Today I sort of attended a cremation ceremony… hopefully a one of a kind one. Online, while in the venue there were many empty benches and only part of the immediate family present. Instead of full benches, filled with a big family and many friends. Thanks, COVID-19.
My cousin by marriage, Hennie Moelans, passed away peacefully last Monday from this virus. Our first family member and hopefully the last. He was a youthful almost-80 year old with underlying health conditions. His two children were by his side. His wife Marijke however, has been in quarantine. She was allowed to say goodbye to her love of more than 50 years this week, but was not allowed to be at the funeral service!
Daughter Margo, son Harald, their spouses and children made sure it was the best possible goodbye for dad as well as for mom. People were asked to lit a candle at home at the time of the service, so I did and wept when grandchild Sander talked about not wanting to say goodbye to his best friend, Margo told us how he loved to be among people, how he loved his garden, traveling, spending winters in Spain, how he loved to have friends and family over and how no one would ever leave his home hungry. The man from the funeral home cited letters from Hennie’s sister and Marijke’s sister. The grandchildren each lit a candle and Harald lit a Novena candle in mom’s name.
Margo and Harald can be proud to have made the best of an unusual and heartbreaking circumstance. It was truly beautiful! Wishing the whole family strength and sending them love. Rest easy Hennie. You had a big smile and an even bigger heart that will continue to light up all our lives!