Light is often a sign of hope.
As today, when we are in times of distress, we look to the light as a reminder that we are not alone in the struggle. While we may feel the darkness all around us, we begin to feel alone and closed in, we feel forgotten and disoriented, we become angry and fearful and in the end we are overcome with a feeling of hopelessness.
Our distress today is due to the death of our beloved Carmela – who’s life has affected a family of literally hundreds – she was a beloved sister, cousin, aunt, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother.
For those of us that remain, death strikes us with the shock of the absence of a loved one, and this shock leads us into darkness – and that darkness can seem endless.
We must remind ourselves that there is no death.
From a spiritual path, what we call death is merely a temporary halt as we pass from one life to another life. On a personal level, our loved ones continue to live in our memories and our hearts.
So, today, we need to remember to bring the light back and remove that darkness that saps our minds and our hearts.
It’s not easy to lose someone we love and care about, and going forward, we can only do so by living one day at a time. But, how do we do this in our time of sorrow?
With the little things.
It’s the little things that make up a year, and those years that make up a life. It’s a collection of all those little things that make up all the memories we collect.
I, for one, have an abundance of those, and, I know you all have them too.
It’s hard for me to reflect upon my grandmother’s life because I was part of it for a little less than half its span. A lot of ideas went through my head at a million miles an hour, few of them stuck with me.
Others may speak with more clarity about much of her life, but this much I know for sure, I will always have strong memories of her. Memories of a dignified and strong woman. Memories of a woman who didn’t shy from life’s challenges. Memories of a spirited, loving woman who understood that her happiness was connected to those around her. Memories of a woman who did not have an easy life, but made the best of what it had to offer. She was a woman who was not unfamiliar with tragedy, losing her own parents, 8 siblings and most of all her Husband and best friend. Yet, with every tragedy, she kept going with an uncompromising energy. But, most of all, memories of a fighter who stood and remained strong till the last moment.
I will always remember my grandmother, I will always cherish the moments we were able to share and the joy that was brought into my life through them. My hope is that those memories will remain as strong, stubborn and full of life as she was until we’ll see each other again.
Today, as we come together to remember the life of Carmela and the fragility of mortality, I urge you all to remember all those little things. Each memory is a candle flame in our hearts and minds that we can share with each other. The light of a single candle flame can stay the darkness, but the light of hundreds of candle flames can lighten the greatest of voids. So share the memories of the life of our beloved Carmela with those around you and allow the light to stay the darkness.
Her body may be gone, but she lives on in the deepest fibre of our being. It is enough for me to know that I knew what her house smelled like, the broadness of her smile, the light in her eyes, the sound of her laugh, the firmness of her voice, and the fact that she loves me and that I loved her unconditionally. Her life and blood and memory live on in us, her children and grandchildren and her great-grandchildren …
You are a ray of sunshine that has touched everyone’s lives. Take care and keep on shining. I will miss you very much.