We buried my mother on Friday. Unfortunately, each of us will encounter some form of death at some time. I hope that our family’s experience, losing two parents, can help others to deal with death positively. I’d like to share three lessons I’ve learnt this week. I hope they are helpful.
- Death can be difficult, or it can be easy, you choose.
Death can be one of the most difficult things we face in life, a loved one leaving us. We may not understand how, Ma was at my house days ago. We may not understand why, she was not sick. We may struggle with the timing, Ma passed before I could get to her side. However, you can do nothing about those things, all you can do anything is about your reaction. I will miss my mother immensely, the only person I talk to more than my mother is my wife. However, I know that she would not like to see me unhappy. I can choose the easy option by focusing on the memories and not the loss. I cannot think about my mother and not smile. When I focus on the memories, other people see my smile and I’d like to think that it changes the way they grieve. Focusing on the immortal memories, and not the loss doesn’t just change my feelings, but it affects others.
- Death is unfortunate, but it is an opportunity.
The huge opportunity for me, was the opportunity for my daughters to experience the loss of someone close to them. Fortunately, my mom had explained death to them and they explained it to me. However, the biggest opportunity was to connect with and spend time with my family. This loss of life reminded us that we have a familial support system. This was an opportunity to get together and thank God as a family, eat good food as a family, to laugh and share old memories. We met people that were impacted by my mother’s life, her childhood friends, and family we had not met before. We share stories, we talked, we laughed, all over good food. I need to go work out. Please do not miss the opportunity to connect with family and friends.
- My mother impacted thousands of people.
10 years after I left England, I would call my mom, and my friends would be hanging out with my mom. The outpouring of love when she passed away was tremendous. My mom loved and genuinely invested in people. The messages, donations and support we received was nothing short of amazing. We are learning of ways that my mom, Pennie Holder impacted people’s lives, that were unknown to us before. She genuinely cared about people. She wasn’t a limelight seeker, the majority of her impact as made on a personal level. In a few days we will be inviting you to share your memories of Pastor Richard and Pennie Holder. If you were not fortunate enough to meet my mom and dad in person we will introduce you with our reflections. But you are alive now. What impact are you making on your world? Be intentional about your impact. How will people remember you?
When life gives you lemons, you can make lemonade, or you could grow a lemon tree, sell lemons, lemonade, lemon meringue pie, and live in a lemon world. When we learn to grow from every experience that life throws our way, when we grow despite the circumstance, we become invincible!