Perfect Moment Monday: In Memoriam

by Kathy on January 23, 2012 · 11 comments

in Family, Inspiration, Loss, Peace, Perfect Moments, Writing

It’s the fourth Monday of the month which means its time to share our Perfect Moments from January with Lori from Write Mind Open Heart.

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Last month one of my cousins died. We were close in age. Sadly, I never got to meet her in person. But in many ways I have been mourning the idea of her, a woman that I continue to learn more about who seemed to have an incredibly kind spirit and zest for life.

I’ve read many obituaries in my 36 years. I find them to be fascinating and often very touching to read about a deceased person’s life and legacy. One of my cousin’s siblings sent me her obituary last week. I love the way it was written.

So often obituaries will end with one or more places that the surviving family members suggest you make a donation, if you choose, in their loved one’s honor and memory. However, in this case my cousin’s immediate family asked readers and loved ones to do something different to honor her life and memory.

The very last line of my cousin’s obituary reads as follows (I wasn’t expecting it to end this way and was moved to tears):

“In her memory, and by her example, her family asks simply that you endeavor to put a smile on a stranger’s face with a small act of kindness.”

Isn’t that just incredible? What an awesome thing to write in an obituary and definitely a perfect moment for me to recognize what a beautiful thing my cousin’s parents and siblings are encouraging others to do in memoriam of their daughter/sister.

I am sorry that I never got to meet you dear cousin. I am sorry that I will never get to see your beautiful smile in person. I wish things were different and that you didn’t have to leave this world so soon. I am grateful that, if nothing else, your death has given me the chance to connect with and get to know more of my cousins (including some of your siblings) better than I likely otherwise ever would have. That doesn’t mean I don’t wish you were still alive. I count some of these new bonds and relationships in my life/our extended family to be another part of your legacy and I thank you. I promise to try to put smiles on the faces of strangers (and loved ones) with small acts of kindness whenever possible. I will think of you often when I do so. I hope that I will get too see you and know you better in the afterlife someday. May you rest in peace.

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Lori from Write Mind Open Heart says that “Perfect Moment Monday is about noticing a perfect moment rather than creating one. Perfect moments can be momentous or ordinary or somewhere in between.” I love the idea of being mindful of and blogging about perfect moments. Over the years I have often used my blog more to write about things I am struggling with and though I know that is valid and important for me at times, I appreciate the idea of being intentional about also sharing the simple and very special moments in our lives. Many thanks to Lori for this wonderful opportunity to focus on what is right in our life, instead of what is wrong. 

Click here to read about and comment on more Perfect Moments (there are links to others’ posts at the bottom of Lori’s blog entry) and/or add a link to one of your own.

Thank you for reading. I hope that you have a wonderful week and that you are aware of, as well as able to notice, many perfect moments in your own lives.

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Robin Phillips January 23, 2012 at 9:50 am

Oh how sweet. I'm so sorry for your loss and, even though you never met your cousin, it is a loss. I've always thought of cousins as special siblings. And from your cousin I will definitely take away this goal:

"In her memory, and by her example, her family asks simply that you endeavor to put a smile on a stranger’s face with a small act of kindness."

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2 Lavender Luz January 23, 2012 at 1:59 pm

I always love it when people can find a perfect moment during a time a mourning. It shows a heightened level of mindfulness.

And what better way to honor a person than by spurring others to spread kindness?

This says a lot about your family, Kathy. And knowing you, I'm not surprised at all.

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3 Kathy January 23, 2012 at 3:17 pm

Thank you Robin. I appreciate your thoughts and kind words. I am glad you took that goal away from reading this post about my cousin.

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4 Kathy January 23, 2012 at 3:20 pm

I appreciate your perspective and I agree. Thank you Lori.

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5 HereWeGoAJen January 23, 2012 at 3:46 pm

That is a lovely sentiment, instead of asking for donations. I'm sorry for your family's loss.

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6 Kathy January 23, 2012 at 3:51 pm

Thank you Jen and I agree.

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7 Bloggers for Hope January 23, 2012 at 7:20 pm

Here from ICLW…

What a beautiful thing to put in your cousin's obituary. Very inspiring and shows what type of person other's saw her.

(Courtney from B4H)

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8 Kathy January 23, 2012 at 7:34 pm

Thank you Courtney. So true.

Thanks also for visiting via ICLW from B4H. I read and commented on Ike's post today there and think its awesome that he will be writing about/from the male perspective of infertility for your site.

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9 MM January 25, 2012 at 3:35 pm

Here from ICLW. I am so sorry for your loss. That line was absolutely beautiful. I wish more people would make it a point to connect to others in positive ways. Hoping for peace for you.
MM

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10 Tina January 26, 2012 at 9:45 am

I am so sorry for your loss. I read your about me section and watched your beautiful tribute to your beautiful daughter. Thank you for sharing your pain and joy with the world.

Happy ICLW!
#49

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11 loribeth January 30, 2012 at 6:40 pm

I love the idea of an act of kindness, but I love your message to your cousin even more, Kathy.

My mother’s cousin’s son, the same age as me, died suddenly 10 years ago at the too-young age of 41. I only ever met him once, but he & I had corresponded over the years on genealogical stuff, & he wrote me a couple of very memorable letters (which I still have) while stationed in Saudi Arabia during Operation Desert Storm. It was quite a reminder that life is short & how quickly things can change — so we’d better appreciate what we have & the people around us while we can.

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