC-D4-4069 B


Rom. 6, 23

1.  He that worketh receiveth wages.  Every course of conduct brings its return.  “Whatsoever one soweth that shall he reap.”

2.  Who yields himself to sin becomes thereby the bondslave of sin.  Rom. 6, 16

The power of Satan masters him and he pays a daily wage as he himself wills.

3.  The wages of sin is death:

(1)  Death of the body is the the result of sin.  Violent deaths increase.  Bloody & deceitful men shall not live out half their days.  Ps. 55, 23

(2)  Death of character–becoming finally a worthless being, insensible of all good.

(3)  Of sensibility of sin.  The first oath brought the blush quickly, but later one swear before anyone without shame.

(4)  Of the power of resistance.  God and friends cry stop; but sin puts one where he can’t stop.  The current in the rapids catches him and hurls him over the precipice and all is lost.

5.  Of the soul.  To sink into eternal night and suffer forever the pains of an unending ruin.  Eternal punishment where there is the weeping and the wailing and the gnashing of teeth.

Will you not stop now?


Good From All Things to the Christian   1 comment

Rom. 8, 28

1.  “For good.”  To be drawn nearer to Him, to become more like Him, to learn to love Him and trust Him more certainly is good.  Whatever furthers us in things divine is good.  We here look at results, not so much at process.

2.  “To those that love him.”  Those who trust and obey and submit to His will.  Important to fix this in our minds.  Not to those who rebel.

3.  “Work…for good.”  This is His will, His desire.  He seeks to accomplish it in us.

(1)  Temptations test our strength and give occasion to exercise it.  He gives added grace for every greater need.

(2)  In afflictions He will comfort us as we look to Him.  Thus the heart is softened and one learns to trust Him more.  “It is good for me that I have been afflicted.”  As our loved ones pass on before heaven becomes more real and dear to us.

(3)  Prosperity will, as we love Him, make us more grateful.  His goodness will inspire us to love Him more.

4.  Sometime we will understand that all has helped us toward our eternal home.  We are so much concerned with the process now [that] we may not see it till later; but after a while He will make it plain.  Then let us trust and obey. Be the way never so [illegible word].


The Christian’s Confidence in Death   1 comment


Above:  A Cemetery, Between 1904 and 1920

Photograph Created by the Detroit Publishing Co.

Image Source = Library of Congress


Reproduction Number = LC-D4-25 X



It is certain that St. Paul the Apostle did not write 2 Timothy.




2 Tim. 4, 8 & 18 (Revised Version of 1881)

1.  Paul, at the end of his pilgrimage, looks with confidence to the future.  He had lived well and now trusts God for the beyond.  He stands not aghast; is confident.

2.  He will live beyond the grave.

(1)  God’s word assures us of heaven and a fuller, happier life.  Jesus is there and he is our humanity.  “In my flesh shall I see God.”  Lazarus and Dives are conscious beyond the grave.

(2)  Man’s life on the moral basis suggests more than life here.

(3)  Man’s influence dies not with him.  When the horse dies he is dead; man lives on in the influence he still has over others.

(4)  Living and dying he is conscious of a future.  The body totters, the mind is young and reaches out after God.  Christ spoke of his “exodus.”

3.  The reward for conduct here awaits him there–“a crown of righteousness”–the results of right living–heaven’s eternal joys.  “And for all that love his appearing.”

4.  To the righteous dying is but going home–“Safe at home forever,/And that’s enough for me!”


Sleep, My Darling   Leave a comment

Above:  An Unidentified Cemetery in Georgia

Photograph Taken by W. E. . DuBois, 1899

Image Source = Library of Congress



(This piece was adapted to a little air which I “picked up,” but whose name I do not recollect; yet, as I know nothing of music, I can’t say whether my song meets the requirements of the art or not.  T.)

1.  Darling, I to-day have strayed

To the place where thou art laid;

And with drooping flowers that wave,

I am weeping o’er thy grave.


Sleep, my darling, sweetly sleep,

Torn tho’ from my fond embrace;

I a lover’s vigil keep

O’er thy lone, last resting place.

2.  Thou art hidden from mine eyes,

Thou art deaf to all my cries;

But I feel thy spirit near,

And I know that thou art here.


3.  Peaceful, darling, by thy rest,

Light the Sod upon thy breast;

And till ‘yond the grave we meet,

Here shall be my oft retreat.



Posted September 12, 2012 by neatnik2009 in Death and/or Grief, John Dodson Taylor Sr.--Poems, Love 1800s

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The Courthouse   Leave a comment

Above:  John Dodson Taylor, Jr., and Nell Barrett Taylor, My Grandparents, In Front of McGinnis Drugs and the Chattooga County Courthouse, in Winter 1960

Image Source = Gene McGinnis, Summerville, Georgia



I found an image of the 1909 Chattooga County Courthouse at the county’s website here:

I found another image (with more background) here:  I learned there that the model was the Appling County Courthouse.  This interests me because I used to live in Appling County.

