A few months ago, I was thinking about the end of May. Because at the end of May is when my mom would have been 100 years-old. I found myself reflecting on her life and the loving, joyful effect she had on those around her. During this time, I wanted to gather with others, online, to remember her. To both hear and tell the stories of her life. The thought of that gathering made me very happy. And happiness is something that has evaded me for a long while, now.
You see, after her death, I was devastated, exhausted, and traumatized. Celebrating her life at that time, and the energy to create such a celebration, was not possible for me. While the scars of trauma may never fully disappear in the brain, we can slowly plant flowers around those scars and grow new connections of love. Without our even knowing, flowers sometimes appear. There are even flowers found in the stories of those we cherish and love.
And how my mom and I loved stories. There was a period of time in the evenings when she would sit in a chair and read to me from a book. How calming it was to hear her voice. I am well aware of the impact stories can have on our sense of connection, our well-being and peace.
Stories are everywhere and vital for our lives. Stories filled with laughter and tears remind us that our emotions are so intricately connected. My appreciation for stories is further tied to knowing how stories provide us a sense of belonging and purpose. They can even enhance our physical health. So, what if it is five years later since my mom passed from this Earth, I still want to create this celebration: A Celebration of Love. The love being in the form my mom took while on Earth, the love that lived in her that still lives on. Due to my busy schedule, and some gentle discouragement, I set the idea side. But one day, I hope to gather with others and share the stories of laughter and love. Maybe there is someone or something in your life that you would love to secretly or openly celebrate? I have even heard of someone celebrating a loved one ten years after they passed from Earth. I applaud that and it makes my heart smile for them.
Coincidentally, I recently learned about Celebration Day. Did you know that Celebration Day is on May 28th? I never heard of it. It’s a day dedicated to honoring our lost loved ones. In truth, every day is an opportunity to celebrate and remember those we hold dear. We don’t necessarily “move on” and we certainly don’t ever forget. We move forward in life in some supposed linearity, and yet there is an ever-presence of past and present and future where we think of those we love often. It is this sacred connection I celebrate. Remembering, honoring, missing, loving with laughter, smiles, and with tears. And so, every day is a day to celebrate love.
Elizabeth Welles 2023