Mom's memorial... For the past year or so, mom was actively engaged in making sure that her worldly possessions would go to people who cherished them (for either material or sentimental reasons) or who needed them. For example, her paintings will be distributed amongst family members as a remembrance of her. A table made of holly tree wood will be in my sister's house, beautiful on its own and a remembrance of her. Her car has been donated to a (very appreciative!) veteran. Scott will have a favorite stuffed armchair. Debbie and I will have some cut glass and glass paperweights. There were far too many of these arrangements to list here, but they are all of the same spirit. Settling the disposition of her possessions brought her much joy and satisfaction.
Some of her possessions were left undesignated, though – especially things that were very recently acquired. We're distributing them in the same spirit that she would have. For instance, she owed an electric reclining chair for her room in Williamsburg, and the bishop of our local LDS ward is helping us find someone who could really make good use of that. A beautiful bouquet and vase that was in her nursing home room has been given to a patient there, someone all alone in the world and in need of some cheer. Her glasses will be donated to an organization that sends them to Africa.
These gifts, collectively, are a kind of memorial for mom. They epitomize her generosity and kindness. She wanted her passing to bring some light to others ... and it already has.
Mom left us very simple, explicit instructions about services and ceremonies after she died: there shall be none. She didn't want us to mourn (sorry, mom), and didn't want us to hold any sort of service or ceremony at all (we're honoring this). She wanted to be cremated, and at a time of our choosing when the immediate family and some close friends could get together alongside Long Pond just north of Lincoln, Maine, have her ashes scattered over the pond. We're going to do that as well. It may take a while to organize that gathering, but we will do it...
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