October 24, 2011

My Mom said she didn't want us, her four children and husband, to tell her friends that she was on hospice care. She didn't want them worrying or fussing over her. We asked her what she would like us to do for her funeral. She said, "Don't go to any trouble, just bury my ashes under an Aspen tree in the mountains."

My Mom has always complained that she never gets things her way, she has to go along with what everybody else wants. Well, the fact that she was dying didn't change things.

We planned a potluck and invited all of her friends. Some members of the family are talented musicians, so we put the food and the songbooks out. And, then brought my mother into the room. "Surprise!!!!"

Her friends would sit down with her to chat and then move on to the food. All the while she was smiling and appreciating the music by making requests.

The next day, she couldn't stop talking about the party, "I was at my own wake," she laughed heartily. The hospice nurse came that day and heard all about it.

We had my mother's funeral a couple of weeks later. All the same people that were at the party were at the funeral. They all expressed how glad they were that they got to see my Mom while she was still alive.

We asked for donations of Aspen trees. We then planted them on some private property in the mountains and placed a handful of my Mom's ashes under each tree.

Now we go to the mountains and visit the Aspen grove that is planted there in honor of my mother, Ruth Brunskill Greiner.

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