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.