The service having ended just a few hours ago, those of us in the LiveWorkPlay community who knew Emma Jean Francis Berringer are nowhere close to getting over the shock of her passing at age 24.
We share our grief with her extensive network of friends, with her parents Ross Berringer and Helen Francis, with her brother Owen Berringer and her many aunts, uncles, and cousins, and we offer our support.
That a blot clot in the night could bring an end to such a vibrant young life is a stark reminder to us all about “being present in the moment” as Ross shared with the congregation of the Glebe St. James United Church. The words and music imparted by friends and family focused on Emma’s gifts, which were familiar to all the assembled.
As her uncle Gordon Francis shared, she was truly interested in others and made everyone feel important. She did this in many ways:
- enthusiastic greetings (“SO GOOD TO SEE YOU!”)
- celebrating the small things together (“CHEERS!”)
- sharing memories in glorious detail (“REMEMBER THAT TIME…”)
- fearlessness and zest for life (“LET’S TRY IT!”)
Emma was known as someone who simply “did not give up.” She did not give up on herself, or on other people.
Many of us got to know Emma by sharing LiveWorkPlay travel experiences with her at Club Med Turkoise, and this is where she established the beginnings of many friendships. It is hard to believe it has been only about three years since she joined the LiveWorkPlay community. During that time, her gifts were on display for all to see.
One of those gifts that is truly a lesson to the world is her ability to see a person – to really see them – beyond shallow and unimportant qualities like appearance, financial status, or communication styles. It is because of this gift that she easily made friends with all age groups and the many different constituencies where she had a presence.
Her presence will live on, as these gifts and the spirit that Emma brought to the lives of others is now a part of all of us who had the good fortune to know her.
Rest in peace, dear Emma.