And here ( I found some more relevant images, including one of the previous courthouse.

Here is a link to an old postcard image of the 1909 courthouse:

Here is a link to a close-up image of the clock:

“Papa” is John Dodson Taylor, Sr.

“Mama” is Harriet “Hattie” Stoddard Taylor.



History records that for fifty years Summerville was twenty-five miles from a railroad.  Its happy, contented populace never allowed their fondest ambitions or dreams to picture it as anything more pretentious than a village.  The woodlands hung like green drapery around the town, the fringe rolling down within the very corporate limits.

In the center of this village there was a courthouse, necessitated by the fact that not all the inhabitants were as law-abiding as they should have been.  In addition to this judicial institution, there were a few stores where general merchandise was sold:  there were four saloons which were called “groceries,” a blacksmith and wagon-repair shop, and a cobbler shop.  There was one doctor.  Drug stores and dentists were unheard of.

In those days a community had to earn the right to be called a town.  One of the main requirements seemed to have been that a hanging take place.  Summerville could boast of two such sporting events, so a town we were!

Papa told me how Pigg Van shot North White one cold day in the spring of 1888.  It seems that the two had been very close friends, but this time they each had taken one sniffer too many as they sat by the fire in the rear of one of the hardware stores.  Their tongues became oiled, their tempers rose, and one word led to another.  Finally, North White left he store for a drink from the well which occupied the center of the square which is not intersection of Washington and Commerce Streets.  Tradition has it that Pigg Van followed him to the door and drew his bead just as White reached the well.  Justice took its course, and Pigg paid the penalty up in the hollow just west of what is now called Jakeville.  The second event took place were the Georgia Rug Mill is now located.  Details of this event have been lost in the past, however.

The courthouse, where justice was meted out to all and sundry, was a drab two-story affair of brick construction.  I cannot remember many of the details because I was at the tender age of four when it was removed.  At the front of the courthouse, a balcony opened into the courtroom upstairs.  It seems that one time they borrowed Mama’s piano to “live it up” for a beauty contest which was held in the courtroom, but there was some trouble.  It was necessary to hoist the piano by way of the balcony, which was, you will agree, rather rough treatment for such an instrument.  I always thought the piano was a little off; perhaps that move explains it.

The cast-iron stairways to the courtroom were suspended on the outside of the building.  (Stairways on the outside of the building always did puzzle me and make me wonder if the genius who conceived such an idea didn’t need to have his head examined!)  These monstrosities were fine in pretty weather, but ascending and descending them in bad weather posed read problems.

Our present edifice succeeded the older one in 1909, and at that time it was the last word in architectural perfection.  It is of concrete construction with four entrances.  The crowning glory–at the time of its erection–was the big, four-faced clock on top; but things, like people, can fall from grace.  Certainly that blessed clock is no exception!  Its downfall came many years ago, and no time-piece could have been more unreliable.  (I distinctly remember hearing it strike thirteen times for three o’clock in the afternoon.  No doubt it believed in good measure.)  It has been a long time since I have seen its four faces together on the correct time of day.  This discrepancy was caused by any one of a number of reasons, the main one being that pigeons used the clock hands as their ferris wheel.

The courthouse had rooms and more rooms, and I have seen them filled with everything from exhibits on fair days t dead bodies which had been brought in for examination.  The courthouse was actually a community center in those days.  There have been rummage sales, cake walks, crap games, school programs, debates, beauty contests, revival meetings, chautauquas, and singings held within it.  All were part-and-parcel of life in this county.


Leaves in the Wind, pages 11-12


Jennie Lee   Leave a comment

Above:  The Countess Barlow (1879), by Frederick Leighton

Perfumes from the vernal blowth,

Fraught the air when by yon river,

With confirming kiss we both

Vowed our hears each others’ ever.

Thus we met and thus we parted,

Like two bubbles on the sea,

I still roam, but whence she started,

God has called sweet Jennie Lee.


When the leaves began to fade,

And the flowers to drop their bloom,

Then she faded, and we laid

Her with them low in the tomb,

At the foot of yonder hill,

‘Neath that weeping-willow tree,

Hard by yonder murm’ring rill

Sleeps my darling, Jennie Lee.


Swift as mist from off the mountain,

Swift as flies the Indian’s dart,

Fleet as spray lashed from the fountain,

I beheld my joys depart.

Other arms may yet embrace me,

But they never shall erase thee

From my memory, Jennie Lee.


Guide Post–Epitaphs   Leave a comment

Above:  A Graveyard


Epitaph on Mrs. __________:

The Epitaph:


Lines (On Reading the Fate of William Woodson Hendree–The Poet Boy):

On a Petty Tyrant:

Epitaph on a Glutton:

Epitaph on a Bigot:

On a —:


Posted June 1, 2012 by neatnik2009 in Death and/or Grief, Guide Posts A-J

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