She Made A Living, Loving


This turn of phrase catches me off guard. “She made a living, loving”. I stuff my sopping Kleenex between my crossed thighs and forage in the depths of my purse for a pen. I’ve never felt compelled to take notes during a memorial service before.  I’ve also never heard anyone describe a vocation in that way before either. I want to remember it. I flip over my Order of Service bulletin and scribble that line on the bottom corner. By the time I’m done surreptitiously scrawling, there’s another to add;

“She saw the value in people before they saw it in themselves.”

Listening to this eulogy for a dear friends mother, I felt simultaneously uplifted, that a woman like that had existed, and yet deeply regretful, that I hadn’t known her better.

This celebration of life was among the most profound I’ve ever witnessed, (and let’s be honest, I’m of Irish Catholic decent, throwing a good funeral is our specialty)! It was the perfect combination of this world and the next, of angelic voices and hand cut wild flowers, of the enigmatic and the grounded. It was over 40 degrees in the church, the packed congregation was sticky with sweat and tears and yet, when it was over, not a soul moved, for fear of being the first to break the sacred experience.

While sitting in the company of death, I have been taught many lessons in how to live. Today was no exception. I witnessed a life that continues to make ripples even after it has ended. It was inspiring and made me want to do better. It made me want to be the kind of person who makes a living, loving. To be someone who sees the value in everyone before they see it in themselves. To leave a room positively and profoundly impacted, even after you’ve left the party yourself. May we all live lives worthy of such a send-off.

Much love.


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