Parson to Person: “Darlene,” May 29, 2020 

Many of us, I’m sure, are thinking about the recent death of Darlene Lochbihler. I didn’t know her for as long as many of you, but even in the time I’ve been here at UCN Darlene made quite an impression on me and Craig. Most of all, she was very welcoming, and made me (and others) feel that we were the most interesting people she had ever met. Kind, funny, positive, and artsy are also words that would fit her personality. (I especially appreciated how she noticed my Sunday ensembles. I like bright colors, and I tried to match shirt, tie, and socks, knowing she would notice and comment.)

One thing I didn’t know–until her son Fred explained it to me on the day she died–was that, although Darlene was always kind and caring, she became more outgoing and outspoken once she got her diagnosis of ovarian cancer (6 years ago). Her diagnosis reminded her to live more fully and positively in whatever time she had left. Fred showed me a quotation she kept on her refrigerator from a commencement speech by Steve Jobs, which I thought might be food for thought for all of us–regardless of how much time lies before us.

“Remembering I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything–all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure–these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”     – Steve Jobs

peace and unrest,

tony

P.S. Although we will have a bigger celebration of Darlene’s life sometime in the future (when we can meet in large gatherings again), we will have a special Zoom celebration after the Sunday service on June 7th (following the virtual “coffee hour”). It’ll probably begin about 11:15 or 11:30.  Since the first Sunday in June is normally UCN’s annual picnic day, it seemed a good date to celebrate Darlene’s life. She wanted her service to be something more like a picnic or carnival (with a petting zoo with UCN pets!)–so feel free to bring picnic-type food to your computer or phone, and be sure to give your pet(s) a little extra loving (and maybe even a special treat) during the celebration.