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Sunday, September 02, 2012

Louise Emerson Brooks

Susan Russell and Louise Emerson Brooks

 There are no words to express the devastating loss of Louise Emerson Brooks.

The simplest way to tell you who Louise was is to say that she was the wife of Susan Russell, but that is to ignore the many accomplishments of this passionate Giant of Justice. 

She was a journalist and a producer of TV and independent film. Her last work, "Out of the Box" was a ground-breaking documentary of Episcopalians who are transgender which changed the hearts and minds of many at General Convention, and enabled the passage of legislation adding transgender people to those who may not suffer discrimination in the church because of their God-give gender identity and expression.

She was my kinda woman: feisty and opinionated, passionate and compassionate, smart, savvy and enormously talented. 
She fought a valiant fight against Cancer but she did not lose. Her body, ravaged by the effects of chemo, simply couldn't withstand the additional assault of surgery.

My thoughts and prayers are with Susan and Louise's brother who kept vigil at her bedside, as well as her family members and many, many friends.

I keep hearing this song, "Down to a River" by Connie Caldor which she wrote in memory of her friend, Alan Stein.

It captures what I'm feeling tonight about Louise. Of all the prayers I've said over the past few days, it's the only prayer I have left, and the one that feels most authentic.

I hope you can hear me, Louise. Rest in peace, beloved friend, and rise in glory.



There are dinners, there is music
There is laughter, there are tears
There are memories that go back
Over the years

There are marks made in a life
Like only good friends do
Now I must choose to make a mark
For the things I loved in you

I'll go down to a river
And plant a tree
Something strong, wild and living
Those are my memories

And I'll go up to a mountain
And sing to the stars
Can you hear me
Wherever you are

And there's phone calls and there's crying
And there's clutching to the chest
And there's singing songs and throwing dirt
And laying down to rest

And there's carving words on stone
And making church bells ring
But the river, when it freezes over
Still thaws and runs each spring

So I will go down to a river
And plant a tree
Something strong, wild and living
Those are my memories

And I'll go up to a mountain
And sing to the stars
Can you hear me
Can you hear me
Can you hear me
Wherever you are

Do you hear the ones who loved you
Who were glad they knew you well
Do the hearts you left that miss you
Ring like a bell

I will go down to a river
And plant a tree
Strong, wild and living
Those are my memories

And I'll go up to a mountain
And sing to the stars
Can you hear me
Can you hear me
Can you hear me
Wherever you are

Can you hear me
Can you hear me
Can you hear me
Wherever you are


from Small Cafe
©1996 Word of Mouth Music

13 comments:

Maureen said...

Devastating news! May Louise rest in peace and rise in glory. Your song was a wondeful way to capture both the person and your feelings.

Sally B Sedgwick said...

Oh, my - thank you. My words were only peace, love, joy.

Caminante said...

Prayers for you in your grief on the other side of the country... I am listening to Down to a River as I write... I hope that the river flowing outside your door and the stars above your head tonight can bring you closer to Louise and Susan on this night when heaven and earth have come so close and there has been a huge change with Louise's resurrection.

Unknown said...

She hears you.

SCG said...

A beautiful tribute. Her work with the Voices of Witness video series has been immensely helpful in opening eyes and hearts and minds. What a gift she has given to all of us. Prayers ascending for all who knew Louise, especially her beloved wife and family.

IT said...

We are weeping. Hearts with Susan at this time.

Fran said...

That is a beautiful song... I am praying for Louise's peace and rest, her rising in glory, and for Susan, and all who loved her. She always sounded like an amazing woman, whenever I did read about her. My prayers.

Susan Pederson said...

Thank you for sharing that beautiful song. I am sure that Louise hears.

whiteycat said...

My prayers and deepest sympathy to all who are experiencing the loss of Louise.

Lee Ann Hoffman said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Lee Ann Hoffman said...

Louise hears you,
Susan hears you,
G-d hear you
and joins with us all in grief, gratitude, and joy.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Thank you all for your kind expressions of condolence and comfort. This is an unfathomable loss. I can't get my head wrapped around the fact that she's gone. I know she's at peace and in no pain. I know she's with Jesus and her joy is passing sublime. I know that life is a gift and we do not know the hour that we will be called back to the One who created us. I do find some comfort in that faith.

Even so, I have discovered that I'm not yet ready to give back the gift of Louise's life. I'm sure that's why she fought so hard. It's a precious gift. Why on earth would we relinquish it readily and easily?

I deeply grieve for Susan and Louise's brother Fred and all of their family members. May they find some modicum of solace in the knowledge that so many are holding them in prayer.

Mel said...

My hear and my prayers go out to Susan and to you Elizabeth and to everyone who is grieving this night. My God bring you comfort.