May She Rest in Peace
From Life in a Jar "News Week".
May 15, 2008.
In memory of Irena Sendler.
She was buried today at St. Boromeusz Church at Powazki Cemetery. Her funeral was at noon, Warsaw time.
Comments from the funeral:
"Professor Michael Glowinski (a child saved by Irena) made a fantastic speech at the cemetery, and Rabbi Schudrich sang a psalm, so it was really something beautiful, and somehow comforting. I don't have any more tears to cry."
"Michael said it ALL." He spoke such special words."
Then this by the great Polish historian and friend of Irena, Jacek Leociak:
"The coffin covered by wreaths and flowers. Mass of flowers. But I noticed a great deal of... lilies of the valley. Incredible white little belles, so fragile, so tiny, so small on a short flimsy stem. And this fragrance subtle but decisive... All other around you the small bouquets of lilies of the valley, as if thousands of children's souls came over here, into this church, around the coffin to be together with Irena on her last way."
I put my little bouquet of lilies of the valley together with others. The most subtle, the most innocent, the most modest flowers I ever know. As I recall Irena's face, her delicate smile, her faint voice, unique twinkle in her eyes . I do believe lilies of the valley truly reflect the mystery of her mighty spirit, iron determination, superhuman strength and courage within so fragile, tiny, delicate person. And her energy radiating in the dark past as well as at the present.
Irena sleeps among the flowers. Now there is the time for us. Less words, more deeds. Less weeping, more acting. The task: to learn from her how to notice evil, wrong, harm, prejudices, injustice around us and to respond properly. Norman "you and your students were the first in the world who had grasped this message and implemented it".
I was leaving the cemetery with a special kind of inner joy, this kind of happiness which derives from profound conviction that nothing has ended, that everything has started. The great noble life of Irena has accomplished. Wonderful, a century long life has come to the end. Lots of human beings were saved, others try to read the book of her life and follow her. The fishing-net is cast. I do hope the catch will be huge.
And from the United States:
"My life has been forever touched by her testimony for good winning out over evil. Irena was more than a close friend, she was a role model for my life. Playing Irena Sendler in "Life in a Jar" was the most powerful expression I could ever have" - Megan Felt
P.S. On the day of the funeral, two of the Life in a Jar students were presenting Irena's story to classes in a local American high school.