Saturday, April 16, 2011

Saying Goodbye

I went to a funeral today. It was for a beautiful lady who lived her life until the ripe old age of 87. She was the Mother of a dear family friend and she I can say without hesitation will be missed, mourned and remembered. Her daughter read the most extraordinary poem at her graveside about April, about it's flowers and new beginnings and how even amidst all that the poet's only want was to be by her beloveds side.
I peered behind a curtain and caught in motion the most profound love, devotion and grace today. It was raw, heartbreaking and devastatingly lovely. The way this woman's children cared for her until she took her last breath was nothing short of a living testament to what love is, what it can be.

Funerals always awaken a 'time is of the essence' feeling in me. When you look into the faces of those who have just lost someone you forget about the petty deadlines of your day, the errands that you just can't seem to get done, the stupid thing that was said. You forget it all because bearing witness to loss makes us take notice, puts us on notice that time/is/short.

And what of that time? How are we using it? Are we moving through our world with negative apron strings streaming behind us? We have a legacy that we will leave behind us, for each person it is theirs to create.

 Today I saw a legacy of honor and sacrifice, compassion and loyalty. The simplicity of it overtook me. Watching the last remains of a family huddled close, sharing stories, laughing and being stoic took my breath away. The black and white photographs of the once vibrant woman in love, in life, seemingly without a care in the world; her smile knowing, full and electric.

In the end the things that define us seem to fall by the wayside. Even Annie's perseverance did nothing for her as she lay dying. Love was the only thing that mattered. We all know this sentiment. It's the equivalent to having diamonds lay on a sidewalk in plain view. Our family, our friends, our connections are our treasure.

Our treasure in plain sight, there for us everyday.


  1. Beautiful. I also went to a funeral on Monday. This one for 21 year old Ben. To see his parents, family and friends weeping and hugging, laughing and reaching out while still numb with grief. Heartbreaking... we could all say without hesitation that Ben was lovin' all of the attention, and reveling in the love and admiration. This is a person who never said a bad word about anyone, and I cannot ever remember his being angry. Apparently, he knew that there was not time in his life for negativity or regret! He was an amazing young man. Love you, Ben!

  2. What a lovely testament to Ben. He sounds like he was one joyous person. I am sorry for your loss! Thank you for sharing how he lit up everyone's life...Andrea:-)

  3. Very thought provoking...I'm going to go LIVE a happy, positive life...while I can.
    "Alex Oakley" you inspire me!!!