To laugh often and much;
To win the respect of intelligent people
And the affection of children;
To earn the appreciation of honest critics
and endure the betrayal of false friends;
To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others;
To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child,
A garden patch or a redeemed social condition;
To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.
This is to have succeeded.
Billie Joan Shields, 64, of Nelson, BC passed away on February 12, 2016 surrounded by her son and daughter after a short very courageous battle with cancer.
Billie was a free and loving spirit. She touched the lives of many through quiet, random acts of kindness. Billie was drawn to love the unlovable and thrived when given the challenge to transform a derelict space or garden into something beautiful. As an avid gardener she has beautified the yards of the many rental homes she lived in over her 30 years in Nelson. Every winter she would anxiously wait for the spring to arrive and at the first glimmer of winter breaking she would start working in the garden and searching signs of life.
Billie has requested no funeral or memorial service. To honor her memory, we ask that you welcome and celebrate the arrival of spring, and remember her spirit as you marvel in the blooming of the crocuses, tulips, daffodils and lilacs.
When great souls die, the air around us becomes
light, rare, sterile. We breathe, briefly.
Our eyes, briefly, see with a hurtful clarity.
Our memory, suddenly sharpened, examines, gnaws on kind words unsaid,
Promised walks never taken.
Great souls die and our reality, bound to them, takes leave of us.
Our souls, dependant upon their nurture, now shrink, wizened.
Our minds, formed and informed by their radiance, fall away.
We are not so much maddened as reduced to the unutterable ignorance of dark, cold caves.
And when great souls die, after a period peace blooms, slowly and always irregularly.
Spaces fill with a kind of soothing electric vibration.
Our senses, restored, never to be the same, whisper to us.
They existed. They existed. We can be. Be and be better.
For they existed.