Take any one day and it is a series of moments, recently mine consisted of a funeral, a birthday and fireworks. If that doesn’t elicit a series of emotions, I don’t know what does.
Death is rarely convenient and in this past week, a friend’s older brother passed away. Granted, it was expected, life support having been removed the week before. The date to mark his passing, July 1st, Canada’s birthday. A nation celebrates and a family grieves.
Funerals are stories within lives
As someone who didn’t know the deceased, my presence served as support to a friend. His large and broken family was attempting to find its way through the death of the eldest brother. Unlike Hollywood, with its formulaic renderings of hurts felt and healed, this was real life. A family of sixteen children, now adults, continuing the journey of difficult relationships and emotions. Death didn’t resolve them, it just added more moments of opportunity to come together or to choose to stand alone. Moments all of us are given.
I listened as a daughter spoke about the man who had been brother, husband, father and grandfather. Attempting to capture the spirit of her dad and the moments that spoke to them as a family, she did an admirable job. For anyone tasked with this, you understand the particular challenge of pulling together the threads of a life. Of presenting someone as is, both respectfully and realistically. As an outsider, it is interesting to get a glimpse of a stranger’s life and the moments and sentiments deemed worthy of sharing.
National holidays are stories within traditions
Since the day was also a national holiday, the celebratory atmosphere could not be missed. Flags waving, signs posted and people in their summer wear, enjoying a day off work and a chance to celebrate. Canadians are not especially known for outwardly expressing patriotism, but this is a day that encourages us to wear our colours and come together as communities. Like any tradition, it too comes as a series of experiences and stories that mark the memory and become the moments we refer to later in time.
Finally, fireworks. Friends, family and strangers gathered under the night sky to take in a light show. Special, spectacular and a spectrum of colour and sound. Collective oohs and ahs, children clapping, fingers pointed and a general spirit of shared enjoyment. An event to mark the end of a day of moments.
Your life is a story made of moments
Moments are all that any of us have. Right here, right now and how we choose to live them. In the current lingo, it is about mindfulness, of living in the present. July first I was touched by the moments of a family, of a community and of a nation. My hope is that as I move forward, I will continue to choose to create moments worth living and ultimately worth telling. I have heard this referred to as eulogy living rather than resume living. However you look at it, the who, how and what of your life are the moments you choose to keep and the ones that will ultimately define you.
I would love to hear the moments that are of importance to you, either those of the past, or the ones you are looking to create.