Footprints | Deneese Wright - Death is just a shadow
"I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them."
- Revelations 14:13
Contrary to the usual black and white associated with funerals, the halls of the Fellowship Tabernacle Christian Church in Kingston were on Wednesday filled with bright-coloured garments of those who had gathered to celebrate the life of gospel artiste Deneese Wright.
The service opened with the tune of Alvin Slaughter's Bless This Time, a song which Wright, who was also a radio announcer at Love 101 FM, often played as a prelude to her shift.
The more than four-hour-long funeral proceeding was laced with tributes from people who Wright had encountered during her journey, and though many were strangers to each other, their greetings all bore a similar message.
Wright, also called 'Den Den' or 'Jesus Girl', is remembered for her liveliness and genuine compassion towards others.
The parting message written by her sister, Ann Simpson-Hall, and read by family friend Meigon Anderson, told of Wright's awe-inspiring final moments.
According to Anderson, when they visited the hospital the day Wright passed away, she was in a mood that had many perplexed.
Anderson spoke of how happy she was and that she told them that she wasn't feeling any pain at all.
The family friend also shared that while reciting what they say was Wright's anthem with her, Psalms 23, she paused when she got to the line: "Yea though I walk through the shadow of death ... ", and said repeatedly that "death is just a shadow".
It was almost two hours after they had said their goodbyes on May 11 when they got the call of Wright's passing.
Maximising on the message that was continuously established throughout the service was Al Miller, Wright's pastor and friend.
"We do not sorrow as those who have no hope. Many people may be asking, 'Why Deneese?'
"Why Deneese? Because she was ready. Her time had come. She is a channel and she was chosen for this time to speak to us. Deneese died for the redemption of many! People will be looking into their lives and fixing what needs to be fixed, because now we understand that it could have been any of us," he said.
The thanksgiving service for the life of Wright was nothing but a celebration, one that reflected her vivacious personality, as stated in the many tributes.
According to Rev Miller, who preached on what he described as a fulfilling life lived by Wright: "When we understand purpose, we can better handle our grief."