Yesterday, I had the honor of conducting a Celebration of Life service for Diane, a woman who certainly said “YES!” to both of those questions.
I, personally, did not know Diane. I met her youngest sister years ago, when we were both involved in spiritual study and ministerial training. After the training, our paths did not cross for many years until recently, when we became Facebook friends and exchanged the occasional “hello.”
When Diane passed unexpectedly earlier this month, her sister contacted me and asked me to perform the service. I said I would, and we made arrangements to meet and talk about Diane so that I could prepare a service that would honor her as well as offer some measure of comfort to her family and dear friends.
Diane’s three sisters wrote down many of their memories, which I shared at the service. They had also found some of Diane’s own writings, and gave me copies so that I would better know their sister. She was a gifted writer, with “a delight in composing a well-turned phrase.” (Her own words, and so very true.)
Diane loved to read and learn new things. She pondered the wonders of the universe and truly felt that one day she would find answers. A seeker of truth, she explored many ideas including astrology, biorhythms, hypnotherapy and energy healing – she was open to any path that might yield answers to her many questions.
She was a peacemaker. She got along with everyone, and could talk to anyone and find the good in them. She truly loved to communicate with people. And she truly knew what was important in life. Diane valued relationships with family and friends over things.
There were many speakers during her service: Her son, her brothers-in-law, dear friends, even her former husband. All spoke of her bright, loving and joyful spirit; all acknowledged the deep loss they felt at her passing.
Among other things, Diane was an avid gardener and baskets with packets of seeds – vegetables, herbs and flowers – were passed during the service, so that those in attendance could take a packet and plant the seeds in memory of Diane.
It was a beautiful service, filled with music and memories and overflowing with love. Diane truly “lived well and loved wastefully.”
Had I known her, I would have counted Diane as one of my friends; we have many things in common, and I’m sure we would have been kindred spirits.
However, I think my “agreement” with her – this lifetime — was to conduct her Celebration of Life service. I am grateful to have done so.
Diane, I’m certain you now know the answers to your many, many questions, and you are waiting with delight to share them with the rest of us.
I would say “Rest in Peace,” but I don’t think “rest” is what you’d enjoy. So keep learning, and loving, and shining brightly for those who follow you in your footsteps.
And Thank You for living well, and loving wastefully.
Namaste, with love.