Monday, December 2, 2013

A Memorial over a Funeral

Non-traditional - sums up my family.  We are non-traditional in that my mom married a native in the 1940's...mixed race; our faith and the church we grew up in - Oneness Pentecostal; our loyalty and unity - we all get along....if we do have an issue we don't agree on - we respect the other's opinion and we love each other.  Maybe this is traditional in other parts of the country - I can assure you - it isn't here in Marathon County Wisconsin.

Perhaps nothing shows our non-traditional views more than how we respected my Mom's wishes.  She did not want a funeral or an obituary.  Days before she passed, we asked her again..."Mom, do you want a funeral...'No', she said."  "Mom, do you want an obituary in the paper?  'No' she said.  Are you sure?  Don't you want me write down all the nice things about you and how much we loved you?  'No, people don't need to know all that about us'"  This was my Mom.  She didn't want us to feel sad or have to face a bunch of people who usually come to a funeral to show their support.  I know this is traditional - however, why. 

I have had calls from neighbors and friends asking "when is her funeral?"  (Thank you for thinking of me and all your prayers.)  I don't know if they know what to say when I say "she didn't want one."  She didn't want one - was her last mothering duty to let us not suffer through one.  Really - I think funerals are just too hard on the family - maybe it is just me....some people might need additional support, funerals are for them.  Not me.

We had a memorial for her at my brother's church in Elderon.  His little church is nestled on a wooded lot.  Looking out the windows we had a sunny day, fresh snow on the ground and trees - a beautiful setting.  Inside, the building was full of family and friends who helped take care of Mom and Dad.  It was a beautiful tribute to my Mom.  I talked about the Proverbs 31 woman - "her children rise and call her blessed."  An opportunity to say something or sing a song was given to each person there.  It was truly beautiful.

For me, this is what I want as well.  A non-traditional service, people sharing good stories about me and family supporting each other.  My Mom has said on many an occasion - "if people didn't want to come visit me when I was alive - why should they come when I'm dead."  True.  

Take every opportunity to show those that you love - that you love them - while they are here.  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.
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