I remember my mother’s funeral like it was yesterday, though it’s been almost 25 years.
The graveside memorial service was lovely and I was surrounded by loving friends of mine and hers. I felt my father’s spirit there too, though he had made his transition many years before her.
I had prepared small bouquets made from the flowers of sympathy kind friends and co-workers had sent and brought them with me to the service so that my other deceased relatives could be honored for their connection to mom. I placed a bouquet on each grave of my small but loving family, among them my Grandma and Grandpa Hempstead, Mom’s parents who loved me deeply and that love I felt daily, though I would be the one to discover Grandpa dead in his chair when I was four years old. Next came my brother, Earl, a stillborn baby. Though neither my parents nor I would get to meet him in the physical world, I often heard about the joy and the pain he had brought my parents: the joy of anticipation in welcoming a new soul together but the pain of losing him on Christmas Eve. Next came a bigger bouquet on the grave of my father, who made his transition when I was only eight. And finally, a single red rose added to the casket spray of yellow ones already on view for my mother’s freedom day. I have always loved yellow roses and Mom would send them to me for all of my special life occasions. It was only right I return the gift on this most special occasion of hers.
Walking back to my seat, I looked at the faces of those who had loved my mom and me through the years and had honored me by coming to celebrate her life. I was startled to see faces filled with anguish, tears and pity.
“We’ve known this day was coming since her diagnosis of lung cancer three years ago,” I thought to myself. “Why are they so upset?”
And that’s probably the moment my awareness and attitude about death morphed into a life purpose to assist people in shifting their beliefs about death from those of fear and dread to ones of acceptance and celebration. I only now began to recognize and act on it.
I know I’m not alone in believing that there is no beginning or end because we are eternal beings, that there is something else to move on to, and that helping individuals move through their own grieving process can offer them a choice to value and truly live their own lives with more passion and purpose. And we can each begin again in any moment.
Please join me on this journey by visiting this site often, exploring the free resources, products and support programs even now being designed with you in mind. Call on me to address your conference or lead a workshop, truly listen to you or support you in your work to heal hearts, or remind you that all is well.