Decisions. Love. Respect.


Decisions. Love. Respect.

cementerio-948048_640I am having a hard time with the decision to have no memorial service for Elly. I am tired, I can't begin to think of planning a service BUT!!! my heart aches for those who knew her and would love to have the opportunity to express their remembrances. Her hairdresser for 30 some years will get a personal lunch date with me next week. I have told one of her church pastors that I would gladly show up for a memorial if someone wanted to put together a little gathering. My own church has asked about a memorial, but I am thinking that maybe a little gathering during Sunday School for folks to come and talk about her. I am the oldest grandchild and remember the dear folks Elly visited -- her co-workers and church friends. We both went to Mennonite churches but different conferences. Elly made an impact in both congregations at different stages of her life. She came to my church when she could no longer be driven to her church. She adapted well.

Sometimes I feel grateful for the excuse that "she didn't want a service" but remember thinking that "of course we would, because she won't be there to tell us to stop!" It's what we always have done -- for Grandpa, for Elly's parents. I was always a part of the service as well as my children when they were old enough. So, breaking the tradition feels more like not respecting the love of the people with whom she poured so much time and love. People understand but there is still a sense of something "just not right."

Today, Friday was the graveside service which was very simple with family, about 20 of us -- children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews with spouses. I read the October 7th (the day she passed) reading from the book, Jesus Calling. This is what NurseySis suggested and I thought was brilliant. We sang "Blest Be the Tie that Binds." Jesus has been the one to hold our family together in love. Not all are followers of Jesus but those of us who are have helped be the glue to stay together. There are still hurts from the broken-ness of the past which have not been mended and now can't be in Elly's lifetime. We checked out the graves of Elly's parents and brother -- we had a hard time finding them -- but did! We went out for dinner, Elly's son treated us all to a nice dinner out. We had a great relaxing time together.

Time to rest up but not for very long. Dad has fallen again today at home. Hospice brought in a hospital bed so I took over some sheets in the little bit of time I had left this morning. It is looking like he has maybe weeks rather than months. My goal is to talk to him about what arrangements and service he wants. His wife isn't going to be in any shape to deal with any of that when it comes time. I've got the price sheet from the funeral home handy and so we will need to get to talking about it!!!

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I had the same thought as @janshiver -- you can plan the service when it's a good time to you. You can take time your time organizing and planning it because you have time. \r\n\r\nKeep us posted as you can.


I can certainly understand why you would be tired, as you care for your dad and carry the weight of that as well. How difficult it must feel to try to respect Elly's wishes for no service. Your respect for her wishes is amazing. In my case with my mother, she wanted a service but we couldn't get everyone together for it until 8 months passed after her death. It really helped me to close my emotional doors when we finally had the service. Maybe in time you will find a different way to reflect on her life and also find any unhealed places in yours. You know we support you here in whatever decision you make.


In times like these, people need closure, however, you've got a lot on your plate. Make sure everyone who asks gets enlisted in helping coordinate! I think the graveside service sounded lovely. I don't think Elly would mind too much if it was something simple and celebratory. She sounded like a wonderful, humble woman.


Gosh, that is a hard one. I had once said I don't want any service after my death and my kids said it's not about you, it's about the loved ones left behind. Having missed several relatives wakes and funerals because of distance, I, at times, would forget which aunts and uncles had died. (I had many.) Maybe her friends or church will do something... I'm sure Elly would understand if friends need to come together. Whatever decision you make or works itself out over time... it will be Ok... you have so much on your shoulders right now during such a sad and stressful time.\r\n\r\nAnd Ditto on what Kathy said.


Hi there, \r\nthis was beautiful. I loved reading about how you celebrated her life and followed the path to find her families graves. That was touching and very warm. I am sorry you are struggling with the decision of not having a memorial service. That's a tough decision to make, and to keep. It's no wonder that you are questioning it. If I can offer a suggestion, I would say to listen to your heart. And, if I can also add that I did the same when my mom passed. I knew if I had a service my dad, who was going thru chemo, would have crumbled and never been able to continue with his treatment but it wasn't an easy decision to live with. I can say now that it was a good one though. Trust that you are making the right choices. \r\nI hope that your conversation with your father goes well. You are in my thoughts while you talk. xo