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Eulogy for beautiful mom: Rita Marie Marra Hurley

My mother passed away on May 7, 2018, surrounded by loved ones. This is the eulogy I wrote for her... 

My mother, Rita Marie Marra Hurley, mother of 9, grandmother of 16, great grandmother of 12, and second mother to so many of our friends and spouses. She lived a beautiful and full life. She was fun-loving, smart, hard-working, healthy, fierce at times, and so very gentle. She was deeply spiritual, anchored in her Catholic faith. Always welcoming others into our home, both in Jamaica Plain, and at Lake George, she created a rich life for our...

quiet endurance and unbroken commitment

by Andrea | Dec. 17, 2017

In my last post, I gave you a glimpse into the beautiful life of my sister, Mary. It was only a glimpse, but when any of us spend even a moment to glimpse into the beautiful life of another, it can be enough to ignite a spark of that life in our own. It can be enough to open our hearts and minds to new possibilities that did not exist prior to that moment. We may not always be aware of it, but beneath the surface of our human interactions, those sparks are like...

Beautiful Mary

by Andrea | Nov 17, 2017

A human life is impossible to wrap your arms around—in its fullness, complexity, completeness, and history. It is too big, too vast and mysteriously endless. The more you ask, the more you find, and the more you find, the more you ask. The more you look, the more you see, and the more you see, the more you look. This goes on like an ever-expanding galaxy. I’m not always in touch with this expansive reality, but a window into this knowledge seems to reveal itself strongly when a loved-one passes away. When quiet and stillness descend, and there is no...

by Judy
May 1, 2017

A week ago was my mom’s birthday. It has now been one year and ten months since she died. I lit a yahrzeit candle that burned all day and through the night until the early morning hours. I don’t know why, but I find it very comforting to have my mom’s candle burning - a sense that she is with me. When I woke up in the morning, this line was running through my head, “Her light has gone out and one day my light will go out too.”

One day the light of the whole world will go out.

The brevity and beauty of life is always somewhere in my...

by Judy
December 30, 2016

A week ago marked a year and a half since my mom died. I wonder when one stops noticing these markings. I almost always remember when I am on these “special” dates like when my brother and father died, which was now more than twenty-five years ago. Every now and then I forget, but I only know I forget because at some point during that day or the next, it comes into my consciousness.

So how is it now for me? Do I still get teary sometimes? Yes. Do I still find it unbearable at times that my mom is no longer here? Yes. But overall, it is...

by Judy
November 5, 2016

It’s been now about 16 months since my mom died. Whenever I attempt to access what is happening for me, I find that I never can pin it down exactly as the “mourning” process for a loved one is in some ways forever and whatever I might say is not always true. Having said that, I do find that I am adapting more and more to the fact that my mom is gone. I still miss her; think about her and at times it is still painful. It’s like there is a place in my being that is always sad that she is gone, but that place gets less attention.

In a way,...

what do you do when you don't know what to do?

By Andrea | July 2016

What do you do when you don't know what to do? What do you do when you need to make an important decision, but the answers are not yet clear? What do you do when preoccupation sets in and pressure builds, making the process of deciding even more difficult? At this stage I often feel a thin veil develop between myself and the world. That's when I know I have to go within and listen. Listen as silence reveals its secrets. 

As those of you who know my mother (personally or through this blog) probably know, she spends her summers in a big old rustic cottage...

by Judy
July 25, 2016

It’s been almost four years since writing on this blog site; beginning with my mother’s stroke, then living with her for three years until she died and now a year later. Writing has been a lifeline for me in many ways. Initially after my mom’s stroke, it gave me a way to “release” so much that had been going on inside. It provided an anchor for me, a place where I could find out, even for myself, what I was experiencing, get some perspective and mysteriously give me some relief. This process has continued over the years; the stepping back, getting...

by Judy
June 28, 2016 (began writing this on June 23rd)

It’s been exactly a year since my mom died. I woke up this morning and turned on my facebook page and sure enough a beautiful photo of my mom appeared – the one here – as it noted remembrances from a year ago. Perfect timing. I lit a yahrzeit candle commemorating a year and picked flowers from outside to put by the candle. Nothing too dramatic. Noticiably quiet.

About three weeks ago I had gone down to New Jersey for the unveiling of my mom’s grave. It’s a Jewish tradition that you do close to a year after...

by Judy
May 22, 2016

Can a place be a moment in time - a time past which was not even when I lived, but a moment that lives in my memory, an expansive memory that includes more than what was said; it includes a whole feeling sense. That seems to be the case when I think about the home where my mother grew up. And as I reflect and write about this home, it includes so much of my mother’s spirit; what she valued and who she was. My mother’s home lived so strongly and dearly in her memory and now lives in mine. It’s part of my inner landscape.

She told me about her...