As sad as the loss of a family member can be, there can also be beautiful and amazing moments.
Each of my 3 kids stood up at the podium taking their turn to remember their dad. They talked about how much they loved and admired him and at the same time how they had their struggles with him.
As their mom, watching as each one spoke, I was in awe of their honesty, their transparency, and their eloquence. Each unique and beautiful.
A number of people also spoke about Jeff, celebrating many memories of him.
It turned out that I was the last one to take the mic to speak.
When I felt the mic in my hands, I also felt my heart begin pounding. I knew I needed time to connect more deeply with myself before I spoke to be clear and intentional about what I wanted to say. Not rushing myself.
So I began to breathe slowly. Later my kids told me that I sounded like Darth Vader breathing into the mic … just so you get the complete picture. I just kept breathing and taking my time until I was ready to speak. I told a little story about Jeff and his magnificent cheesecake-making abilities and our vulnerable talks over polishing off the cheesecake remains.
I am so celebrating taking the time, giving myself the space to speak from my heart, knowing that at another time in my life I would have felt pressure to not keep others waiting. So much gratitude for this simple kindness I gave myself …
I finished by acknowledging the photo at the front of the room of Jeff and our children. I told everyone that they could see Jeff’s essence, his spirit, in that picture of him with our precious kids, set in a beautiful local area, one of his favorites …
Good-bye to you, Jeff. You will be missed.