"laestadian, apostolic, gay, lgbtq, ex-oalc, ex-llc, llc, oalc, bunner" LEARNING TO LIVE FREE: Farewell to Marian

Friday, December 22, 2006

Farewell to Marian

An accident took the life of Marian (Niska) Halberg yesterday morning when her car hit a tree on Risto Road, east of Battle Ground. The road was icy and Marian was rushing to pick up a friend who needed a ride to the airport. (Go here for the obituary and messages in the Columbian.)

I never met Marion but I am told she was a lively, intelligent, generous woman who was very active in her community. A former OALCer, she leaves not only her large family but an enormous circle of friends.

Readers, if you knew Marian, please take a moment to comment below. I know some of her family read this blog.

All Is Well

Death is nothing at all,
I have only slipped into the next room
I am I and you are you
Whatever we were to each other, that we are still.
Call me by my old familiar name,
Speak to me in the easy way which you always used
Put no difference in your tone,
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow
Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes we enjoyed together.
Play, smile, think of me, pray for me.
Let my name be ever the household world that it always was,
Let it be spoken without effect, without the trace of shadow on it.
Life means all that it ever meant.
It it the same as it ever was, there is unbroken continuity.
Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight?
I am waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near,
Just around the corner.
All is well.

By Henry Scott Holland (1847-1918)


  1. I knew Marian many years ago when we were both young. I remember her as a friendly and loving person. I've known her husband Art all of my life and count him a friend. My thoughts and prayers are with him and all of the family.

    This is a time when differences need to be put away and the healing love and peace of Jesus, our Christ and Savior be allowed to enter our hearts.

  2. Marian has known me all of my life, but I just recently got to know her as an adult. She was an amazing woman and I am one of the few who will miss her dearly. I loved her smile and I loved listening to her talk about the Lord. She gave me insight into things no one else could and I will always cherish the short time I had her as a friend.

  3. My thoughts and prayers are with Marian's family. Although I didn't know her, I've been thinking about her and her family since I saw this sad news posted. May God be with them and comfort them during this difficult time.

  4. LLLreader : I will echo cvow that the differences in belief need to be set aside. Marian loved the Lord and that is the thing to be remembered. Her life was cut way too short and the loss to that family, and to the community, is so great. We pray for comfort for those that loved her. God Bless.

  5. It seems improper to wish Merry Christmas and Happy New Year with so much pain and grief in our small cyber-community.

    During the candle-lighting ceremony at the Christmas Eve service last night, the minister said that the darkness, no matter how immense, cannot snuff out the light from one small candle.

    He called this ceremony The Spreading of the Light. It ended with "Go in Peace, and hold the Spirit of this night throughout the Year."

    That is my heartfelt wish for all of you, dear friends.

  6. Free, what a beautiful poem. I'm sad to hear about Marian's passing. I knew who she was, though I did not know her. Marian had to have been a very courageous and strong woman to be able to leave an institution that apparently was not fulfilling for her. If I remember correctly, Marian once wrote that she attempted to have dialogue with the OALC preachers about her thoughts and concerns, but she was ignored and they would not give her the time of day. One does not have to be a member of the OALC to be a precious Christian. I am sure that Marian was a precious Christian, a loving mother, sincere in her beliefs, and will be sadly missed by her family and friends. I wish that I had known her. May God take care of her.

  7. My deepest sympathies to her family and friends. I did not know her personally but it sounds like she had God in her heart. May she rest in peace. She is in a better place than we are. God Bless.

  8. I'm not able to go to the funeral today. It's at the Apostolic Church. I pray that the service is done in love. I think that some of her kids are in the church, and some out. Art is still a member. She continued to have the long hair, no makeup, and such. She said that wasn't important enough to create waves over. If anyone here goes to the funeral, please let us know how it went. No matter what is said at the funeral, we know that Dear Marian is with her Lord.

  9. I am the same age as Marian. We went to the same church in Mpls. from ages 5- 17. I didn't know her well because their family lived quite far away and she didn't hang out with the rest of the kids her age from church on a regular basis.
    My thoughts and prayers are with her husband, her children and her grandchildren. I applaud Marian for having the courage to announce her beliefs knowing the consequences when someone from our background may so much as question the practices and teachings that are largely accepted without examination. Although I have not seen Marian since we were 17, I look forward to meeting her in heaven.

  10. I am her niece and I never knew her
    ... and now I never shall.
    (until heaven)
    I weep as I read what others have written. If only there was some way to go back and change the misunderstandings and hurts of years gone by and of the generation before. Better ways to bridge the gap left between; not only made by miles of roads. But I guess all we can do is learn from it and not repeat the same mistakes. Family is family and we might persuade ourselves that they can be replaced when we are upset with them for whatever reasons; but they can't be. Not really.

    I was shocked when I heard of her death, sad as I listened to her funeral over the phone. But reading this has helped me actually grieve. Thanks everyone.

