It seems that I am reaching that age in my life where funerals are happening more frequently than they used too.
Yesterday I attended the funeral for the mother of an old friend – like grade school old.
Someone I don’t see very often – our conversations happen mostly through social media, an occasional like on Facebook, a birthday wish, a wave, a wink.
I heard earlier this week that her mother had passed away after a lengthy illness. The funeral would be in Toronto.
The turnout was good, young and old came to mourn her passing and pay their respect to the family.
The priest spoke about the importance of sharing and telling stories, passing them between families, friends, sometimes and strangers until thy take on a life of their own. He urged all to share our stories, our history, creating living memories.
My friend got up and spoke (she did a fabulous job) and shared story after story about the time her mom, the Ballet and Symphony they went to, their time at the library, their epic road trips and on and on…
After the service was over, over tea and sandwiches, a group of us came together and reminisced about days together, telling stories – mostly about happened 20 years ago, a little of what has happened since.
There were some tears, but mostly laughter and a promise that we would get together again soon – hopefully under different circumstances.
On the drive to home, I remembered how my parents would tell me stories about when they were young.
- My mother, growing up in the North of France during the war, working as an Au Pair in York England, emigrating to Canada in 1957, alone and lonely…
- My father, raised in Westmount in Montreal, sent to Boarding School, exceling as an Athlete, always a little restless…
And then I thought about all the stories of my life
- The time I stepped on a fire at camp – on a dare and burned my foot
- The time my dog Alfie snuck under the fence and was mauled by the neighbour’s dog
- Travelling through Europe and the Middle East alone
- Volunteering in Kenya
- Training to be a yoga teacher
- Becoming a Mom
There are so many, but they mean nothing if I keep them to myself, they reveal who was, who I am and influence who I will become.
Maybe I am just feeling a little nostalgic this Mother’s day weekend.
Attending a funeral the same week that your son turns 21 can have that affect.
I believe I have a responsibility to share my history with my family, through storytelling. I am contributing to their story, to the building of their history and the history of generations to come.
I have been stingy. I have been holding back,
So now what? Why do I do with this new awareness and insight?
Another task of To Do List?
- Eat healthy
- Tell a story
That will never happen!
Maybe it is enough to have experienced the impact of a story shared, and to do the same, and be in creating new memories and stories. Stories that will shared in the years to come and remembered fondly.