Today was one of those life lessn days.
Since I have performed weddings I guess it automatically okays me to also officiate memorial services.
That student who died last week, Christina Edwards, has such a great mom. She was an only child of a single mom. They were best friends. She had never even kissed a boy at the age of 19. She died while talking to her mom on the phone the night before Thanksgiving. The phone just went dead. No aneurysm, nmo heart attack. Just poof, gone.. Toxicology results take over 2 months so no one has any answers. She was a double major (english and psych) w/ a 4.0 and went to school at Lake Mary down the road. When the phone went dead, the mom rushed to her Lake Claire apartment. The roommate let her in and they found her dead in her room w/ the phone next to her hand.
So today I threw a memorial service. You learn so many life lessons at these things- I hope lessons that none of you will ever have to learn. It was at 4pm. I was expecting about 15 people. Nothing ever goes expected (lesson #1!). The family (mom, very frail grandparents, aunts, cousins, etc) all showed up at 3. Ouch. What to do w/ mourners for an hour?!?! We also had parking services work with us and reserved a row of parking spots (they were really great about this). So I chatted w/ the faily, roommates and HS friends for an hour.
So guess how many of the 15 I expected showed?
Oh how about EIGHTY!
As if I werent nervous enough! Oh wait- that would be too easy. Then the school news crew shows up and is filming me. No pressure.
It went very well and was a lovely event.
We had a big picture of her blown up and framed and put on the easel. Housing brought food, others brought roses, the weather was cool, the garden was cleaned just for this event.
Eighty some people though- holy cow. There would have been more but people were at final exams and a chorus trip.
I got a lot of ideas on what to say surprisingly from the only eulogy that I recalled (Princess Diana's). Odd the things that stick with us isnt it?
The last one of these I was at I put it together but I didnt officiate it b/c I was too wrecked (I knew the student really well and saw him 4 out of 5 days a week every week). So I was glad to do this one b/c I had already experienced it and knew what to expect and what to say.
The weekend before Thanksgiving the mom and Christina put the x-mas tree up and were going to put the decorations up this weekend.
I would say the hardest part at this memorial were the grandma tears. The grandma is in a wheelchair, very frail, and busted out a super short, straight to the point speech. How heart breaking is that.
Just such a sad thing for the holidays.
Really puts things into perspective.