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Yesterday, our family and friends gathered to celebrate and remember my Mom's life. Yes, it was a funeral, but it was so much more than that. This wasn't a sombre religious affair. Sure, there were tears, but the focus was on my Mom. Who she was, what she brought to all of our lives, and what her life meant to all of us. It was a wonderful day.

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Inside three panel spread of the Service Card.

Inside three panel spread of the Service Card.

Inside fold, back and front of the Service Card.

Inside fold, back and front of the Service Card.

Our first family picture without my Mom. The new normal. In most of the pictures we took of our family, you could see circles of light, usually over my sister and her husband. Call them dust particles if you want, but I'm going to believe that my Mom was close by.

Our first family picture without my Mom. The new normal. In most of the pictures we took of our family, you could see circles of light, usually over my sister and her husband. Call them dust particles if you want, but I'm going to believe that my Mom was close by.

I made the memorial video, with the help of my sister and aunt and uncle. We searched though dozens of old family photo albums and picked from hundreds of digital images. When I asked my Mom what her favorite song was, she said "It's My Life" by Bon Jovi, so I put it in. The lyrics were perfect. We were lucky enough to be able to show her the video before she died. She cried the whole way through, in a good way, and commented that she thought she blossomed when she became a mother. My Dad said it gave him some perspective. I love all the pictures from the Eighties.

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My husband also wrote a song after he visited with my Mom last month. He got home, without me, and it just came pouring out of his heart all at once. It's called Paper Airplane.

If you are just tuning in, here are all the earlier posts about what's been going on:

Finally, if you wished you could have been there, I have a video of the complete service. It's a full hour (I cut out the 15 minutes of the Memorial Video up above), but if you have the time and interest, you may like to listen to my Eulogy and the tributes from family and friends. Everyone who spoke brought something different to the picture of who my Mom was and I really appreciated hearing about my Mom from another perspective.

It was a great day. After the service, we all gathered at the reception center for a few hours and then a large group of family and friends went over to my sister's place. It was so nice, huddling with my family, sharing stories and being close with so many who loved my Mom. It was comforting, fun, and special. Returning home will be hard, but it will bring about a new phase of this process for me. Alone with my thoughts, I expect to be reliving these last two months and feeling it more deeply than ever. Now, the grieving really begins.