Celebrating Mom

Originally appeared on spirituality.com

Though it’s often chillingly cold in Michigan in December, it was an unusually mild and sunny weekend when my mother passed on.

Mom's words, spoken to us often: “Celebrate Life” (and demonstrated through her love, humor, curiosity, generosity, adventurous spirit), resonated as our family members gathered. She left explicit instructions that she preferred there be no funeral, no memorial service. The question arose as to whether we should override her wishes because she was so dear to so many. Surely some immediate, organized observance of her life would be appropriate. Then my daughter-in-law shared this insight: “Perhaps Grandma, in her life and her wishes, has been telling us something important, something that we need to learn and pay attention to now, more than ever.” How could we best “Celebrate Life” at this juncture, this moment, this weekend, when we were all together, we wondered?

We would honor her wishes for no formal remembrance. Celebrate Life! And so with sun, the bluest of skies, and the sands of Lake Michigan beckoning, we decided to put on our winter jackets, go to the shore, and fly kites—with kids, grandkids and even the family dogs in tow! It was in this setting that our grief was to be lifted in ways that we couldn’t yet imagine.

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