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The Passing of Myrtle Fillmore

Published in 1932 January Unity Magazine

MYRTLE FILLMORE, one of the founders of Unity School of Christianity, passed on to the invisible side of life on Tuesday, October 6. Forty-five years ago, medical science gave Mrs. Fillmore up to die. Through sheer faith she set aside that death sentence, and began helping others by the exercise of that simple, beautiful faith in Christ's teachings to which she attributed her own healing. Except for her devoted love to her family, she gave her entire time, thought, and energy to the ever growing work of the school that grew out of her pioneer work and that of her husband, Charles Fillmore.

Those who knew her intimately and to whom she had expressed a desire to make the change believe that she might have remained in the body indefinitely, had she so chosen. Every phase of the change was made in divine order. As was customary with her, she closed her work at her office in Kansas City on Thursday, after a day spent in writing letters, in receiving callers, and in helping with the regular healing work of Silent Unity. After leaving her office, she spent the evening in picking apples at Unity Farm.

Not long before her passing she climbed four flights of stairs to reach the writer's office, where she made a sunny, smiling visit. As always, she was in the best of spirits, a characteristic that made her visits to various departments of the school a delight and a benediction. During her visit she remarked that she wanted to make a change.

"That's fine. What kind of change?"

"I believe that it would be easier for me to do the work that is ahead of me from the invisible plane," she answered.

"Oh, you mustn't do that! We need your help, your inspiration, your spiritual guidance, here," he answered.

"You know that you will have that anyway," she said.

We have faith in Myrtle Fillmore, faith in her clear spiritual vision, faith in her allegiance to the guidance of that Presence which she so faithfully served for so long a time. We believe that she was following the guidance of that Presence in making the change that she chose to make. We cannot permit our love for her to be less generous than was her dear love for us. If she wished to step into the invisible, we would not have it otherwise. We would not have any personal thought of ours retard her progress, or cast a shadow upon the serenity of her faith and work. Therefore we shall carry on, striving to make our loyalty to the high principles of Truth that she taught and lived so beautifully our tribute to her. And just as we shall be very near to her in our thought and love, we know that she will be very near to us. It cannot be otherwise.

Souls are near to one another not in proportion to proximity, but by reason of their common purposes, their love for one another, and for Something greater than any one of them. We have faith that our common love of Christ shall keep us close to one another and to Myrtle Fillmore.

In accepting this change, we do not desert the ideal of overcoming death as did Jesus by quickening the body to a fourth-dimensional expression. But we are mindful that death is the last enemy to be overcome, that we take a very big step in that overcoming when we overcome the fear of death, and that there are many steps to take, many high adventures in God's glorious service, before that final over- coming. We "suffer it to be so," in the calm assurance that life neither begins at birth nor ends at death, that in our Father's house are many mansions, and that if it were not so He would have told us.

A great man of old said that he was as a little child, not knowing how to go out or how to come in. Most of us have not yet learned to master birth and death, to make our comings and goings serenely and in order. Myrtle Fillmore had evidently made that great overcoming. She gave seven-day-a-week service to the work she loved best, and when she made up her mind to make the change she did it beautifully and graciously, preparing her associates for that change, teaching them lovingly and sweetly as always, even in this last gesture. As was her custom she went to her country home to spend the week-end with her family, where she quietly and peacefully lay down to rest, and serenely slipped out into the realm that lies just beyond the senses.

Surely Myrtle Fillmore must take her place with the illumined of mankind. Her life no less than her teachings inspired faith and courage and understanding in the lives of millions, and, through the great work that she established, will continue to inspire others so long as that work serves God's wise and loving purposes. Millions have risen, and shall rise, to call her name blessed, and to reverence the dear Christ whom she taught them to serve.