When my mom died at the age of 92, it wasn't a particularly sad or tragic death. We knew it was coming. My wife and I had driven from Maine to Massachusetts several weeks earlier to see her one last time.
At one point, when my wife stepped out of the hospital room, my mother took both my hands and began to tell me how proud she was of the man I had become... as a husband, as a father, as a therapist, musician, and writer... she wanted me to know how proud she was.
With tears in my eyes, I looked straight back at her looking so frail in that hospital bed and said, "The best of ME... I got from YOU."
That was our goodbye. Most of us don’t get to say that to the people who deserve to hear it.
So, weeks later, when the news came that she had died, my first thought was how much of her lived on in me. She had been bright, creative, funny, romantic, enthusiastic, affectionate, and kind. She loved people. If you got her talking about certain subjects, her heart and brain kicked in and she could talk non-stop... just like me.
My last published book, at the time, was "My Life Cracks Me Up." At the insistence of my editor, it began with brief, humorous descriptions of each of my family members. At her wake, my brother asked visitors to come up to the front of the room and share their own personal reflections about our mom.
I went first (because I hate public speaking!) and read the short, funny piece about my mom from my book. It transformed the atmosphere of the room. Despite the fact that I was choked up reading it, people laughed... and laughed.
The remarkable thing was... when I finished, everyone took turns telling only funny stories about our mom. For the next 45 minutes, ours was the only room in the funeral parlor where people were howling with laughter!
My mom would have loved it!
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