Death is a natural part of life, but it is very hard on family and friends when someone dies too young. My cousin Darlene who was forty-seven, lost her battle with cancer recently, and we celebrated her life at a Memorial Service Thursday morning. It was beautiful, and I hope it brought a small amount of comfort to those closest to her. Relatives told stories about her life with humor and love.
The night before the service, my step mom June shared a story about one of her sisters who had passed away a few years ago. Anne lived into her nineties, and she told her grown daughters that she would always be with them, like "a fly on the wall". Several times since her death, when the women got together, there seemed to be a fly hovering around. It was uncanny, and the girls believe that it is a sign from their mom.
June recently felt it too, as a fly landed on her arm while she was thinking about all our relatives who have died in the past few years. My folks are coming up to New Hampshire for a graduation, and then again in September for a wedding. During one of the visits, family will get together to scatter the ashes of June's daughter Marianne, who died July 2012.
I was more than a little surprised when I saw a fly land on Darlene's mom's head during Thursday's service.
It brought a smile to my lips, and I will definitely relay the story to my cousin. Parents are not supposed to outlive their children, and I cannot believe how difficult this must have been for her mother.
The last time something like this happened was about twenty years ago, when a bird was inside the church during my uncle's funeral mass. His daughters were sure it was their dad saying good-bye to them.
I believe that all of these examples may be signs from heaven, and I think it is a comfort to anyone who believes. I had a friend who died in hospice care in February 2009. While I sat with my friend, a cardinal slammed into the window of her room and fell to the ground. When I looked back at my friend to tell her what just happened, she was gone. Every time I see a cardinal, I say a quick prayer for her. I believe that it is more than a little unusual that a cardinal would be flying around New Hampshire during the winter. Now, when I see a fly, I won't swat it away until I say a quick prayer for my cousin, and June's daughter and sister.
This week, please remember that life is short, and try and enjoy every day. I can offer up my busy work days in memory of those who left this world too early, and I will concentrate on all the positive things in my life....and the beat goes on....the beat goes on.....