From Maura Doman

Being at Paul Coakley's funeral today has left me in awe of God and his goodness. In the past few weeks so many of us have felt united to Paul and to Ann and walked this journey with them in our hearts. I don't know about you, but I felt like I just went through a three-week retreat and have come out with an entirely new and wonderful perspective on life and love and death. It is a beautiful day in Tennessee. The funeral mass was full of friends from all over the country. Paul DomanMary Norton and Margaret Martin Theis provided the music for the ceremony and it was incredible. Fr.Jon Reardon delivered a homily that was surely inspired by the Holy Spirit. Jonah Pollock celebrated a beautiful and reverent Mass. Mary Wilkerson absolutely nailed the eulogy. It was the best I have ever heard. Paul is buried right near the home that so many people are pitching in to build for Ann and the kids. Paul loved candy so people were handing out candy at the burial site. There was a palpable joy among everyone here. Paul's infectious love of life could be felt by everyone today. Ann has been calling this weekend a celebration of life. That is exactly what it feels like. After the burial you could see brothers put on their green shirts head over to the house and get out the tools and start working on building the house. Many of them plan to spend the next few days working hard to get it livable for Ann and the children. There is so much love here. There were a lot of tears but I would say there was just as much laughing. We were so blessed to know Paul. One thing I learned has uplifted me so much -Ann wrote this in one of her posts but I thought she was talking about something figurative - She said that just before Paul died, after having not been responsive or able to move for 24 hours, he sat up suddenly with his arms outstretched to heaven - then a moment later, he was gone. The room was full of astonished people - They had watched him meet the Lord. What a peace and assurance that has given Ann. Wow. It is an honor to be here to celebrate Paul Coakley's life.