Rituals of Remembrance 3

“Rituals are cairns marking the path behind us and ahead of us. Without them we lose our way.”  Robert Fulghum

How do we keep a seat at the banquet table of our lives for those no longer living? What rituals connect us to the great cycle of life and death? How do we kindle the sparks of remembrance in an amnesiac culture? In this installation of stories from my Celebrancy blog, three illustrations of the happy fact that it’s never too late to remember well.

8321973Never Too Late ~ When her mother died 19 years ago, the funeral, “was like a bad Seinfeld episode,” Kathy says. “It provided me with a good story to tell at parties but not much else.” Elizabeth Marie Hollway Halverson had died rather abruptly when Kathy, her youngest daughter, was across the country on a business trip. “She was just gone,” Kathy remembers – there was no opportunity to say goodbye. Read more…

A Wedding Remembrance ~ When Stephanie imagined her wedding to Jay, she knew she wanted to include her father Ron, who passed away when she was 23. “I don’t know the exact words,” she told me, “but I feel that he would have loved Jay and would be very happy for me right now.  I want to convey that.”  Read more…

A Quilt Comes Home ~ “B. George: A Portrait of My Father,” is a life-sized quilt Becky created nearly 25 years ago…. Becky’s mother “didn’t do funerals”. So creating this tribute quilt provided Becky with some sense of closure. The shirt is one of B. George’s own, a wild striped affair of stylized animal heads. The books feature titles her dad had treasured. A real garden glove keeps his flowers perpetually tended. Read more…


2 Comments on “Rituals of Remembrance 3

  1. Thanks for highlighting this essay, Holly. It’s almost my mom’s birthday, and I still have that fountain that the birds still love. Thank you, too, for helping me with the memorial.

    • Thanks for inspiring so many with your thoughtful tending of your mom’s memory, Kathy. So glad you and the birds are still enjoying the fountain. Holly

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