Not Everybody’s Cup of Tea

Written by Braiden on March 29, 2010

Today a dear friend and mentor of mine, a woman who I have asked a few times to write for this new Web site, finally confided the reasons she could not, and would not, be submitting anything.

She said she felt you should nurture your relationships while family members and friends are still here. . .that five more minutes simply wouldn’t be sufficient.

My response?

That I am fine with her decision, and I TOTALLY get it. I realize that Five More Minutes With is not going to be everybody’s cup of tea. (An aside. My own father thinks the whole concept is “morbid” and a person should learn to compartmentalize death and dying.)

Anyway, I told her that anyone who has said all they needed or wanted to say to those they love before they die are the lucky ones. . .

Mom at longwood gardens

Even I probably wouldn’t have become so invested in this subject had I not discovered my beautiful mother , whose motto was to “live each day gloriously,” and who raised orchids under black lights, was a secret compulsive hoarder. Here she is at the orchid display at Longwood Gardens in Kenneth Square, Pennsylvania.

Cimarron in mom's "office"

And here is the kitchen pantry, a.k.a., her “office” when I was growing up. Poor Cimarron. . .hardly enough space to perch.

Mom's kitchen drawers

And here is one of the drawers in her kitchen, just before she died. Had I only known, or recognized what was going on here.

Mom's garbage

After her death, and after my father moved away from the home they shared for 20 years, Spencer and I discovered her secret stash when we went down to clean out the house and ended up with 39 huge garbage bags of trash and refuse.

I will always feel sorry Mom didn’t confide in me/us so I/we could have gotten her the help she so desperately needed. . .that is my life’s greatest regret, and the impetus for Five More Minutes With.

More stories from: With My Mom

The Funeral Before the Funeral

Written by Harry on March 28, 2010

In a similar vein to Five More Minutes With, this past December our investment team hosted a party for a 70-something-year-old gentleman (call him Paul) who has had a positive impact in our lives and our business practice.

We gathered about 60 of his friends and family in a banquet room at a restaurant. The theme for the evening was, “There is a dream inside of all of us. . .how can we help each other accomplish that dream?”

It was fantastic hearing this man’s life-long friends and family describe the impact Paul had had on their lives and what they are doing to help each other out today. It was like a reception after a funeral, except Paul wasn’t dead. A great time was had by all.

More stories from: With My Valued Colleague

They Talk Back

Written by Dorothy on March 28, 2010

I want to share an immediate thought – I would hope your question might be widened to: ” And what do they have to say to me?”

In every case, the loved ones I have lost, have sent me a message in some way. It requires listening, rather than speaking, but I don’t think people realize this is possible. Over the years, I have lost my frantic need to say that last thing to my lost family, because we are now in constant daily communication. I don’t mean that in an ooooooooo sort of way – but we do never lose each other.

I’ve long felt that our culture completely misses the fact that love cannot die.

More stories from: With All My Loved Ones