Family, whether linked by love or blood, a key to surviving loss


November 11, 1996|By Lyn Backe tTCSO: SPECIAL TO THE SUN

WHEN I WROTE last week about my anticipated joys of grandparenting, I focused on the advantages and richness of an extended family.

I returned from visiting the next generation to news of the untimely death of Phyllis Flowers, and I was struck again by the importance of family, regardless of their genetic ties.

Phyllis, one of "the two Phyllises" who were my counterparts with community news in Brooklyn Park, died suddenly Nov. 3, at only age 43.

I did not know her well and have never met her husband or three children, but I think I can imagine their stunned grief, and I pray that they have legions of grandparents and aunts and uncles, linked by love if not by blood or marriage.

I have been blessed to have had very little personal experience with death so far, but I am not a stranger to the confusion and fury of its aftermath. I was lucky to have had loving support in the months, even years, after my mother's death. I hope that Phyllis Flowers' family will have such support, too, until their loss is accepted.

Grief transformed

Throughout history, grief has inspired extraordinary creativity. A case in point is Johannes Brahms, whose response to the deaths of his friend Robert Schumann in 1856 and his mother in 1865 was his Requiem Mass, considered one of the most beautiful of choral masterpieces.

Annapolis Chorale and Annapolis Chamber Orchestra will perform the work at 8 p.m. Saturday at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts. Chorale executive director Susan Finlay bills the concert as being at the "popular demand of singers, players and audiences."

Joining the chorale as guest artists are soprano Carolene Winter and baritone Brian Zunner.

The program also includes Brahms' Concerto for Violin and Cello with soloists Suzanne Orban, cello, and Luisa Winters, violin.

Tickets are $19.50. Information: 263-1906.

Conflict resolution benefit

The fund-raising concert is a bit out of my jurisdiction, but the beneficiary is based on Riva Road, and its work affects us all.

The "Art of Listening" concert will be held from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday in Severna Park High School auditorium, for the benefit of Anne Arundel Conflict Resolution Center.

"Art of Listening" includes saxophonist Ron Holloway and his jazz quintet; the gospel sounds of the Stansbury Family Singers; and the folk trio Ribaudo, Trainor and Muir. The concert is funded in part by a grant from the Cultural Arts Foundation of Anne Arundel County.

Samuel Pepys' opinion that "a good dinner reconciles everybody" is the theme for the raffle that adds spice to the concert. Raffle tickets are $5 each, or six for $25. The grand prize winner will receive dinner for two at 12 of the area's best restaurants.

Concert tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for students and seniors in advance, or $10 at the door. Information: 266-9033.

Reach out

A final request, whether you're an intimate part of a family or a loner by choice or by circumstance: Look around for someone who needs you, even for a moment, and be there.

Life is too short, and too full of surprises, for isolation.

Pub Date: 11/11/96

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