Last week, as many funeral directors do, I had back surgery. This week, my dear friend called to notify me that her beloved mother-in-law had passed away. As I prepared the hearse, one of my colleagues suggested that I not go to the nursing home where my dear friend sat, watching over her beloved mother-in-law, awaiting my arrival. Although it was never a consideration, I was so thankful I did not follow my colleague’s advice. As soon as I rounded the corner, I knew why I had been motivated to go myself. My dear friend needed me.
She was at her mother-in-law’s side, as she had been for the last few years, hesitant to leave her even though she was already gone. My friend has forever been faithful and loving in her respect for the woman who lay still on the bed beside her.
As I stood there with her, I was so impressed with the tender care in which she said good-bye to the mother of her husband. She thanked her for raising such a wonderfully faithful and strong man, for the kindness and love she had extended to her as a daughter-in-law and for her acceptance of her as a young bride. She expressed her fear of life without her mother-in-law’s kind influence over their future generations, and I inwardly reflected, at the impact this incredible woman had made upon her family during her lifetime.
Today was funeral day for this dear family. They experienced a kind and wonderfully loving service. As the family spent their final few moments together with the woman they called “Great Mom”, my dear friend, her daughters and her granddaughters stood together at the side of the casket expressing their appreciation, love and admiration for their Great Mom.
Today was a priceless experience for me. I witnessed the love, kindness and respect Great Mom had shared with her family, return to her at her place of final rest. Her calling in life had been magnified. She had raised an amazing family who will carry her remarkable gifts of love, kindness, and respect forward through the generations that follow. She had given a gift to those of us privileged enough to know them and, in particular, she had given me a gift too. Today, my heart was inspired as I witnessed the glory she left behind in the hearts and lives of those she had loved.
My name is Tracy Renee Lee. I am a funeral director, author and professional speaker. I write books and weekly bereavement articles related to understanding and coping with grief. I am the American Funeral Director of the Year Runner-Up and recipient of the BBB’s Integrity Award. I deliver powerful messages and motivate audiences toward positive recovery. It is my life's work to comfort the bereaved and help them live on.