No two memorials are alike, nor are two humans. Yesterday I had the honor of attending a memorial. Praises come alive when someone dies. We love to put those we love on a pedestal. I did when my mom died in 2012. She was my person. Immediately upon her death, in my heart and soul, she was lifted higher than she had been when she was still on this earth. Years have passed. Each year, I see her differently, learn who she was, far deeper than mere mementos, old photographs or stories. Learning your person becomes part of the grieving process and though sometimes disconcerting admitting mom’s frailties, my love has blossomed like I never thought it would. We continue to grow far beyond the date of death. There are no boundaries with love.
Back to the memorial. The gentleman, Mr. H., was kind, generous and loved unconditionally. Everyone who spoke about him, they too, exuded their own kindness in individual descriptions of the person he was and his meaning in their lives. What moved me most of all was two things: family and love.
Taken for granted are family members. We don’t always like each other and that’s ok. As long as there’s a level of honesty amongst a tribe, so be it, our own definitions of what family means varies. That’s ok, too.
One can’t fake authenticity. Real tears, admiration, respect, loyalty, love, I found myself touched by it all. His family, his friends, his love for others. I didn’t know Mr. H. well, although some members of his family are my friends. Legacy is used as a slippery euphemism when someone dies. Do we really live with legacy in mind? Or do we just think about it for months after one dies, only to allow legacy to die as well? We say we wish to emulate, though for how long?
Awareness is alive.
Mr. H lived a life of authenticity. Whatever his frailties were, no mind. For as we grow, we live as we are. His legacy is now part of mine, as his life touched me. A memorial of change, a memorial of remembrance. I am better for being a small part of a man who loved life. Let’s live beautiful lives as Mr. H did. Emulation is a choice. It’s what I choose. Thank you, Mr. H. You made a difference in this human’s life.