BEYOND THE HORIZON
by Barbara Guarino Kruk
There are few, if any, among us that have not questioned what happens after death. We all have our speculations, fears, anxieties, and dreams of what we will find once we die. Religion teaches and promises that if we adhere to and obey the tenets of our faith, our reward will be unimaginable happiness, a Paradise beyond all reasoning.
Science can describe in detail the physical conclusion of our biological life; but is still confounded as to any metaphysical answer. The concept of life after death is personal and different for every one of us. Heaven, hell, purgatory, or paradise, have been the subject of artists, poets, scientists, clerics, and lunatics since the beginning of time. No one has the answer.
Yes, there have been those who have experienced a state akin to death. Outer body phenomena, coma, or other medical or spiritual term, but truly there can be no certainty as to what will occur after death.
Recently, we hosted a service where the minister gave a simple but impressive service with an interesting discourse on death. I thought I had head just about every cliché, parable, or warning about the hereafter, yet this one I found intriguing.
Death is like taking a trip on a ship. Our family and friends come to wish us a bon voyage`. As we board the vessel, the rest must wait on the dock, waving and throwing kisses. As we pass through the portal, we leave them behind. Perhaps, this trip was a long awaited journey, one that had been many years in the planning. Sometimes, it is an emergency trip, which came too soon and unexpectedly. In either case, we must enter the ship alone.
The whistle blows and the ship leaves its berth. Our loving family and friends, remain gathered at the dock. They watch as the ship maneuvers from the port to the open sea. They strain to get a glimpse, for the last time, of our loved one. It is a bittersweet moment. They are happy for us, but they will miss us. We will miss them as well.
They wait, they watch, and as the ship continues steady on its course they remember some funny thing we might have said or done and share it with those around them. They might cry at our departure. They may even cry that they must continue without us.
After awhile, what seemed like a huge ship at the dock, becomes smaller and smaller as it glides over the water. Before long, the ship becomes a tiny speck crossing the horizon. They wonder in awe what adventures we will encounter. Finally, as the horizon swallows the ship, they can no longer see it. They are sad.
They reflect, they ponder, they joke, they cry, they pray, that when our ship reaches its destination it will be the adventure of a lifetime, the reward we had been promised for so long.
They hope, and pray, that one day, when their own ship crosses the horizon, they will be reunited with us and together we will make new adventures.
Walter Conrad Baer Sr., born January 14, 1937, died August 10, 2016. Walter was a proud veteran of the USCG & President at Jonwal Constr. Est. 1929. Walter was survived by wife Patricia, by children Michele, Stacey, Eric (Alexandra), & Walter Jr. (Eileen), by grandchildren Brenna, Alex, Delila, Nicholas, & Benjamin, and by sisters Arlyne & Pamela. Forever in our thoughts and prayers. You will be missed. Visitation was held at Sinnickson’s Moriches Funeral Home. Pastor Fleischmann officiated a funeral service at the funeral home. Interment followed afterwards to Oak Hill Cemetery in Stony Brook where the United States Coast Guard held military honors.
Alphonse Duchesne, age 81, of Manorville, passed away on August 10, 2016. He is predeceased by his wife Doris. He is survived by his sons Paul and Keith, his daughters, Darlene Geres and Doreen Augello, and his sisters, Clara Duchesne, Arlene Azzollinni, Madeline Bauer, and Agnes Duchesne. He also leaves behind seven grandchildren. Visitation was held at Sinnickson’s Moriches Funeral Home. A funeral Mass was held at St. John’s RC Church and interment followed to Calverton National Cemetery where the United States Army held military honors.
Mary Ann Edwards, age 77, of Riverhead, passed away on August 19, 2016. Mary Ann lived in East Moriches for over 50 years and worked in the East Moriches School District for over 25 years. She will be missed by all who knew her. She is predeceased by her husband Joseph. She is survived by her sons Joe Jr., and Tim, her daughters; Beth O’Brocta, Jayne Haberland and Tracy Edwards, and her sister Judith Petersdorf. She also leaves behind nine grandchildren. Visitation was held at Sinnickson’s Moriches Funeral Home . Father John from St. John’s RC Church officiated a prayer service at the funeral home. Interment followed after the service to Mt. Pleasant Cemetery in Center Moriches.
AnneMarie Graffagnino, age 69, of Farmingville, formerly of Riverhead, passed away peacefully on August 14, 2016. She is predeceased by her husband James. She is survived by her son James, her daughters, Alicia Nangle, Jennifer Vormittag, and Christine Clark, her brothers, George and Kenneth Phipps, and sister Barbara Heilman. She also leaves behind eight grandchildren. Visitation was held at Sinnickson’s Moriches Funeral Home. A funeral Mass was held the at St. John’s RC Church in Center Moriches. Interment was private.
William A. Larkin, age 91, passed away at Brookhaven Memorial Hospital, Patchogue. William served honorably in the United States Army during WWII and had been employed as a machinist at Fairchild Republic Airport, Farmingdale. He enjoyed watching historical movies of WWI and WWII planes, took great pleasure and pride in telling stories of the war, liked watching the birds, going to the beach to watch the seagulls and the waves and was an avid train hobbyist. He always appreciated a cup of Dunkin Donuts coffee with a plain donut and loved talking – especially on the telephone. William is survived by his children; Woody (Yvette) Larkin of Florida, Katherine Larkin of Oklahoma, Helen (Mike) Leo of Shirley, Patricia (John) Lenihan of North Carolina, Margie (Joe) Ehret of Kentucky, Bobby Larkin of Medford, Mary Warner of N. Patchogue, Eddie (Mike Fischer) Larkin of Bayport, Carol (Patrick) Malick of Pennsylvania, John Larkin of Mt. Sinai, brothers; Larry (Eleanor) Larkin, Richard (Betty) Larkin, Charles (Phyllis) Larkin, sister; Theresa Johann, and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Family and friends gathered for visitation at Davin’s Funeral Home, Mastic. Interment followed with full military honors at Calverton National Cemetery, Calverton.
Wayne R. Leonard, age 68, of Shirley, passed away on August 13, 2016. He is survived by his wife Maureen, his daughters Carlene Elio and Jodie Flynn, his sisters, Darby Leonard and Debra Leonard and his three grandchildren. Reposing was held at Sinnickson’s Moriches Funeral Home. A funeral Mass was held at Grace Lutheran Church in Mastic Beach. Interment followed after Mass to Mt. Pleasant Cemetery in Center Moriches.
Roland “Pete” Smith, age 81, of Center Moriches, passed away on August 11, 2016. He is survived by his beloved wife Gail and his loving children, Grant Smith and Abi Bengel. He also leaves behind eight grandchildren and eight great grandchildren. Visitation was held at Sinnickson’s Moriches Funeral Home. Pastor Fleischmann officiated a prayer service at the funeral home, and interment followed to Mt. Pleasant Cemetery in Center Moriches.