My brother-in-law loved Colorado. He liked to hike and bike and enjoy the splendor of the majestic, Rocky Mountains. Sadly, the time allotted to him for indulgence in these passions was far too limited. He spent the last decade of his life battling various malignancies, to which he eventually succumbed. He endured multiple surgeries, tedious treatments and hospitalizations. He was a fighter. He loved life and grappled with death until the very end.
When it became clear that he would be leaving this world, he asked my sister to conduct his memorial celebration at Lower Cataract Lake in the White River National Forest. Upon entering the shoreline area, after a brief hike, it became abundantly clear why he chose this spot as his final resting place. It was pristine and peaceful, perhaps a piece of heaven on earth.
It’s always hard to say goodbye. This celebration, however, did not feel like a funereal farewell. Under a cerulean sky, his family and friends told tales, shed a few tears, chuckled a time or two and honored their loved one. When he was released into the clear, sparkling waters you could feel an air of emancipation, a spiritual awakening.
Family and friends are everything when faced with grief and sorrow. It was clear that we were all there to offer support and diversion. We laughed together, cried together and turned a solemn occasion into a celebration of life.
“Rejoice with your family in the beautiful land of life!”Albert Einstein
Wildflowers were everywhere, reminding us of the “beautiful land of life”. We hiked together, dined together, and even managed to brave the Alpine Slide at the Peak 8 Fun Park together. Whatever the activity, we were surrounded by magnificence, but the real beauty was found in the genuine affection we have for one another.
“Only when you drink from the river of silence shall you indeed sing.
And when you have reached the mountain top, then you shall begin to climb.
And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance.”Kahlil Gibran
Big Bertha behaved for the Breckenridge leg of the journey. Let’s see what type of trouble she can dream up for the slow trek back east.