Since then I've discovered that many memorial services start the same way and now I better understand the spirit of a memorial. Often the people gathered are asked to share memories or stories of our deceased friend/relative. As I listen to the reflections, I often wish that the person who has passed away could hear these stories. I feel that somehow we are sharing them too late.
Once, when I was going through a difficult time with one of my own daughters, I told a friend that I was going to give up lecturing, and that I was simply going to live the best life that I could, and hope that my children would learn through example. I've discovered that that's a tough pedestal to balance on. Now I think it's more important to let our children know, clearly, what we value in life. When we're gone, they won't be able to ask us. As well, I'm going to engage them in sharing family stories, swapping memories of things we've experienced together, and possibly what we learned from those occassions. I've discovered that often our memories of the same occassion can be quite different. What I take away from an event is often very different from what they take away from it. Discovering what the other remembers can be very revealing.
I am setting myself the task of telling all the wonderful people in my life that I love them and why they are special to me. They might as well know now. It may take awhile to get to them all, but better late than never. I'd rather celebrate life and the people in mine while they are living.
The picture is of my mother and my daughters who are all very much alive!