I was lying on a mat at the gym. My trainer was stretching me into positions that I never knew were possible. In an instant I was introduced to muscles I had never met in this middle aged body and THAT had me thinking of death.
It’s not the first time I thought I’d die. Just 22 months ago I literally stared death in the face as a terrifying EF 5 tornado roared through my Joplin, Missouri neighborhood. I lost my home. I lost my stuff. I lost my favorite landmarks. Fortunately, I still had my soul.
What little housing was spared by the tornado was scooped up by others seeking the same. Desperation prevailed. Hoards of people poured over housing listings and barraged realtors with requests for the next right spot. They took over every available hotel room, waiting for a more permanent home….just as I was.
I was technically homeless. I also had a blank slate. That had me giving serious thought to what I wanted my next living space to look like. After having spent 15 years in my now lost abode, I quickly realized I was moving into a new chapter of life.
And isn’t that like the literal death experience? We spend so many years in this ‘house’ we call the physical body and then we move on to the next chapter as the soul is released. But what will hold the memories? What next vessel can contain the story of a life lived with passion, gratitude and love?
I discovered the work of Fine Art Urns and thought “how cool to have a piece of original art to house the memories of someone dear.” I just knew I had to work with Ron and Elizabeth to share these gifts with the world. And so I’ll be offering my thoughts on remembering and honoring the memories of those departed. I hope you’ll find them helpful.
Ann Leach is the owner of Life Preservers Grief Support and continues to live in Joplin, Mo. She works with clients from around the country who are coping with their own life-altering events.