Difficult times can still be handled with grace
The daughter of some dear friends, passed away recently. It is always sad when we lose someone, but especially when it is someone young. How does anyone get over that?
When my brother died, I noticed that my parents changed. They were in grief and mourned for their loss. There was a part of them that never really felt right again. They lived for years after that sadness, laughed again and were completely engaged in life, but a small part of them was still grieving. They have since passed away also. I hope they have found each other.
At the service held the other day for this lovely girl, I was surprised to see her brother give a speech which had everyone laughing about some of her special experiences and things she had said. It set a different tone for the rest of the service and allowed everyone to embrace her uniqueness and sense of fun. Both of her parents also spoke and although you could see the tension on their faces, they did a wonderful thing to pay tribute to their daughter with powerful stories and anecdotes.
You see, this young woman had been given a time frame, and knew that she was going to die. She had time to think about how she would like her funeral service to be presented. She didn’t want terrible mourning with lots of tears. She wanted people to remember her in the good times, the essence of who she was in the fullness of life. She cared deeply for the experience others would have and wanted it to be as positive as possible.
After the service, we were served drinks, finger food and ice cream in small cups. It was a very hot day, so the ice cream was appreciated.
I watched my friend, the mother, as she spoke to perhaps hundreds of people. She was hugged and spoken to in soft tones by the elderly and young friends of her daughter. She gave each person her attention and held herself together. She conducted herself with complete elegance throughout the event.
I know that she feels a huge gap in her life and cannot imagine how it will heal. It can be hard to carry on when you feel so sad.
Most of us have experienced a huge and personally significant loss in our lives. Unfortunately, we are likely to face this again. I hope it isn’t for a child.
I want to remember the good things about people while they are still with me. To celebrate more often over a meal, to connect with them, spend some time and have important conversations. Life is fleeting – let’s make it wonderfully notable.