Morning coffee @CoffeeMillFontana yesterday. A card on the wall says Custom Wedding Ceremonies for the Most Important Day of Your Life and I think, Custom Memorial Ceremonies and Final Wishes. Two funerals and what-would-have-been my sister’s 41st birthday, fresh on my mind.
It was a beautiful, sun-filled afternoon a week earlier; cousins and moms, remaining uncles and aunts; a gathering in a quiet country cemetery. Majestic soaring turkey vultures overhead–one at first, then two–as I remember Cindy’s ‘unofficial’ graveside send-off: Her brother had brought a boom box and balloons, giving each of us one to be released, as music and lyrics, wind and balloons, danced in sunlight; and two soaring black birds followed those balloons until all were out of sight. That, to me, was perfect. I would want that.
Two funeral ceremonies, a week apart, offered contrast to gain clarity into how much my perspective about this life, and our life after this one, had changed. Listening, observing, and being there, I did–and didn’t–fit in. These were my roots, part of my spiritual heritage. And I understand and believe differently now.
Old World beliefs about divinity, ourselves, death, and our hereafter. They don’t fit me anymore. I appreciate that this church of my childhood was a starting place, a catalyst to expanding beliefs and including more. Laura’s exit was another catalyst–a powerful one; and Vivian’s work–her writing Death by Roses in the wake of her own sister’s passing. An inspired (and award-winning–like it’s meant to be here) story that looks at our afterlife and relationships much more playfully and pragmatically. So much more uplifting–and in line with other stories and sources my journey has taken me to–before and after.
Sitting there and being part of those two ceremonies once again reminded me that I need to find or create my own alternative ceremony for my turn… I don’t have to… or maybe I do….create one that’s more in line with–and connects–roots and wings. And maybe I ought to ask some others (family) what they would prefer for their send-off ceremony. What are their afterlife beliefs? What songs should we play, sing, or bring? Preferences on whatever?
Granted, many never give this a thought and don’t care. It’s just that it got my attention–two funerals and a birthday–all in the first ten days of this month…ages 93, 55, and would-have-been 41. Age is irrelevant when it comes to lifetimes. So, eat dessert first, Live what you love, think about your favorite songs and important-day preferences, and maybe read or listen to Death by Roses. You might like it…and laugh a little…and make now even better. I am.
Blessings, joy, dancing, and much love, my friends. – Anne