Trans4mind Home Page
~ A Journey of Self-Discovery ~

Feel the Joy

By Claudette Rowley

My grandmother died on January 1, 2007. She was my last living grandparent. Her name was Joy. She was 86.

The funeral was in a small Wisconsin town about two hours from Milwaukee. I debated about going - I live near Boston and it felt like a long flight and long drive. I'd miss being with my son for the weekend. Traveling to the funeral would jam up my work week. I knew I didn't need to go for my own closure.

There was one reason to head to the airport: It would mean a lot to my Dad. So I booked my flight, rearranged schedules with my son's father, told the people who needed to be told, located the appropriate clothing and packed my bag.

I expected the visitation and funeral would a sad and uncomfortable experience to simply endure. Yet instead I discovered moments of unexpected beauty. Her community of children, friends and grandchildren gathered to mourn and celebrate her life. The flowers perfectly reflected my grandmother's love of the natural world. The minister's eulogy captured my grandmother's essence; her spirit pervaded the room. I felt like I could almost reach out and touch it. The poignancy seemed to bring all of us into the present moment. My grandmother would have loved it.

There were other moments of unexpected beauty:

  • My uncle and his friend went out of their way to pick me up at the airport. This saved me from having to rent a car and drive two hours after a tiring day. Theirs was an extraordinary kindness.
  • I connected with extended family I hadn't seen in six years. I felt reconnected to the family spirit; a feeling of "these are my people."
  • My parents, sisters and I spent quality time together, away from the distractions of our children.
  • The family 9aunts, uncles and cousins) gathered for three meals - a rare tradition in this day and age.

My grandmother's life was not perfect; she was not perfect. She experienced hard times, she suffered and was, in many ways, trapped in her times. And she was human with the usual host of faults and frailties.

But she saw the best in people. She searched for beauty and noted it as much as she could. She was unfailingly optimistic. She embraced unconventional thinking and she took risks. She was passionate about her causes and she stood up for them.

My grandmother nursed a lifelong passion for animals, especially dogs. She was the co-founder of an animal shelter that serves three counties. She also loved people - she participated as an elected member of both the town council and historical society. When a family member or friend needed a place to stay, they knew her door was always open. She was a longtime advocate of healthy eating and worked for several years in the local health food store.

It's the essence of Joy that strikes me now - the full force living, the optimistic viewpoint, the passion and zeal, and the ability to embrace the best in people. People liked having her around. What bigger compliment can there be?

After the funeral, my immediate family went to help clean out her room in the nursing home. At the bottom of a box, my aunt found one of my grandmother's rings. This one was classic Joy: a southwestern style silver ring set with an inch long turquoise stone. I remember her wearing this ring and others like it. I remember from childhood visits to her house - long before I knew what was important to remember, important to file away for future reference.

I wear this ring now. I like its boldness and color. I like that it's a bit too big for my hand. I like that it's not "proper."

True to form, my grandmother died on the first day of a new year instead of the last day of the old. I think she chose this day in her usual optimistic way. The beginning of a new year, fresh and unblemished.

While I believe that my grandmother was in many ways a complicated person, her optimism, compassion and ability to see the best were not complicated. They were simply expressed for the rest of us to enjoy and experience. This is her legacy.

What's your legacy? What calls to you? When you're 86 years old, what will people remember about you?

We each have a purpose. Find yours. Live it!

Copyright © 2006 Claudette Rowley
Claudette Rowley, coach and author, helps professionals identify and pursue their true purpose and calling in life. Learn more at Claudette

Out of the box
More personal development articles at the Counterpoint Article Library

Good info on many topics:

Want to renew your life?

Our online, interactive video workshops present the most effective methods of holistic personal development...
Start off with a Free Life Assessment and a Free Consultation...

Have a question about Trans4mind Training?

Frequently Asked Questions
What Are Our Fees?
Email Peter Shepherd

Support your personal development with these popular and effective hypnosis downloads...

This is our selection of favorites, but there's a session for every need! Choose from over 800 Hypnosis Downloads...
Search now on an issue that interests or concerns you...

View all the Hypnosis Downloads here

Get a free Hypnosis Download at Facebook

Hypnosis is the key to unlocking your creativity, focusing your energy and understanding yourself

Hypnosis has a long history of helping human beings be the very best they can be. It can be used to control anything controlled by the unconscious mind - pain, blood pressure, fear, confidence levels, mood, sex drive... the list goes on:

  1. You'll become highly productive without getting stressed
  2. Tap into your creative energies instantly
  3. Really understand yourself and others
  4. You'll learn how to stay calm in high pressure or uncomfortable situations
  5. Develop laser-like levels of focus and concentration

Lean more... Uncommon Hypnosis Course

Welcome to the New Wave in Meditation Technology

Click here to learn more about the iAwake Profound Meditation Program
The iAwake Profound Meditation Program
is a way of enhancing your meditation practice, making meditation not only easier and more enjoyable, but also more efficient and effective.
Profound Meditation provides the smoothest, deepest, richest, most profound meditation experience available anywhere...
Here is a link to a free 20-minute track from iAwake Technologies - a sample of the type of tools that will deepen your meditation immediately and help you quickly become a successful meditator. It's the opening track of iAwake's flagship product, the Profound Meditation Program, called the iAwake Experience...
Learn More and Download the iAwake Experience
We think you'll find this technology a tremendous aid on your transformative journey of becoming your best and most creative self - and you can get started today!
And here's a fantastic resource for self-education...

The World of Inspiration eLibrary

World of Inspiration
A treasure trove of personal development wisdom

Step inside. Just like a real library, there are thousands of quality eBooks presented on three "floors" and in different "rooms." To purchase your $15 Lifetime Membership to the World of Inspiration eLibrary, click the following button:

Payment is made through our secure transaction agent, PayPal.
The transaction is in the language and currency of your choice.
"I want to just say 'WOW!' This collection is probably the best money I ever spent! I've already received many times over in personal enrichment after just 9 days. I've had a past metaphysical background, but even newcomers to this material will really benefit. Thanks again." ~ J.S. (Pennsylvania, USA)
"The collection is everything which you promised. And more! A superb contribution to the good of the world. Many thanks indeed." ~ R.P. (Georgia, USA)
"Just a short note of thanks for the library. I've only had membership for several days now but I already feel this is perhaps the most interesting compilation I have yet seen. Worth far more than the price of admission. The browser linked structure works well and makes it easy to manage such a large storehouse of information. It is rarely that I find something I like as much as this or that I feel strongly enough to write a note like this." ~ P.W. (Minnesota, USA)
Copyright © 1997-2017 Trans4mind Ltd