Friday, May 8, 2009

Saying Goodbye

This is a portion of the eulogy I read at the funeral today:

Life is unpredictable.  In one of my favorite poems, Dover Beach by Matthew Arnold, to paraphrase one line from the poem, the world has no certainty; life has no certainty.  We can't know for certain how long we have to live in this world.

Because I was always very close to my mother, trying to write something in her memory was particularly challenging for me.  But writing about the sad things that happen in life is my way of making sense of them and coming to terms with them.  Recently, I was trying to write a song for Mom to convey some of my feelings.  One part of it goes like this:  "I always thought that you would live forever, you could never die, But life's a fine thin line that time can sever, And now you're gone in the blink of an eye."

And that's how I've come to think of it.  After her stroke and various ailments, Mom finally let go of this thin thread we call life and moved on to a different place.  I think it's a better place and a very peaceful one.  I'm sure we all want Mom to be at peace.  I also think of her as finally getting the chance to be reunited with Dad, joining hands with him in heaven.

(omitting much of the tribute)

The ending:

There are no certainties in life, there are only people who can try to make the life they're living good and funny and interesting and meaningful to the ones they leave behind.  Mom has touched all of our lives in very different ways and has left us with so many happy and special memories.  Whether it was something she said or something she did, it will stay with us forever.  We have photographs and memories to keep Mom forever close to us.  

And we also have each other.

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