Last week I attended the funeral of my cousin’s beautiful wife, and the next day her memorial service. These events provided her family and many friends with the opportunity to say goodbye. Both were a fitting and meaningful tribute that reflected her life and gave people a chance to reminisce, tell stories, pay their respects and grieve together. It was a time when raw emotions are exposed and there was not a dry eye when her daughter read a letter that she had written to her Mum. Funerals are a time for tears; sadness for the pain of others,sadness for your own loss, sadness for the brevity of life and sadness as you reflect on mortality generally. I looked around and wondered how many would attend my funeral, and what would they say about me? I think the saddest funeral in the world would be the one where no one is crying…
Here was a brave lady who fought a long, tough battle against an insidious disease. Her attitude was incredible, always thinking of others and giving until the end. She may have left this world but she has left behind the legacy of knowing how to live.
I dreaded visiting her in her final days because I knew what I would find having lost my brother in law many years ago to the same disease. Sure enough, she was skeletal and in a morphine haze, but when her husband whispered I was there, she opened her eyes, smiled and held out her arms to me. It was a fleeting moment but one so very special and I will treasure it always. I’m so glad I went because I realised that no matter what changes happen to your body, you are still the same soul inside and I will never forget the gift of her last cuddle.
Many tears were shed at her funeral as the congregation listened to the story of her life, accompanied by a collection of photos and her favourite music. She lived her life well.
R.I.P gorgeous lady, you are gone but you are not forgotten.
“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened”