Losing a family member or close friend during a holiday is especially trying, having to adjust to their transition, at the same time going through the motions of tradition . And each subsequent year brings back the sadness and loss, and the empty chair at the table.
This happened in our church family last year. Two ladies, both a decade younger than myself made their transition, one in November, and the other on Christmas. Their families will have to find new ways of celebration in coming years.
Both women were professionals, one a nurse anesthetist who also studied hypnosis, and the other, a social worker and writer. At the service for the celebration of their life, we learned of things previously unknown to us, much of it their past experiences, as well as the things we knew from our interactions with them currently.
One was totally devoted to her profession, her granddaughters, and a mom to three. Her family always came first. She had a upbeat attitude in life and a quest for learning, that inspired us all. The other traveled extensively with her soulmate husband. They had no children but supported youth through the big brother big sister program. She became a mentor, and mom to one of the girls who she always called her daughter. She was an advocate and strong force for the less fortunate among us. Having overcome many health issues herself, she tried to help others to adjust and accept life changes .
It has been difficult for us at church to deal with their sudden loss of life, that we felt was cut way too short. Yet we recognized how they made their days count, and how many people were affected by their presence . Their dedication to children was displayed at each service, and I can think of nothing more important than being an advocate for children to impact our future.
Having heard all the stories of their dedication and commitment to others, I couldn’t help but take an inventory on how I’m measuring up on my journey, which has out lasted theirs by ten years. Have I set the bar high enough? What more is there for me to do on my path? I’d like to think I’ve positively impacted others on my walk. The good news is that in spite of my days are being counted down, I still have today, and hopefully tomorrow to make a difference.
I thank these dear ladies, whose light glowed so brightly. Even though you left big shoes to fill, your light still shines the way for us. Rest In Peace.