Welcome to Following the Whispers blog

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit. Hope you enjoy your stay. I blog here whenever I feel the need. This blog was created at the time my memoir came out, in February, 2009. Its motto was: creating a life of inner peace and self-acceptance from the depths of despair. Now, my focus is sharing this journey we call life.

“Only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth, and that is not speaking it.” Naomi Wolf

“We are called human beings, not human doings.” Wes Nisker, Buddhist teacher

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs…(And) if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” Theodore Roosevelt

Monday, January 12, 2015

Monday Musings: Life and Death

Losing a close friend is hard. No way around that one. Even if they were 93. Your head understands they lived a long life and it was their time to go, but there is still a hole in your life where that friend lived. What's left are memories.

I went to pick up MA's ashes. Memories of having to get my mom's ashes back in 2001 surfaced. Mom was in a cardboard box in a shopping bag. The idea of my mother reduced to the contents of a shopping bag nearly felled me. Funeral homes should prepare you somehow for the reality of a human body becoming like sand.

Ma's remains rested beside me in the passenger seat, just as MA herself used to sit on our adventures together. I remembered her infectious giggle and us singing together and telling stories. It was hard to wrap my mind around the bizarreness of her now being in a box at my side.

I know there is a cycle of to life. We are born. We live. We die. My recent heart condition made me all too aware of the last part of the cycle. But of one thing I am sure. We are not to live our lives in fear of death. We are to live our lives with the knowledge that death will come; we don't know when. And what we do with our time is what matters.



Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

Such a good reminder that knowledge of death is there to spur us on to live. I'm so sorry about your friend, Karen.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

We need to focus on life and what we can do now.

That's sad they put your mother in a cardboard box in a bag. I'm glad I got to pick a nice urn for my mother's remains.

Karen Walker said...

Elizabeth, thank you so much.
Diane, we sure do!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Karen - I'm sure Ma will join with the earth and be happy that you were taking care of these last details. My mother had decided what we should do .. we did ... and I'm sure she's happy in her beloved Cornwall amongst the fuschia and wild garlic in the Churchyard. Take care - losing someone is not easy ... with thoughts - Hilary

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Sorry about your friend. We should all live more fully while we still can.

Arlee Bird said...

If we live with a focused fear of death then we are not actually living, but just idly sitting in a waiting room with nothing to do or read. What a waste that is! Our lives need to be infused by meaning that we ourselves create for it.

Tossing It Out

Chrys Fey said...

I'm sorry, Karen! This doesn't compare but last year I lost my cat that I had for nearly all my life. I put her ashes in the soil of a plant my sister sent me when she found out. Now I refer to those plants as Rosie's Plants.

You're in my thoughts!

Karen Walker said...

Hilary, that's so lovely.
Alex, thanks, yes, that's the lesson, I think
Lee, good image, sitting in a waiting room with nothing to do.
Chrys, it is the same, pets are family, too! Thanks

Sheila Siler said...

My condolences, may your wonderful memories be a comfort to you and a reminder that relationships matter.