It’s hard to talk about someone who just passed on to the great beyond. Images of what they were before they became just an empty shell and what they meant to those around them fight with the knowledge they are no longer around. When my dad passed away very suddenly (he literally got up in the morning, dropped and died) about 15 years ago, I was torn between accepting it and irrationally fighting reality. For me, my dad was still alive and will always be. He lives in my heart and my memory. Isn’t that what we all want? To leave a part of us behind when we depart from this world for good?
If this is true then my mother-in-law, Marty, who just passed away a couple days ago, will be alive for a long time. She has nine children, all of whom love her dearly. Six siblings will hold her in their hearts as well. Then, there are all others—family and friends—whose lives she touched one way or another. Just like my dad, who was the original Santa Claus, Marty will live on in each Christmas ornament we put on the tree, on each Christmas carol we sing, in each gift we unwrap.
She will be missed by many and remembered by even more. You were part of my life for the past thirty years and I can’t tell you how much I appreciated how you welcomed me, a foreign stranger, into your family all those years ago. May you have all the peace you deserve next to your loving husband up where time has lost its meaning and worries are a thing of the past. I’m sure you will be teaching the angels to dance the Whip Nana and a song or two. We love you.
My husband slightly changed a poem by Christy Ann Martine to read during the funeral mass for his mom. Here’s his version:
“She’s in the sun, the wind, the rain.
She’s in the air that we breathe.
With every breath we take,
she paints a picture of hope and cheer.
There’s no more pain, no more fear.
You’ll see her in the clouds above,
hear her whisper words of love.
They are together once again,
bragging proudly about all of us to the end.”