Silence. There is absolutely nothing but silence. Around the casket people are wiping their tears, holding hands with each other, moving in a line to say the final goodbye to her.
Lying there with fresh flowers all around, she looks so beautiful and peaceful. Her family said that she did not suffer at all in the end. She fulfilled all her life dreams and passed away softly.
A little boy steps on the stage with a piece of paper in one hand and his mother’s hand in another. He stops at the center of the stage in front of a microphone, turns around and looks up at his mother. His mother smiles and nods at him, encouraging him to start. Slowly opening up the paper he says,
“Hi Grandma! If you are listening, I want you to know that I have drawn a picture for you.
Here is me (he points at a little person in the picture who is sitting in the bed);
And this is you (his finger moves to another figure that is sitting right next to the bed.)
Grandma, you tell so many good stories. But you must be tired now. I want you to rest and listen to my stories now. I have so many friends in school and I really like my painting class.
He rolls the drawing up and continues,
Grandma, I miss you. But don’t be sad. I will tell you stories anytime you want to go to sleep, just like what you always did for me.”
The mother bends down, gives the boy a big hug, and kisses him on the forehead. She gently rises up, wipes her tears, and says,
“My mom was an incredible woman. She was a caring and considerate daughter, a loving and devoted wife, a compassionate and understanding friend, an inspiring and respected leader, an admirer of this beautiful world, and a curious, vibrant, and humble soul… but above all to me, she was the greatest mother ever.
She stops, takes a deep breath, and continues,
She transformed the lives of almost everyone that came into her life. That’s why we are here today to remind ourselves of her impact on all of us. As a mother, she was wise, loving, caring, and always ready to listen and guide.”
She takes out the microphone from the stand and passes it on to an old man behind her who started saying,
“Ever since I met her, I knew I would be spending my whole life with her. We traveled around the world together. Saw and experienced everything together. Got ourselves lost and found again, together; figuratively and literally.
(And the old man winks, making everyone laugh.)
I am so happy that I’ve got to spend my life with her. There is no regret. We lived our lives to the fullest, and I know that she would agree too.”
With a big smile on his face, the old man passes the microphone to a mid-aged man.
“I wouldn’t be who I am today if it was not for her mentorship. She believed in me. She saw in me what I did not see in myself. She once told me that ‘Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right’. I thought that was so deep until I later found out that this quote was actually from Henry Ford…
He laughs with a shimmer in his eyes and continues,
She brought the best out of me and helped me in my darkest moments. And if there is anything I can do to pay her back, that would be to spread this love and inspiration to others just like the way she did to me.”
The microphone is passed on and on and the stories about her go on and on. Yes, there is sadness in the air, but more than that is the shared laughter, cheers, and joy.
“Hey! We should all be celebrating right now! That’s what she would want us to do!” A voice suddenly bursts out from the crowd.
“That’s right!” Somebody else shouts out loud. “If we really understand her and respect her, we should be singing and dancing altogether – for the happiness, love, and light she brought to all of us!”
Someone starts playing “The Piña Colada Song” by Rupert Holmes and one by one, everybody stands up and starts to move with the music. Within minutes, people are dancing with each other, hugging each other, and turning her funeral into a big celebration of her life…
And I am just watching.
Quietly watching the whole time.
I want to touch this group of amazing people that I love dearly but I can’t. I want to kiss them, hug them, and tell them that I love them so much but I can’t. But I’m not sad because I know in my lifetime, I did all that.
On my 27th birthday, I am imagining the day I die. I am contemplating how I want to be remembered. I am reflecting on my life with the end in mind. This is what I will be striving for – a happy, valuable, and inspiring life.