How goes?? I suggest one grabs a glass of wine or a beer for this is going to be a long update.
Well, if we could ask Morgan how her Celebration of Life went, I think Morgan would say that it was a huge, wonderful event! I must agree. Thank you to everyone who participated....because of the low profile I was trying to maintain (it didn't work too well), I didn't look around a lot....but I'm told there were well over 500 people. Amazing. I hope you all got a ribbon.....a wonderful group of friends ended up making 600 purple ribbon pins for everyone that night. I know I didn't get a chance to see all of you who attended...but I definitely felt your support. I don't think I could have gotten through it without you!
Sarah put together an amazing service and managed to speak eloquently during it - it was a night fit for the remembrance of a princess. There we so many organizations involved - the Town House staff who got the room ready, friends and family who made the room so beautifully pink and purple with flowers and pictures everywhere. The Brownies helped with the paper products, my book group with the drinks and the PTO with orchestrating the baking of TONS of cupcakes, cakes and angel cookies! Suzanne sang another AMAZING song, Borrowed Angels (and made the pamphlet), my sister and a couple friends did some readings and we were even graced with some singing by many of the children at Morgan's elementary school.
I thought the kids' singing would do me in (2 songs, Give a Little Love and This Little Light of Mine)....but it did just the opposite! THANK YOU, Mrs. Compton..the kids sang beautifully. By the 2nd song, more children participated...lending, even more, to the concept of community involvement. I had to smile..it took a lot of courage to get up front of all those people, and most were even smiling. They seemed to display such heart and acceptance that things, in the long run, will be OK. It hit me pretty hard....I do pray they are right. The service ended with a large, sugary reception and a wonderful slide show of Morgan's pictures up on the "big screen". My friend from Ohio sent some balloons to be released into the night, after the service, so Morgan could receive them. I believe that she did.
THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU - All!
Now that all the "events" are over....now comes the deafening stillness that everyone talks about. It is so true. I just do not know where to begin. Before, everyday had a defined purpose, it was easily differentiated, black or white. Now, I know that somewhere there is that purpose, but I just do not know what or where it is. Ryan's mental and physical well being is a "no-brainer" - this is my main focus. Right now though, I am unable to sort through the other multitude of questions before me - Do I clean? Write notes? Work? Sleep? Smile? Cry? Put Morgan's stuff away? Keep it out? Hide from or face life? I just do not seem to know anymore. Logically, I know what I should do....but my heart is still very numb. I'm slowly getting out of the numbness - and truthfully, it scares the begeevers out of me. Again, logically, I know this is a good thing....but still. Craig, from work, called me to come in for a couple days. I did and it was a great distraction. I do not think I can go back to work at 100% capacity just yet though. It will all take time. Hopefully, time will be able to provide me with some answers.
Ryan did much better with Monday's service....this was a good surprise. He has his moments, but he seems to be in a much better place. Karl? He is wicked busy at work and I think that is keeping him going right now.
For those of you who felt that it was wrong to have the openness in which Morgan's life and death was shared - I am sorry. Truly. I never meant for anyone to be hurt by this. I am going to cut and paste something I wrote in Morgan's Celebration of Life pamphlet....but I need to explain that Morgan and I truly believe that there is indeed a Circle of Life - therefor, life is continuous. Fear is what kept Karl from experiencing many of life's little blessings, fear is what perpetuates anger, selfishness and hatred. Fear is an easy excuse. Believe me, it is WAY difficult facing it - but are you any better by living in it? I don't think so. Fear has been so very present in my life over this whole journey, but by trying to work my way though it - first, by identifying it and facing it - it is incredible the gifts and blessings that I was able to see on the other side of that fear. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a master at this by any means. Right now, I am facing the fear and sadness of life here on Earth without Morgan physical presence....but somewhere I need to find the strength to face the fear/sadness and work my way through it. Please be patient. Please be kind. I know the subject of death is scary for most. It was not my intention to make it worse...my intent was just the opposite.
Well, my rambling needs to come to an end.
Take care and God Bless,
Cut and copied from the pamphlet for those unable to attend Monday's service:
Thank you for being part of Morgan's Celebration of Life Service, today...February 5th, the anniversary of her birth. Morgan somehow managed to hang on for (and even enjoy) Christmas, she welcomed in the New Year, as well as being there for Ryan's birthday (she even sang Happy Birthday, in a loud voice - which is incredible considering we thought she was sound asleep in the next room). She so wanted to have her own birthday party. So we are going to hold one for her today. I have no doubt that she is with us in spirit - smiling.
While Morgan wanted a Build-A-Bear party, I think she would be happy with this one, with all of you in attendance. Morgan was so into parties! Many of you knew Morgan as a free-spirited, flamboyant wild-child (as I often called her). A side of Morgan that I would like to share with you tonight is the grounded, wise/philosophical side that not everyone saw. One of the major influences in Morgan's life was the Broadway production of the Lion King. We saw it in NYC with some friends. Morgan recognized similarities between her own life and in the messages in the show. The show represented an avenue to explore her own illness and the impact it had on her and her family life.
Morgan, at the tender young age of 6, asked me to dissect and tell her my interpretation of EVERY SINGLE SONG on the soundtrack, moment by moment. The CD begins with "The Circle of Life". I shared with her that a circle is very symbolic...for it has neither a beginning nor an end. It is all encompassing. Nothing is gained or LOST. She took comfort in this.
Another song that she related to and loved was "Shadowlands" where Nala had to leave the pride in order to look for food. This brought up a lot of questions for Morgan: "Why did she leave?", "Did she HAVE to leave?", "Did she WANT to leave her family?" "Was she scared?" "Did her family want her to go?" etc. You can probably see where Morgan was going with all this. I told Morgan that sometimes we need to do things we do not want to do. In these situations, we all need to find the courage, to take that first step and go past the fear, and follow our hearts and do what we need/must do. This is called a Leap of Faith. Morgan and I had many beautiful, intense conversations about this.
The other song that Morgan listened to constantly was "Endless Night". This is the point where Simba is questioning why his father abandoned him. It brought up (for both of us) the importance of going through your fears and walking on your intended path with courage. This song also addresses that love never leaves, it always stays with you. I explained (and what she ended up loving about this song) that life changes. People (lions) pass onto another plain of existence, BUT it doesn't mean that they are GONE. Remember, "he lives in you, he lives in me"? This is where the song changes in tone and becomes very light and joyful.
I find myself hoping that I can find the strength and remember everything we learned to go forward and find happiness again. With help, open communication and acknowledging our feelings, (which is something I am trying to work on right now) we can all reach a better place. I guess the trick is to avoid the trap of fear, of avoidance, and remember all that Morgan taught us. The lessons of courage and strength.....the importance of Joy and laughter.....the necessity of communication.......the feeling of community and embracing all that it entails....the spirit and drive in seeing the blessings instead of the obstacles...and having the perseverance and confidence in following what is true.
Morgan had the courage to take that Leap of Faith that led her to her ultimate destination, a place where she is happy, peaceful and safe. Please remember the good times....the lessons she taught us all....and be content in knowing that she would want us to be happy and safe also. I truly believe that she would want nothing less for the rest of us left behind.
Thank you for coming. Breathe....and let's make this a true, joyful celebration of Morgan's life. I don't think she would want it any other way!