Tuesday, April 05, 2011

 By Belinda

I went to a memorial gathering today.

Someone said to me, "This is the best funeral I've been to," and how wonderful it was, that, "the clients," were "calling the shots."

It was a funny way to put it, but, "The clients calling the shots;" wouldn't be a bad philosophical stance for an agency doing some things right. And if life for people with disabilities turned out like our friend's memorial service, it wouldn't be a bad life at all, for it was wonderful.

They planned her memorial with her favourite colours, her favourite food (cheezies, butter tarts, chips and pop. Oh, and a carrot cake with cream cheese frosting showed up from somewhere, too,) and her favourite songs were sung, ending with, "You are my Sunshine."

I hope that when my time comes to be remembered,  people have fun the way we did today, (but I have a sneaking suspicion it won't be half as much fun,) and I hope as many people shed as many tears in fond memory.

In the midst of it all was a baby. This is Gabriel : remember him?

 You would not have guessed that this was a memorial service. Yes, there were tears, but good tears as we remembered someone who touched those who knew her deeply; mostly we laughed a lot. We laughed at ourselves and the way we were shaped by the one we were remembering and we laughed as the people we support took the microphone and told funny stories on the staff.
 For Marion these words are now present tense.

Pink was her favourite colour. There was lots of pink.

Someone mentioned that this was Toonie Tuesday at Kentucky Fried Chicken, her favourite day of the week, because that was her favourite food. She died two weeks ago today; another Tuesday. I hope this food can be found in heaven; after all, Colonel Sanders has been up there for 31 years now, perhaps he is longing to get cooking.


Marilyn Yocum said...

I have attended such "sending off" memorials that were, for lack of a better word, a joy and blessing.

Yesterday I visited an elderly woman I hadn't seen in a while and during our conversation, she asked, "Do you remember my Bill's 'Celebration' (meaning his memorial)? And I did. And it was just as you described.

Belinda said...

Marilyn, how wonderful that there can be joyous "send offs." I want me one of those one day--to live "full of years" and to leave behind a sparkle of joy.