A few days ago I attended Brenda Sederberg’s funeral. Brenda was a part of our Writing Group until a few years ago when the MS that crippled her kept her from coming. I never knew Brenda when her body was straight and strong. The MS was already taking its toll when she started coming to our weekly group. In the second or third year, her dear husband, Tom, would carry her into the room on his back, her legs dangling and useless. She would sit propped in her chair and participate as best she could as we went around the table sharing what we’d written that week. I could tell Brenda was a good thoughtful writer who loved her family dearly and wanted to leave her story behind.
It was interesting to listen to her daughter speak at the funeral. She shared some things Brenda helped her write while she was still able. Brenda said that as her neurological systems began to shut her body down, it became harder and harder for her to feel the promptings of the Spirit because our physical bodies use various sensations to feel those promptings. As she lost her physical abilities, she had to rely on what she called “stored fountains” or memory and journals to remember what it was like to feel the Spirit. She would have her family members read to her from her journals and the things she’d written earlier in her life. These “stored fountains,” the scriptures and hymns became her lifeline to her Father during the final years when all her systems denied her that access in ways the rest of us take for granted.
I am grateful to Brenda for her goodness and for helping me appreciate even the smallest of promptings or sensations that help me to feel in ways that to her were only memories. I’ve tried to imagine how it would feel to live in a shell of a body that conducted no sensation. And since the funeral I’ve looked more carefully at my journals, wondering if I am capturing the love I feel because I CAN feel. Thank you, Brenda, for helping me feel things more clearly and gratefully. We will miss you.
Brenda Sederberg Obituary =1953 ~ 2012
Brenda Clark Sederberg passed away peacefully at home on 3 September 2012. Brenda was born in Provo, Utah, on 3 May 1953 to Alan and Janet Clark and was raised in Utah and Idaho. Sheattended Ricks College, and earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in elementary education from Brigham Young University. In 1978 she married Thomas W. Sederberg for eternity in the Salt Lake Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Brenda loved her profession and taught grade school for five years. When she became a mother, she dedicated her teaching skills full time to her own family. She and Tom were blessed with eight wonderful children. She instilled in her children a love of learning, of family, of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and of music. In 1995, Brenda was diagnosed with primary progressive multiple sclerosis, which she battled valiantly for the final 17 years of her mortal life. Though this trial diminished her physical abilities, it increased her faith and refined her beautiful character. She remained as involved with life as her weakening body would allow; she volunteered at her children’s schools for several years and attended church every week without fail. For the past seven years, Brenda required extra care, so dozens of compassionate neighbors organized to assist her with her daily needs. Brenda adopted the motto “I can do hard things,” which is a prominent part of her legacy. She will be remembered for her generosity, thirst for knowledge, perennially positive attitude, dedication to her family, zest for life, unselfish nature, and Christlike demeanor. Brenda is survived by her husband, Tom, and their children: Rebecca (Michael) Kellogg andtheir sons Thomas, Isaac, and Maxwell of Saugus, California; Matthew (Tricia) and their children Henry and Camilla of Orem; Maria of Salt Lake City; Timothy (Christina) and their sons Zachary and Owen of Vineyard; Mark (Jill) of Fort Worth, Texas; Laura (Wolfgang) Jaeger of Orem; Angela, and Michael.She is also survived by her mother, Janet Clark, of Idaho Falls, Idaho; siblings Doug (Michelle) Clark of San Antonio, Texas; LeAnne (Ron) Bunn of Nicholasville, Kentucky; Marie (Brad) Ritchie of Idaho Falls, Idaho; Gordon (Lisa) Clark of Pocatello, Idaho; and Curtis (Karla) Clark of Idaho Falls, Idaho.Funeral services will be held at the LDS chapel on 1051 East 200 North in Orem at 10 a.m. on Saturday, September 8, with a viewing from 8:30-9:30 a.m. A viewing will also be held at Sundberg-Olpin Funeral Home at 495 South State Street, Orem, Utah, on Friday, September 7 from 6-8 p.m. In lieu of flowers, Brenda encourages donations to the general LDS Church Missionary Fund or the Perpetual Education Fund. – See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/deseretnews/obituary.aspx?pid=159657454#sthash.rCUelHsm.dpuf=====
Ann – I know this is a post from way back but I just loved the insight – it totally made me cry this morning. Not only was this person so inspiring for the way she lived her life and fulfilled her missions but this is such a powerful example and reason to write down our spiritual experiences. Hopefully most of us will not lose the ability to feel the sensations of the spirit but surely the memory and acuteness of spiritual experiences fades for all of us. What a blessing to be able to go back to what we have seen, heard and felt. Thank you for sharing!