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Saturday, August 20, 2011

A Funeral in Yuma, AZ

Earlier this year I was contacted by a young woman in Yuma (a community in the far Southwestern corner of Arizona) who’s father had just passed away.  He had often spoke of having a piper play Amazing Grace at his graveside. 

I accepted the engagement without hesitation, and 48 hours later at five in the morning I found myself packing my pipes into the car for a three hour drive down to Yuma.  The drive down was uneventful.  As the dawn broke over the vast desert ushering in the new day and I arrived at Desert Lawn Memorial Park about two hours early.  This gave me ample time to tune and get the lay of the facility.  The lush green grounds were a beautiful contrast to the desert I had just crossed. 

In due time family and guests arrived, fond memories were shared, and a moving service delivered.  This was followed by a salute rendered by a Veteran’s Military Honor Guard, and that followed by my humble piping of Amazing Grace. 

The odd thing was that people thought it strange a Piper would drive three hours one way just to pipe for sixty seconds.  I guess they can not understand, nor can I adequately explain, how great it feels to provide this “release” for those grieving.  The old Celts knew that only the Pipes can provide this.


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