Beautiful funeral in the hardscrabble Delta

Published 10:28 am Wednesday, July 12, 2023

By Harold Brummett
Denmark Star Route

I did not know Linda Sample, but I do know her husband Julius, a member of Disabled American Veterans. I wish I had known Linda. She passed away June 26, and I attended her funeral on the 8th of July. 

Her funeral was at the Mount Calvary Baptist Church in Tutwiler. The funeral was a mixture of sadness at her passing but at the same time a celebration of her life. There were prayers, music, and praise for Jesus. Remembrances spoken and grief at her passing tempered the joy of Linda Samples’ reward. 

Email newsletter signup

The Delta of Mississippi is a hard place; it makes for hard people whose resilience rests in prayers and religion. The church is a refuge, a sanctuary and a place of rest. 

The community centers on the church and the people who worship there. Linda and Julius Sample, married for over 25 years, were a part of that equation and the outpouring of affection and support at Linda’s passing made evident her impact. 

The crowded to overflowing church demonstrated the influence that Linda had on the community and the love they had for her. 

Several members of the Disabled American Veterans sat in the back of the church. When asked to speak, I walked to the front of the church and related that the veterans were there to support Julius in his loss. I said I never knew Linda, but I did know that veterans many times come with baggage. 

Veterans carry the places they had been and the things they had seen with them. It falls to the spouses in many cases to help unpack this baggage, to listen and help heal.  Because of that, there was a connection with Linda. 

Pastor Gregory Buchanan gave a wonderful sermon the likes of which I had not heard since a child. Scripture read followed by impassioned preaching. Everyone was in the moment enthralled with the message and promise of the Lord.  

Music again played and songs sung fit for the passing of royalty. As the procession made its way to the cemetery the rain held off, the sky crowded with overstuffed clouds in a sea of blue.  

A fitting reflection for the passing of Linda Sample. 

Write to Harold Brummett at