Saturday, November 3, 2012

6WS - It's not just beginnings and endings...

it's also about everything in between....

What a week, a week with too many endings. I attended two funerals this week, both at extreme ends of the scale in terms of how they were conducted, but both equally moving.

I don't want to dwell on the sadness of these events because all funerals have an element of sadness about them, but here's what I took from each of them.

The first on Wednesday was for a good friends father, who passed suddenly and left behind a devastated daughter and granddaughter and many others who loved him. He simply went too soon. I envied the relationship that my friend had with her father, not because I don't have a good relationship with my father but because he was indeed her best friend in the whole world.

This was evident at his service, as was the celebration of the life of this amazing man. His daughter read this poem called 'The Dash' by Linda Ellis, I'd never heard it before but it hit home, because it's not about where we started or where we end but how we live the in between. To understand what I'm talking about, you really have to go and read it.

This was a funeral of music attesting to the love of music of this man and also of laughs  and images as his loved ones shared their treasured memories. It was short and full of love and emotion.

The funeral that I attended yesterday was for my husband's grandmother. To say I was unprepared would be an understatement. It was a deeply religious Russian Orthodox funeral (not that any of the younger family members are overly religious either)

It was an hour long service which was sung almost entirely in Russian and we stood for the whole service. Not being a big attendee of church, funerals, nor religious ceremonies I actually was like a sponge soaking up the atmosphere and sharing the grief of those who loved this woman.

I've said it often enough that I am not religious but there was something totally transfixing about this service, from the candles we all held, to the melodic sound of the words sung in Russian, to the swirling ball with incense and the total ritual of it all. I do admit that I was unprepared for the formality or for the open casket.

Never have hubby and I spoken so openly about the how's and when's of death, yet we did on our way to the burial. We spoke about what we both wanted when we leave this earth, which is a conversation I think that only comes about in these circumstances.

I do know that both of these services were equally beautiful and it made me view death as a time to celebrate and remember those that we love and cherish. Spending the afternoon with my husbands many male family members and hearing the antics that they got up to at their grandmothers house as children gave me a whole new view of his family.

His grandmother left behind 7 grandsons and 1 grand daughter, 8 great grandsons and three great great grandsons. That's a whole lot of boys in this family and equally as mischievous as each other. I now better understand the bloodlines that my boys share and the legacy that this lovely woman has left behind.

To my friend Kristie, I can't begin to share your grief but please know that my heart is with you and your loved ones. To my husband's family - wow what an amazing group you all are.

So my final question and the biggest thing I took from this week would have to be this - how are you living your dash?

I'm linking up with Cate who gives us all a place to visit and connect. Want to play along with Six Word Saturday, its easy? All that's necessary to participate is to describe your life (or something) in a phrase using just six words. For more information, try clicking here. Feel free to explain or not explain. Add an image, a video, a song, nothing.


  1. Fi...I think your 6 words are so true! "It's not just beginnings and endings"'s also about everything in-between Yes, funerals do get a person to thinking...and to evaluating what is really important!

    I'm off to read The Dash now.

    Have a good Saturday!


  2. I am working hard on living my dash the way I want to and not to try to please everyone around me. I have found that it is easier to do the things the poem mentions when I am proud of who I am and what I am doing. What a great reminder that our lives are short and meant to be lived to the best of our ability!

    1. Totally agree with your words my friend. We all need to be making a difference and feeling good about who we are and what we do. I loved this poem because it said it so well

  3. Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful post Fi.....
    It is all about the stuff in the middle of the sandwich!

  4. Reminded me that me and the husband have yet to have that conversation, Fi. I've thought about it but never put it into words.
    I'm not really religious either, but I have enjoyed services in Polish, where most of the text passes me by.

  5. Im glad that you remembered something I find really view a funeral as a celebration of someone's life. They wouldn't want their loved ones to be sad!

  6. great post - you are so right! the classic quote is that it's not the first or last breath that counts - but all the breaths in between

  7. Beautiful post....and I first came across 'The Dash' a few years ago.

  8. Funerals are designed for the living. They should remember those who have passed and my hubby and I talk about ours all of the time.

  9. I first came across The Dash at a conference several years ago where a woman used it as her opening to talk about her fight with cancer -- incredibly powerful.

    Like your post -- very beautiful and powerful.

    Thanks Fi.

  10. How incredible to remind us about the middle without the stuffin we all would be empty :(
    I hadn't heard of the Dash so I am glad you shared it. Stopping by from SWS ~Janice~

  11. Love the name of your blog, I watched a video not too long ago that talked about the fact that we kill creativity and inspiration in our children in education. We ridicule when they do it wrong, instead of praising for trying. Or we tell them it is wrong when really it is just creative thinking. Power in creativity, and living the in between.


Everyone has something valuable to say and I would love for you to share your thoughts