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After any death, there is (at least in all the cultures I’m familiar with) a ceremony. In our case, Mom’s funeral. It was definitely a family affair: my sister-in-law led the service, reading well-known & well-loved excerpts from the Bible. Mom was raised a Baptist. She would have liked this.

And there was music — chosen by Mom years ago: Amazing Grace & Swing Low, Sweet Chariot. Classic country & western filled the room at the beginning, as Mom would have wanted. My mother was big band, but Mom loved C&W. It’s what Dad played in the shop as he puttered w/ this & that.

And of course there are flowers — so important to Mom. Roses, lilies, snapdragons & rosy glads. Autumn mums & sunflowers in bright fall colours. All her favourites. Flowers from all of us who will never stop missing her.

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Afterwards, there is also something I had forgotten, though — an outpouring of love & comforting. In emails, in text messages, on FB…. Friends & far-flung family reached out to hold us in light, as the Quakers say. So much good will. Maybe the media have changed (FB instead of phone calls, texts & emails instead of cards — although there were plenty of those, too), but the love is a constant.

I’m never prepared for people to be so good to me. Not because I don’t have wonderful friends & family. I DO. But because I never anticipate it — I hope that means I don’t take it for granted.

Nor do I take for granted the influx of family I don’t see nearly as often as I’d like. In this case, my elder son & grandson. Eating brunch, after things had settled a bit, on the terrace of a local museum. Basking in love like the lovely lambent autumn light so warm & gold. Thinking about passages, doors opening & doors closing…

Mom would appreciate all of this: family, passages, love & light. Somehow, it seems an appropriate tribute.

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