Nursing - Goodbyes
Emily Elizabeth Clark demonstrated early in life a respect for others, a desire to help those in need and an ability to always do the right thing, especially when temptation looked her square in the eyes.
As a 4-year-old, she was left in a room with an extensive ceramic bird collection at a neighbor’s home. Fearing a calamity in the making, her father set some rules: “Don’t touch the birds. If you touch any of the birds, you’ll get a timeout.”
When he returned, he found Emily in the corner, having put herself in timeout. When asked why, she replied, “Because in just a minute I’m going to go over there and touch one of those birds, ” said Derek Ray, a pastor of care and counseling at Cedarcrest Church in Acworth.
That memory brought a moment of levity to soothe the sorrow of the more than 400 family members and friends who gathered Sunday at Burnt Hickory Baptist Church in Powder Springs to say goodbye to the 20-year-old from Cobb County.
Clark was one of five Georgia Southern University nursing students — two from metro Atlanta — killed Wednesday in an early-morning multiple-vehicle crash near Savannah that injured two others. Family and friends of fellow metro Atlantan Catherine “McKay” Pittman of Alpharetta said their goodbyes to her during services Saturday.
Clark’s services included photos and a video of a happy, vibrant young woman speaking directly to the camera, telling stories, laughing at herself and throwing her face in her hands giggling in a fun moment of self-reflection. Tears welled in the eyes of loved ones as they watched.
“There is a lot of pain because we can’t touch her or as her mom would say, ‘I can’t talk to her, ’” family friend Heather Woods said in a statement. “But the pain is eased with the joy she gave while here on Earth. So we realize that whatever time you got with Emily, whether it be 20 years like her parents, five years or one, it was a gift. We were given so much more than we lost.”
Kevin Cash, Clark’s uncle, said her family saw in her an amazing young lady who enjoyed going to Hobby Lobby with her mother, popcorn movie nights and reaching out to her dad via text because she wanted to always let him know he was special to her.
“She was exactly what any parent hoped for, ” Cash said.
Cedarcrest senior pastor George Wright acknowledged the senselessness of Clark’s death, but said Clark had faith in God and would tell everyone to turn to him to help them through.
Her plays have been professionally produced in the UK, Ireland, US and Australasia; her awards include the UK National Lottery Award for Heritage 2011, for 'We Were Brothers',two Meyer Whitworth...