A sad, painful and classy farewell   

TORONTO – When rules do not make sense, disappointment can turn to bitterness. How cruel, I thought, that extended family, friends, business partners, employees neighbours and others could not participate in what supportive people need to do by nature – rally around those who suffer great personal loss.

There we were: a few handfuls of folk lucky enough to have had Madeleine Montesano (in the pic) in our lives. She should have had all her friends at her final farewell. Of course, many of them in the hundreds sent condolences to Dan and her family by text, by email by letter or phone. Somehow, as both the funeral Celebrant and Fr. Francesco, in his letter from Italy noted, Madeleine was one of those special persons for whom everyone would have wanted to make exceptions. She would never agree that they apply to her.

In moments like these, however, one is wont to ask how those to whom we entrust the normalcy of our day-to-day affairs make decisions. Barely thirty of us allowed to be in a space capable of hosting a thousand. Yes, social distancing could be observed, if it is not, and cannot be observed, in the Big Box stores. We were all on a list for social tracing, complete with addresses and phone numbers.

Forgive us, Madeleine for raising the issue on a day where everyone’s attention was, as it should have been, devoted to you. Your brothers and sisters, your husband and in-laws could not have done more. May you rest in eternal peace. Those 50 white doves of released before you drove away flocked together in a symbolic gesture to show you the way.

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