  11. Many Trails Home12/29/2006 12:01:00 PM

    I never knew Marian but I suspected she was of the Minneapolis Niska family, confirmed by the obituary. Strange how we OALCers, ex and active, are all interconnected. I had a crush on one of her brothers in 9th grade, when our family followed the elders (Gunnar and William) to Gackle, Whitefish, and Brush Prairie. I also had a date or two with a man who subsequently married her sister. Wierd, huh. Frankly, at this point in my life, I rather prefer this interconnectedness, dysfunctional or not, to the difficulty in belonging that we tend to experience out in "the world."
    Many blessings to you all (especially to Marian's family and all the Niskas) and Happy New Year.

  12. Maria's funeral was Dec. 27, at the OALC. There was a community memorial service for her at the Brush Prairie Baptist Church Dec. 28th. I was so glad to see that everyone who loved her could have their own type of service. Prayers to those that participated in both of the services.

  13. LLLreader sez: A dear women, who I have known and respected for many years, was killed yesterday on the same road in Hockinson where Marian died. On Christmas Eve a young women, related to me distantly by marriage, committed suicide. I have a quote from John 14:27 above my desk. "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you...Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid". I do feel afraid and helpless when I see the terrible pain these losses bring to these families. God Bless them and comfort them. There are many heavy hearts in Hockinson tonight.

  14. My computer broke down the same day as my dear Aunt Marian was killed.
    I wanted to write something about our memories together, but have only been using other people's computers. Right now I am at the church.
    Check out the article at The Reflector if you want to read a good article.
    More later,
    Love to all

  15. I knew Marian from many facets of her life. Marian was the true meaning of a christian.
    Someone who believed that we are all from the same cloth,no matter of our color, age, sex, or any other thing that makes us different from each other. She was a true believer that you did not have to attent church to be a true christian,that all you needed was the faith in God to guide you each day.It is so sad that we have so many religions on earth. I truly believe there should be one religion as there is only one God for us all.We are all Gods children and all of us are the same in so many ways. It was hard for her to believe that someone was any better then she was or that she was any better then anyone else, no matter how much money they had or did not have.The riches in life did not come from money but the insides of others as that crossed her path.We all need to learn and live the life that Marian lived, she was such a wonderful sample of Gods undying love for wanting all of us to believe and be one whole church family no matter where you happen to worship weather it be in your home or the inside of a church.
    I have always has a lot of contact with the oalc all my life. I have lived in Battle Ground all my life and I can not believe how the people of this church have changed.When I was a child we knew that our friends and neighbors were from the oalc, but they were not so evil and cold as the generation that is there now. What has changed these people? The old original familys from this area are still very kind to you when you meet them on the street, it is the new folks that did not grow up in this area that are so rude to everyone. Marian was again a very wise women who did not believe in all the ways of the church. The main thing she knew was we are all one family of God.
    The oals always try to say we are all welcome to there church but have you as a outsider ever gone there? There is no feeling of love to the outsider, believe me it is like walking into a all black town and your the only white person there.... Do not get me wrong I know a lot of nice people like I said before, from the oalc, I truly believe they also question what is taught there. Iam the daughter in law of a wonderful women whose own oalc family disowned her because she left the church. I saw so much pain in her heart because she believe like Marian did. May the passing of Marian open there eyes to the true meaning of one God for all of us.
    May all her family be so proud to have had such a wonderful women to have as a roll model to follow in life. God bless each one of Marians family members.May we all pray each day for them as it will be so incrediably hard to live there lives with out the most wonderful Christian Women most of us will ever have known.
    God rest her soul as she continues on in the home of eternity...

  16. I understand the pain over a misunderstand lady, but it also hurts to hear the words "evil, rude, cold" as applied in general. My experience is that the group is very loving

  17. That's good that your experiences have all been good, as have mine. BUT we can't and shouldn't shrug off those who have had different experiences. I have heard that from too many people (all different walks) to think that there is nothing to it. The post above makes it clear that she has experienced both kinds.

    A sister in Christ

  18. To my Dear Niece,
    I am so sorry you didn't get to know Marian in this life. I am so sorry for all the family/religion/disfunction problems that we have in our family.
    But I just want to encourage you to seek first the kingdom of God and His rightousness. Praise God we can live a life depending on the redeeming power of Lord Jesus. Praise God that He promises to draw near to us if we diligently seek Him. The Word is so full of His gracious promises.
    This is the scripture He showed me after Marian's accident.
    In Isaiah 57:1b NIV devout men are taken away and no one understands that the righteous are taken away to be spared from evil.
    Remember Dear one I love you. Contact me if you wish. Eunice

  19. Thanks Aunt Eunice,
    I will. It may be a little while; I'm very busy just now.
    God bless you,
    your niece

  20. My Mother grew up with Marian, and I spent some time quality time with Marian and her wonderful Children (my dear cousins) in my younger years.
    My condolances go out to all of you. Even though we haven't spoken to or seen each other in many years, I love you guys, and always remember you in my prayers.

    Cousin Jonah