Yesterday was a beautiful day. The sun was shining as a light breeze tickled the newly formed Spring leaves and collectively we gathered to share stories and memories of my mother. The service was just as she would have wanted. There were funny recollections, there were heart-warming memories and 18 butterflies took flight as we all remembered her kind spirit and loving heart.
The tablecloths were a lovely shade of pink, arrangements of brilliantly colored flowers were on each table and the atmosphere was anything but morose. It truly was a celebration of life.
My mom did not want a somber occasion to be the last tribute to her life. She didn’t want those she knew crying because she was gone but, instead, she wanted people to remember all of the good moments they had with her when they were in her presence. And that is exactly is what we did.
There was no rushed planning of funeral arrangements and hastily written eulogies. We allowed ourselves time to grieve in our own way and spent two months putting a great deal of effort into a truly personal send-off, one my mom would have loved. Sure, there were tears, but the majority of the time was spent sharing happy stories of a woman who genuinely affected people in such a positive way. We were able to overcome the initial raw pain of loss and gave ourselves permission to really enjoy the memories and pay tribute to her in a way that she deserved.
Mere words can only scratch the surface of how many lives my mother touched with her smile, her generosity and her love. She will be missed every day but her memory will live on in each of the smiles of those who take time to remember her.
Today, the loss is so much more real because now there is no distraction to take away from the reality that she is gone. We must now hold dear to the multitude of moments she left an imprint on our hearts and use those moments to heal the scars created on our hearts when she left.