Monday, July 23, 2007

A Long time coming...

Okay. I'm ready, after over a month. Here is my obituary for Jeanne Ayesha Lauenbourg. It's just from my perspective.

As many of you know Ms. Ayesha, my friend Sarah's mom, passed away a few weeks ago. This coming Friday will be the big memorial service in her honor. I wanted to use this opportunity to write about her. I hope it will allow me to be at peace on Friday and not be a big, blubbering mess.

First, let me explain the image... it's Gaston Lachaise's wonderful sculpture, Standing Woman. To me, this is the best picture to describe Ms. Ayesha to you. One can imagine when looking at this sculpture that the woman depicted would be the kind to laugh heartily, the kind to give big hugs, the kind to do nice things and do them with a certain flare. That was how Ms. Ayesha was.

The thing that saddens me the most is that Sarah and her mom were inseparable. They danced together, talked all the time, and figured all the messy parts of life out together. I know Sarah has Chris and little Jonathan now, but I cannot imagine how hard it will be for her to be missing her mom's influence. Even now, the word that I can most remember Ms. Ayesha saying isn't a word at all... it's Sarah's name.

Ms. Ayesha had this way of focusing herself that made the person talking to her feel extremely special. I know she was an interfaith minister and a leader of dances, and everyone that participated in these events must have felt so connected to her. I must admit that I'm nervous about Friday. I cannot imagine how intense it will be! Her burial was gut-wrenching.

I am extremely grateful to her. She came with Sarah to visit during my recovery and asked all the difficult questions. She had known so much illness by that point, she knew instinctively what would be helpful to talk about and what wouldn't be. Then they invited me to join them for Christmas. Ms. Ayesha looked amazing - radiant in a green outfit, her hair short and red, her eyes gleaming. This is how I want to remember her: beautiful, so proud of Sarah, happy, and comfortable to be with her best friends.

It's so hard to believe that less than a year later she is gone. I saw Sarah yesterday and she looks good - radiant herself. I know she's worried about Friday too, but it will all be okay. When things get rough I'm going to close my eyes and imagine one of Ms. Ayesha's big, warm hugs. Or maybe slip into the memory of her and Sarah singing Christmas caroles.

If you're interested, you can visit her website: for more information on the service.

No comments: