A Celebration of Life

July 8, 2015 at 12:00 am | Posted in Grief, life after loss | 8 Comments
Tags: , , , , ,
We spend 
precious hours 
fearing the inevitable.
It would be wise
to use that time
adoring our families,
cherishing our friends,
and living our lives. 
Dr. Maya Angelou

My amazing cousin’s mother (who was also my cousin) wrote this poem in a comment to one of my posts last year.  She peacefully passed away a few days ago after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in May.  She did not want a funeral and followed the “honor me not by mourning my death but by celebrating my life” philosophy.

So on Monday, there was not a funeral but a memorial service/celebration of her life.   My amazing cousin and my mom spoke – it was a beautiful tribute.

We decided that the twins should come to the celebration.  They were not exactly at the service but they were running in circles in the entry way of the funeral home.  As I left the service they both stopped running and came to hug me.  One said “Mama, we will behave if you stop crying.”   The other one said “Mama, you have to focus on the positive things.” As we drove away I stopped crying and I tried to explain to them that I am sad, I might cry again but I would try to focus on the positive.

“We all have life storms, and when we get the rough times and we recover from them, we should celebrate that we got through it. No matter how bad it may seem, there’s always something beautiful that you can find.”  Mattie Stepanek



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  1. I’m so sorry about your cousin’s mother. I know she meant so much to you. You honor her with your post. Much love to you, Julie

  2. I’m so sorry for your loss Lanie. Beautiful post to remember and celebrate her. XO

  3. I am so sorry for your loss. Praying for you as you grieve.

  4. You are surrounded by wisdom from above, below, and all around. May it lift you up!

  5. Dahlin’, I am so sorry for your loss. It’s amazing how there is so much grieving, but at the same time life goes on – the kids running around joyfully, the service to celebrate the life. Take care of yourself my friend.

  6. Dear Lanie and Family – I send condolences to all of you and wish you strength and solace. Your kids spoke wisdom to you and you can be proud of them. It is easier to deal with death at the end of a full life and easier yet if the person who died was accepting of her fate – one that we all share, ultimately.
    With much love, Cornelia

  7. big Hugz Lanie xoxoox

  8. Hi Lanie,
    So sorry for your loss, she will be missed. How beautiful for your kids to help you focus on the special things she brought to life.

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