I traveled to Pennsylvania from Kansas last weekend to attend the graveside service of my s-i-l, Mary Ellen, who passed away in January. It was a lovely service in a magnificent area of central PA, and I delighted in seeing neighbors and family I hadn't seen in several or many years.
I cry at any such "closing" ceremony. It doesn't matter whether or not I knew the deceased well. The sadness of loved ones missing that person is overwhelming to me, so I cry.
I had written a tribute to Mary Ellen and her importance in my life, accompanied by Ted Bear, a gift from her to me some 47 years ago. I was given the opportunity to share it at the luncheon after her service. Of course, I cried. Others did, too. This act was brave for me, because I didn't know if I could get through it. I don't fear speaking before a group, but this was an important act of closure for me, and wanting to honor Mary Ellen in a manner that her powerful love deserved. I did it. And I'm so glad I did. It went very well.
Releasing a loved one is a supreme act of bravery, maybe one of the most challenging ones we face in this earthly adventure. And then there's the ongoing bravery of continuing to live without that person's physical presence. This is where the idea of "we are stronger than we know" comes into play.
Being brave sometimes,