(I wanted to post what I said at her memorial service as a tribute to my mum, who died peacefully, in her sleep. Just as it should be.)
The church is full of stories this morning. Jean generated stories.
Over the past few days, so many people
have been coming up to us to say, lovingly, how sorry they are and how sudden
it has been and then, they’d tell a story about when they met Jean first or
spoke with her last and there she would be – herself – vivid and relentless and
indomitable - and laughing. All those
people and all of us here – we all share so many stories and in so many of
them, she is laughing.
She had pain and disability and growing
dementia, and sometimes she was anxious, and sometimes she was sad, but she did
not choose to embrace those things. She
did not choose to let them define her.
They say you carry your parents on your
shoulders your whole life. Certainly, I
know that every time I don’t scrape out a jar carefully enough, I am aware of
my mum. But that isn’t really her
She left us an inheritance – an
expectation – a call to be vivid, to take delight and indignation in both
hands – to choose not to be pale or cautious or mealy-mouthed, but to get right
up in the face of power and speak truth to it till its pips squeak. To notice the sky. To cultivate the fine art of silliness. To live vividly. To leave, as she did, definite footprints on