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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Four Funerals and a Wedding!

It has been quite a busy time for my family and I, so much has happened in the past few weeks.  The events have brought with them a multitude of emotions, as well as getting under old scars and wounds that I'd felt were beginning to fully heal.  

I have had several funerals, all involving family members or very close friends, each a poignant reminder of my loss, of how much it hurts, and how much they are going to be missed.  Wakes and funerals still have a sting, still cause me to feel a lump in my throat, I walk in with a strong sense of apprehension; to say it is one of my least favorite activities, would be an understatement.  

In the midst of all this, my daughter was planning her wedding celebration.  A small affair by my family standards, but still an emotional, eventful and joy-filled day.  Very contrasting events, that have an overwhelming way of playing havoc with one's emotions.  Events that both speak of life, love, and ironically, new beginnings.  Both require adjustments, changes, new perspectives, and the courage to step totally out of one's comfort zone.  

Amazingly, our lives are filled with life-changing events, from births to deaths, from weddings to divorces, from having a roof over our head to becoming homeless, from beginning a new job to facing unemployment, from buying your first home to losing it to the bank, and the list can go on and on.  All these events and so many more have profound ways of changing our lives, of changing who we are.  But it is the events and happenings in our lives, that form us, making us who we are, helping us become who we can be.  

The past five years of my life, I have witnessed a dramatic change in me.  I have hopefully changed for the better.  I know I have much more compassion for others, I am more willing to see beyond the surface and recognize the hurt that lies beneath.  I have learned to tilt life and events, and see it from as many angles as possible.  I have embraced my own weakness and in doing so have found unfathomable strength, and have gained the ability to recognize it in others.  My loss and life has taught me so much, my only hope is that I can continue to be a willing pupil.  

Life is not always fair, it definitely follows it's own set of rules, but if we are open, we can learn so much from it.  I recently read a quote that speaks volumes to me, from Testing 101: 'When you are going through something hard and wonder where God is remember the teacher is always quiet during a test.'  For me this quote was reassurance that I am not alone, ever.  That my faith, my beliefs, have helped me cope during life's 'tests' and that somehow I found myself guided through the difficulty.  

We will always be faced with trials, we will always come across challenges, how we cope and where we seek help, determines the length of the journey.  My journey has not diminished, my journey is definitely not complete and probably never will be, but I know that through every up and down, through every dark tunnel, I will somehow find my way, will make it.  I will be able to attend life's happy and sad occasions and recognize the gift in every event.  For my family, the blessing of a wonderful son-in-law, beautiful grandchildren, and the promise of life filled with love and laughter.  For those whose loved ones died, the blessing of the life lived, of the friendships shared, of the memories created and cherished, and the joy of knowing that their lives were filled with love and laughter.

Life is a gift!  A gift to be cherished and cared for, to live each day as if it is the only one that matters, to truly LIVE LIFE remembering to take no-one for granted.  And to hold onto our faith, to cling to hope, and to always remember that no mater what - Love conquers all!

Blessings! and until we meet again. 


  1. Beautifully stated Rose Mary~I have seen your strength and have borrowed from it! You are truly amazing, and your faith astounds me! Thank you for being you

  2. Beautifully stated Rose Mary~I have seen your strength and have borrowed from it! You are truly amazing, and your faith astounds me! Thank you for being you

  3. I've had a tough couple of weeks too as I've lost a special blogging sister and I'm also approaching many anniversaries marking my mom's passing. I really wanted to attend my friend's funeral service, but I could not and that was hard. My daughter is planning a wedding too. So many emotions. I always remind myself it's OK to feel joy and sadness at the same time. It doesn't have to be all or nothing. Thanks for the great post.

  4. Nancy,

    Thank you!

    The key is to finding the blessings in both. I watched one daughter dance with her father, as my heart felt the thug of knowing that the same would not be so for my oldest daughter. It was definitely a bittersweet moment for me. Thankfully it is the joys that help make the sorrow much more bearable and the knowledge that those we love are always with us. Rachel was a very big part of her sister's special day, she was in every detail.

    Anniversaries are tough, I will keep you in my prayers as you approach your mom's anniversary. And I'm also so sorry for your loss, we have lost many beautiful people near and dear to us. Both close by and in this wonderful world of blogging.

    Take care and God bless. xoxoxoxo

  5. Beautiful post...sharing such deep, intense life events, yet still with such poise and grace. A beautiful reminder for me to always do the same.

    I LOVED this line...
    "I have learned to tilt life and events, and see it from as many angles as possible."

    You and I sound so much alike. I wrote something similar in my book I'm working on when my Grandmother died just two months after my sister-in-law had twins. I was going back and forth between visits to hospice and visits with my brand new niece and nephew. Like Nancy said above, the trick is to find the blessings in both. I think, though, that when we're going through a loss, it's hard, and the blessings don't always come into view 'til later.

    I'm new here, so I want to say I'm so deeply sorry for the loss of your beautiful daughter.

    Glad you are able to share the gifts from your journey here, even after such a devastating and tragic loss.

  6. Dear Rose Mary, I have cried so hard for your loss and pain and for your journey that I can no longer remember how I found your site in the first place or even what I was looking for. It wasn't grief related anyhow. Having said that, I lost my reason for living (or so I thought at the time)8 years ago when my husband passed away from cancer. I have rebuilt, grown strong, even remarried, laugh, enjoy life, have just recently become a survivor (hopefully) of malignant melanoma and cannot imagine losing one of my beautiful daughters. My former husband was quite simply the other half of me and because I remarried, people assumed I had "moved on", "gotten over it" and the rest you can imagine. I haven't "gotten over" anything, my grief is as sharp as ever; I have just learned ways to continue with life, and enjoy its many blessings. But as you said that piece will always be missing and for me I'll never feel quite whole - again, I know I too will always feel a little broken. I have a complex life and recently started my Blog. Its a tremendous help for me to share a little of my creative side and to get in touch with the humorous woman I once was and hope to be again. I'm glad I visited you. I will keep you in my prayers and thoughts.
    Fond wishes

  7. Thank you Rose and welcome!

    I am so sorry for your loss. It is amazing how we definitely know there is a distinct piece of us that will never be quite the same. We don't cover it up, we don't pretend it doesn't exist, but somehow, we are the stronger for it. There is a wholeness that we can't explain to another person, they just wouldn't understand, unless they have walked any given path of grief. This wholeness comes from having had that special person in our lives, for having had their love, their being, the very gift of who they were and still continue to be in our lives. Through it all, we find the strength to go on, and in the movement we gain more insight and personal strength. Life is a continual learning process, and if we are it's willing students, oh the wonderful things we can learn.

    Rose I too will keep you in my thoughts and prayers, and wish you only the best. xoxox Rose Mary