This weekend I attended a memorial service for a woman who led a good life by any measure. She lived for 73 years, was married for 53 years and had two children and six grandchildren. She had worked outside the home, volunteered in her community, felt love, sorrow and traveled some.
She exhibited ambition, determination and pluck as a 12-year-old when she ran away from a terrible home environment. She was born with sight in only one eye but had no trouble seeing the character of people as a social worker in a tough part of town in the 1960s. She loved a good political debate and waged many of her own fights for causes she cared about. She lived long enough to experience the joys, successes, heartbreaks and regrets of a full life.
While she was not known outside her immediate circle of friends, family and colleagues, she was appreciated by those who did know her. She was eulogized by one friend as “brave, elegant, unique and never afraid to be true to herself. She was so brilliant and quietly giving. She never sang her own praises, but what a strong, singular, beautiful human being she was.” She was described by many of her long time friends as cool and courageous.
Most of us usually leave a funeral feeling we know the person better after listening to stories told through the multiple prisms of peers. We feel either better or remorseful that we didn’t have a full appreciation of the person until they died.
Please click here to read the rest of this blog at PermissionSlips, a blog written in collaboration with friend and fellow Mercer Islander , and find out how a memorial service can inspire us in unexpected ways.