Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Honestly Beautiful

Craig Ferguson's mother, Janet, died on December 1st. His first show since her death was last night and he chose the path of honesty. It wasn't a laugh riot show but it was quite funny. Apparently Ferguson spoke to his sister Lynn about whether or not a tribute show was appropriate and together they concluded that there might be other people trying to get through the first set of holidays without someone they love (like me) and by sharing his experience he'd let them know they were not alone. I wept throughout the show, of course, but I came away with two things that I thought were especially important to share.
Chi McBride was the guest and he led off by saying two things to Craig. One of those things was this, "We all are here for you and although we didn't experience the same loss, we're here for you man and if you want to take us with you that's fine and if you don't we'll be here when you get back." That's exactly what I feel we're supposed to do when someone we love loses someone they love. It's what I try to do with varying degrees of success. I wish I'd been able to articulate it so elegantly.
Just before the close of the show Ferguson read the piece he'd read for his mother's funeral. It's a poem by Henry Van Dyke and he read it as it lay in context in Victor Hugo's Toilers of the Sea. I've never heard this poem before and I love the metaphor of it and it's perfection for funeral reading. I sorely wish I'd known about it when my grandfather died. My favorite line is, "Her diminished size is in me, not in her."

You can say that again.


  1. That was lovely. Thank you so much for sharing it all.

  2. Anonymous11:13 PM

    What a lovely poem. Thanks for sharing it.

    Rani Arbo has a fabulous recording of another poem that reminds me of many of my family. It's called "Crossing the Bar". I'm not sure, it might be on "Bottleneck Dreams".

    You are not walking your walk alone. This year, many of us are there.

  3. I need to catch up on my Craig watching; didn't know about his mom. She was a frequent guest on his show.

    That is a great poem. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Anonymous10:30 AM

    The poem made me cry. Thanks so much for sharing!

  5. Anonymous7:49 PM

    I lost my companion of 8 years on August 6th. That poem made me cry and is quite a comfort. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Thank you for stopping by. Good luck with these holidays. It's so tough. I found the poem comforting, too, which is why I wanted to share it. I'm glad it you liked it, too.

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