May has been a month of ceremony and community.  I have been deeply touched to be in person again, to share our deepest joys and sorrows.

After over a year of online or smaller in-person ceremonies; I am grateful to be creating ceremonies in public spaces again.Some clients, who’s loved one died earlier this year have waited until the restrictions have loosened up and are now gathering in person as well as live-streaming the ceremony via ZOOM; oftentimes enlisting a videographer to film the ceremony for those who were unable to attend.   And it’s a great keepsake as well!

It’s no small thing to gather in person to share space after over a year of so much uncertainty, restrictions and loss. The physical comfort and support by human touch and time together is part of the medicine we need for these times and especially in times of grief.

Earlier this May we gathered together to honor a daughter, spouse, mother, colleague and friend who died of cancer six months ago at age 55.

I was called in last spring to meet with Lisa and her husband Scott about her wishes to have a home vigil as well as a memorial service.   It was in those backyard visits during the protests and uprising where we planned and prepared for how she would like to be cared for and honored after she died.

Now, a year latter, six months after her death, we celebrated and honored her life.

The ceremony opened up with Pink Moon by Nick Drake, played elegantly by a keyboardist, cellist, and guitarist.  It was the first time I heard live music in over a year and it was a balm to my heart.

People exchanged hugs, handshakes, and smiles as many had not shared the same space with so many people in over a year.

It was a beautiful weaving of stories shared by friends that were wrapped in sincerity, love, and humor.  There were both tears and laughter.  Grief was present and so was gratitude.

It’s a gift to be invited into these spaces as they remind me how precious life is and even in times of deep sorrow there is so much beauty. I have been deeply touched to be in person again, to share our deepest joys and sorrows.

Photo credit to Gary Binger of Hold Tight Video who specializes in creating one of a kind videos for memorials, milestones, and modern memoirs.

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