I remember you as brave as you faced each of the 1344 days that spanned between cancer diagnosis and death.
You loved John Wayne’s saying, “Courage is being scared to death – but saddling up anyway.” Saddle up, you did, ten years ago as you sat in a booth at Charleston’s on your 27th birthday calmly talking to your mom about everything from Advance Directives to music at your funeral.
You did more than attend to your Advance Directives. You wasted no time in directing my future in your absence, reminding me to dress for destiny every day of my remaining life. Down to the hairs on my head, you were looking out for me. Or should I say under my schnoz? “Mom, whose is going to tell you that you have dark hairs sprouting under your nose when I’m not there to see them?” And there was the day you hobbled with a cane to re-arranged my closet into sets of matching outfits: a grown-up Garanimals of sorts. You worried I’d wear the same old Chico’s Traveler’s knit capri pants and comfy top going into my future without you. Mom Fashion 101 was on your pre-funeral check-list.
You were also an innovate thinker, brave enough to discuss your stationery in advance. “Mom, I’m not an old woman – I don’t want my funeral stationery to be the gold praying hands…” The time that I sat on the edge of your bed crafting your thank-you notes and magnets was sacred. It was life-giving. Your brother sums you up best, “Megan wasn’t interested in magic potions, super fruits or acts of God. The concern of her heart was the well-being of her family and friends that would be left to deal with her death.”
That magnet, a decade later, is the foundation of your mom’s calling. People saw it and said, “You should do that for a living.” In a ten-year span, I have printed thousands of funeral programs and have met with countless families of all color and creed to help them honor their loved one. I’ve been employed to do programs for grandmas to gangsters, and from homeless to high-ranking officials.
My knowledge of the grief that unpreparedness causes every family led your mom to develop a second book, “The Funeral Readiness Kit,” to help answer the 160 decisions everyone makes within 48 hours of the death of a loved one. The mom you never thought would leave her Bloomfield bedroom, traveled to Canada to work with an International Speaking Coach in December. I’m booking fast all over the country for 2018, and it is looking like my most fulfilled year yet. And the mom you called “Wednesday Adams” has officially been coined, “The Funeral Whisperer,” but know the black uniform upgraded to fancy black with bling.
Even with great satisfaction in work, a host of wonderful friends, a church I’m plugged into and a wardrobe that would knock your socks off, I’ve had more than one day this week that tears were squeaking out of my eyes and rolling down my cheeks as I remembered you, my brave girl.
On this day that should be filled with me taking you to a lavish lunch and presenting you with the mother-ship of gifts, I must pause and thank you for being ‘the gift’ to so many who grieve. You laid down your life so gracefully, having buried all your hopes and dreams for a fiance, marriage and children, long before your Easter Sunday passing. Know that your raw honesty at Charleston’s a decade ago and your bravery in talking about your own mortality is influencing the world to not make end-of-life decisions at end-of life.
I spoke two weeks ago for a few minutes at the beginning of a seminar, but before I took the podium, Dr. Martin Williams surprised me with these words specifically for me,
“Be little, but brave.” I smiled thinking, “I learned from the Master.”
Happy 37th Birthday, Megan Bosselman. I love you.
- While every person is different, remembering a deceased child on their birthday is healing to most grieving moms.
- It’s still under construction, but “The Funeral Readiness Kit” will be sold on www.thefuneralwhisperer.com, along with “Put Up Your Umbrella – Finding Shelter in The Storm of Cancer.”
On A Lighter Note:
- Hair Stylist Kim Schiltz waxes those run-away hairs once a month.
- Hair is not yet sprouting out of my ears. Thank you, Jesus.
- I buried the capris and was spotted at Omaha Fashion Week in 2018.
Sarah died at age 33 after a brutal 9 month battle with adrenal cancer, leaving a 18 month old and a 4 year old. She reminds me so much of Megan, their love and concern for family, their wit, their driven battle to conquer the “beast”, and their ability to turn their devastating battle with ACC into many fun, filled, silly time. It is those moments and of course, her beautiful children, Gavin and Logan and my other grand children that keep me going. Although there are still dark days, there are many days when God fills me with hope and joy. We are in the second year of raising monies for ACC research, awareness, and helping ACC families, a wish Sarah discussed with her older brother during her ACC journey through accwarriors.org. I remember Sarah planning her celebration and like, Megan, she did not want a sad event, “No Ava Maria and Eagle Wings at her mass”. We sang “Go Tell it on the Mountain”. This was one of her last independent tasks. Although I am not a writer, I joined our community “Writer’s Club (only five members) and had started writing Sarah’s ACC Journey. Reading through her Caring Bridge journal has brought me many tears and laughter, this endeavor is proving to be very therapeutic. I am also collecting anecdotes from family and friends about Sarah’s life. I hope these will someday help Sarah’s boys as they grow without their sweet momma. I just ordered your book, very excited to start reading. Today has been the first day I felt I could read about you and your journey with your sweet Megan. Thank you for listening and you have a great talent for writing. Debbie
I don’t know how I missed this…but today was the right day for me to read it. I cried. Please hear me with integrity…Write Sarah’s ACC journey. Email to me, and I will format the book for Amazon for free. I learned to do that when I was writing my book. Most of all, dear Debbie, “Go Tell It On the Mountain.” I’m counting on you.
Valerie, love your blog… I was thinking today about how my faith has grown because of darling Isaac’s passing into LIFE! I do grief counseling now and it’s a privelrge to comfort others. Someday I want to tell you how God showed me what Isaac is doing NOW. Love your shoes by the way in the photo (blue! ) with love , Tess
Tess, I don’t know how I missed this from 1/28. Would love to chat about what Isaac is doing now 🙂 You are a dear friend…let’s connect soon!
I can’t believe how time marches on. However, it’s evident that each life makes an impact, no matter how briefly, in this world. Megan certainly had so much strength, personality, and wisdom that did not depart when she left for heaven. She must be grinning from ear to ear seeing her effect on her mama and soon the world.
Your comment makes me want to cry…I hope so. Yes, I hope so. She died so worried about me. You know that…Maybe I’m a slow learner, but I’m glad to be here 10 years later….Never thought I’d make it this long without her, but now I’m in now hurry to see eternity. I got stuff to do!
Love the vulnerability that comes through your written (and spoken!) words, Valerie. (And the shoes in your fashion week pic are killer! Your Stylist Daughter is smiling down on your fashion choices!!!) Happy Heavenly Birthday, Megan! ❤
Thank you, Deb! I appreciate your comments! 🙂
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