Chasing the Moon: a Eulogy

by Fox

This might be the hardest thing I’ve ever written. Harder than any book I’ll ever write. And it’s important; as important as the woman it was for.

Chasing the Moon

When Mum died we gathered, as you do, and we started to remember. All the little things that you forget as you go about your day. All the things so commonplace that you don’t notice them until they’re gone.

Everyone remembered. The cards and calls poured in, full of memories and stories big and small, all of which are bigger, more important, on the inside. Each one of a slightly different Viv. We all remember differently. We have our own stories. She gave each of us our own version of her.

But there were common threads. Things that I think she’d want you all to take away today, and keep until you need them.

My mum believed in wearing purple now – both literally and metaphorically – not in waiting to get old and get away with it; she’d tell you to screw everybody else and their opinions. If it feels right, you do it.

She believed in trees and the stars, and the powers of the earth. In fate or the universe or something else, big and vast and mostly good. And that if you stayed connected to it, you would be all right.

She believed – with infuriating persistence – in thinking positively. ‘Think positively,’ she’d say, and your headache will vanish, workload will diminish and the sky will open up and rain cookies upon us. If you just think positively.

She believed in Lavender oil, and it’s ability to heal all things – cuts, burns, anxiety, insomnia. Lavender will fix it.

And she believed in ‘getting on with it,’ whatever that might look like at the time.

But most of all, my mum believed in all of us.

In people. And that they’re good, and smart, and capable of absolutely anything.

As we thought of Mum that first night, my dad said, ‘Family was the most important thing to her.’

It stuck. He’s right. She’d have fetched the moon for any one of us.

Actually, no. She wouldn’t. She’d have taught us some strange way to catch the moon ourselves, whenever we needed it…Probably with string, and whispering to the night and a bucket full of lavender water. But after we’d looked at her all scornful, we’d have tried it, and it would have worked.

Give a kid a bucket, and he can catch the moon.

My dad was right, family was the most important thing to her.

But he’s forgetting something.

‘Family’ did not mean blood ties, not to Mum. It did not mean marriage.

It meant people.

My mum had a habit of meeting people and adopting them. Caring. Helping where she could.

She believed in us.

I didn’t want to come today. I didn’t see the point; Mum wouldn’t be here, and all I wanted was to find a forest, somewhere quiet that I could connect with the earth she loved so much. But I was wrong. She’s here, in every one of you. Every story of her that you carry.

Today we’re saying goodbye to one of the kindest, most generous people any of us will ever have in our corner.

It sucks. It isn’t fair.

But if she were here, she’d be telling us to ‘just get on with it’. To think positively.

And honestly, the best tribute any one of you can give to that, is to go out and catch the moon.

2 thoughts on “Chasing the Moon: a Eulogy

  1. Oh love. That’s amazing and gives me a flavour of what a fab person your mum clearly was, and the awesomeness she has passed on to you, her beloved child. Thank you for letting us glimpse it. Hugs always xxxx

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