Saturday, May 12, 2007
your love and prayers as we send her on her way.
In love and gratitude,
Below is her obituary and here is a brief clip of Renee's own thoughts on death and dying...
Born: March 11. 1944 Died: May 12, 2007
Renee Shields, resident and teacher in Upper Lake, CA, died on May 12, 2007 from cancer. She was 63 years old.
Renee was born Lorraine Gail Shields, in Merced, California on March 11, 1944. She entered religious life as a Sister of the Holy Family in 1963, taking the name Sister Mary Renee, and remained in religious life for 30 years. She left the convent and entered into a committed partnership with Denise Rushing in 1993 and helped raise two children: Brian Rushing, now 24, and Teresa Rushing, now 22.
Renee taught Special Education at Upper Lake High School and was a licensed family counselor. She held two Masters Degrees: One in counseling from California State University-Fresno and one in religious education from University of San Francisco. She was a credentialed teacher, who worked in Public Schools since 1997 and taught religious education for 30 years, while a Sister of the Holy Family. She also co-founded Rockhaven Ecozoic Center, a non-profit eco-spiritual retreat center and holistic community in House Springs Missouri.
Renee is survived by her sister Cynthia Shields of Fresno, California, her brothers, James Arthur Shields III of Parker, Colorado and Harold Shields of Clovis, California as well as nieces and nephews in California, Colorado and Texas. She leaves behind immediate family including domestic partner of 14 years, Denise Rushing and her two adult children: Brian Rushing of Portland, Oregon and Teresa Rushing of Upper Lake, CA.
Renee took great joy in flower arranging, weaving, caring for the pets and livestock at the family’s farm and creative tasks, including baking cookies and cakes for the students and staff at Upper Lake High School. Throughout life, she was known for her kindness and humor, her generosity, and her love of children. She is remembered with deep love and gratitude by all she encountered.
Private Services will be held at a future date. The family asks that in lieu of flowers, memorial donations be sent to one of the following organizations:
Sisters of the Holy Family,
P. O. Box 3248,
Mission San Jose, CA 94539-0324
Hospice Services of Lake County,
1717 South Main Street
Lakeport, CA 95453
Rockhaven Ecozoic Center
7621 Rivermont Trail
House Springs, MO 63051
So, I need your help...
Renee visited one of our Renee-care group in a dream last night. In
the dream, a room full of people were drumming for Renee. Renee came to her and said "tell them to stop the drumming, they need to let me go, I cannot go while they keep drumming" but the drumming continued. Renee asked her to make them stop, but the dreamer was powerless to stop it.
So, what is "the drumming?" Perhaps it represents everyone's worries and concerns about me and those she is leaving behind? Or perhaps it represents wishes and thoughts for her to regain health? (Or maybe someone is really drumming?)
Here is what I need you to do: Turn your thoughts from any worrying about me, or Brian, or Teresa, or her classroom kids, or family and relatives and friends. I need you to place your thoughts and intentions on saying goodbye to Renee--letting her go, and wishing her well on her way. She needs this.
Oh, and please stop drumming.
With love, and gratitude,
Friday, May 11, 2007
We are present to her, here and now. Powerless to stop death, we simply work on small comforts... repositioning her body, moistening her mouth, applying lip balm, massaging her feet with lotion..... and whispering goodbye.
Please know that your words and ongoing acts of love and support have been a great comfort, sustaining us even now.