Firstly, thank you to all for your continued condolences. In the last post, I wrote that I would blog about my Mom’s memorial in this one.
In seems fitting to first provide some context on how we decided on a memorial for my Mom. During the last month of my Mother’s life, she was absolutely clear with us that she did not want a funeral or service. When my Dad first broached the subject of having something small to celebrate my Mom’s life like a memorial, I wasn’t 100 percent behind the idea. I thought this would go against my Mom’s wishes and to be honest, I personally didn’t feel up to planning anything. I know that sounds horrible but I suppose I just wasn’t ready for the finality of it all. I think I was still caught up in the whole care of my Mom over the last while. My Dad told me that towards the end of her life she agreed to something small and that he needed closure.
I finally relented and told my Dad I would be happy to help plan or do whatever was required. He certainly deserves closure after being with my Mom for 50 years. I then called the funeral home to see about adding the details of the memorial to the obituary. The Funeral Director advised against sharing that type of detail to the public. The reason he gave is to prevent unwanted guests. Refer to an earlier post on how to write an obituary for more details.
I have to admit that all last week I felt uneasy about the whole thing. Then Saturday finally arrived and it was time. Time to share with the world what we had been dealing with and to utter one final goodbye. When I first arrived it seemed a little surreal. I had to keep asking myself, is this really happening? I had been so immersed in this little life we created I just couldn’t believe the end was here.
One by one, people started arriving. I really didn’t know what to do or say. I was frozen. CRAP! Why didn’t I look up memorial etiquette? In case you are wondering, here is what I found online according to everplans. The key tip they listed that resonated with me was to remember that the simple presence of a friend, a hug, or a kind word can go a long way towards making someone feel comforted. So I did my best to make our guests feel welcomed and comforted.
Somehow I found the right words and took my place as a greeter. Sort of like at Walmart! There were far more people than we anticipated. Some guests I hadn’t seen since I was a teenager. My Dad had asked his friend who is a pastor to say a prayer. It was beautiful. He talked about the idea of my Mom crossing over. Then we ended with us all signing this inspirational song. Take a listen, it is quite moving!
In a blink of an eye, the memorial was over. We had survived. Well most of us. Unfortunately, one of our guests drank one too many! My Dad turned to me and said “who spiked the punch?” I am glad he found the humor in it. Not to worry, I checked in the next day and the guest was fine.
My brother, Dad and I are all at peace. The following day my Brother and I had a good visit and talked about things and how to move forward. And we will. This journey will forever change our family. It will forever change me for the better. There are lessons still to be learned and to pass on. There are also a lifetime of memories to continue to share.
Stay tuned, in the next post I might try to broach the subject on how to talk to your children about death.
Thank you for following and for all of your wonderful comments. Ever plan a memorial where a guest acted slightly inappropriate? Let me know, I’d love to hear about it. A xo