This week I attended a funeral in bitterly cold Saskatchewan for my Grandmother. She lived a long 90 years old before she died suddenly. She leaves behind two sons (my step-dad being one), a brother, many nieces, nephews and grandchildren as well as a husband of 68 years. Sixty-eight years. My grandparents were married in 1945, after the Second World War ended and my Grandfather was discharged from the military. Their marriage was truly inspirational and admirable. I can only hope that one day I have a marriage that is as ever-lasting and committed.
During the priest’s tribute to my Grandmother, he spoke of the bags we carry through life (metaphorically, of course). This resonated with me. These invisible bags gradually accumulate stuff – and he wasn’t referring to filling them with material things such as success, wealth or achievement. What he was referring to was consciously filling these bags with the things that really matter – service to our community, being a good mother, wife and friend, dedication to our passions and living life from a place of kindness and generosity. My Grandmother was exceptional at this. Her bags are full as she moves into the light.
I was also struck by the many individuals who came to pay their respects to her. One by one, each approached her casket, carrying and holding love for my Grandmother. They came to share that love. The people in our lives are a collection of love manifested. Seeing this display was a powerful reminder to cherish, treasure and nurture this collection.