I am not a doctor. I am providing information based on experiences that my mom has with natural remedies. The purpose of this blog is to help folks to educate themselves. Use this information with your own discernment.

03 March 2013

Somewhere Over The Rainbow, Jo Flies

My Mom's Memorial
March 2, 2013
Yesterday we celebrated my mom's life with her community of Care Givers; we had her first funeral service at the nursing home in the area she spent most of the last year and a half.

Visiting the nursing home as frequently as I did, I got to know many of the residents.  People who quickly became part of my circle of friends.  The worst feeling in the world is when a friend passes and the family leaves, never to be seen or heard from again.

Death is hard for everyone that had been touched by the resident, not just family.  Staff, other residents and visitors who are part of the residents community are always excluded from mourning and celebrating the individual's life.  It stinks.

My mom, she was loved by the people who cared for her; she loved them back.  Many of mom's nurses and aides, became part of my family.  We learned how to work together as a team, communicate and respect each other.  My mom's care team were my workmates.  I am truly grateful for the people that helped me give Jo more good days before her end.

During the meeting with hospice when I was told my mom was actively dying, the chaplain mentioned we could have a memorial service for my mom at the nursing home. I jumped on the idea.  The perfect opportunity to include my mom's community and giving everyone closure.

Mom died and I got the flu.  I couldn't visit the nursing home for 2 weeks. I was suddenly gone, just like every other family who has a loved one pass.  I owed my mom's community closure and began to plan my mom's Celebration of Life.

I made a list.  I called a priest.  I hired a group of singers to sing.  I ordered food and flowers.  I looked on Pinterest and found an awesome idea, a Memory Tree.  I bought twigs and butterfly cards with little ribbons.  The idea was for everyone to write a memory about Jo and place the butterfly on the branches.  It gave everyone a chance to remember Jo.  (forgot to take a picture of it.)

Joe, Steve, Brian and Amy

The priest did an awesome job with the service.  Short and sweet.  The singers sounded amazing.  They sang 3 songs, Amazing Grace, Fly Away and Somewhere Over the Rainbow, my mom's all time favorite song.  It was a beautiful service.  My mom's community came together to honor her life.

Sounds of Grace singing "Somewhere Over the Rainbow"

The flowers, the balloons, the decorations, the food, the people ... everything came together for a wonderful celebration of Jo's life.

Melinda holding balloons for Jo's Great-grandchildren

... and we all lived happily ever after while "Somewhere Over the Rainbow", Jo flies.


  1. What a lovely idea! So often the staffs of this type of facility are viewed as not much more than part of the furniture. We rely on these folks to do what is needed and often the do more. They deserve acknowledgement for taking on what is often a difficult job. I'm sure it was appreciated too! Nice work, Sue

  2. Mell... Thank you! Sorry for the late acknowledgement of your comment.