Doris’s Last Lunch

February7

If I owned a restaurant (and we still may give that another try) it seems to me that the compliment that would flatter me the most would be the request that my food be served at a person’s memorial service.  I attended an absolutely beautiful celebration of a friend’s life this morning.  She was well enough earlier last week to participate in the planning of this day.  She wanted to know the designated time and was content with an 11 am start.  That way, her daughter shared: “She could provide everyone with lunch”-one of her greatest pleasures.  When it was difficult for her to speak the words “cheese and fruit platters”, she drew circles in the air.  Luckily her daughter knew exactly what the gesture meant. 

When we moved from the sanctuary upstairs to the downstairs hall, the courteous ladies from Rae and Jerry’s were there to great us.  I am absolutely hooked on their salmon sandwich rolls and only get to savour them on other occasions such as these.  The salmon is not overloaded with mayonnaise but still moist with a gherkin pickle in the middle.  I know that there are also delectables made from shaved ham, chicken and corned beef.  Their ham and relish is particularly yummy.  Sister #3 loves the cream cheese and cherry. Rae & Jerry’s cheese trays are always a world wide collection of Fontina, Havarti, Camembert, Edam, Gouda and Cheddar (of course). 

My family already knows a piece of music that I would like at my memorial.  I tucked a copy of it in a file so it could be found at an opportune time.  Maudlin?  Not at all.  They will also know that I want lilies everywhere and that they are to to give everyone who attends a heart stone that I have collected on my habitual beach walks. They know the two places that I would like my ashes thrown into the wind.  They also know that I want baskets of kettle- cooked potato chips, bowls of fresh salsa, black truffle Bothwell cheese, rosemary and Parmesan Triscuits, bowls of ripe black olives and marinated artichoke hearts and cubes of feta cheese.  For dessert-Dream cookies.  Scads of them, so that everyone can eat their fill and then take home pockets full for their kids.  But just in case someone forgets a detail-now it is all outlined here…..

I want to be like Doris.  I want to live a long, full life and then bless in death, all the people that I love in the same way that I have demonstrated my love for them in life-with one last lunch.

Kath’s quote:“Everything ends this way in France – everything. Weddings, christenings, duels, funerals, swindlings, diplomatic affairs — everything is a pretext for a good dinner.”-Jean Anouilh

She flies on.


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2 Comments to

“Doris’s Last Lunch”

  1. Avatar February 13th, 2011 at 5:12 pm Jackie Says:

    My mother had stage 4 colon cancer and knew she wasn’t going to live long once the diagnosis was made. A few years before my mother had taken care of her cremation services. Mom told us she wanted to have her ashes spread in her flower beds at my sister’s house where she lived and at another sister’s beach house. She wanted us to wait until spring so her flowers would be in bloom. Mom passed away 12/28/09. Originally we planned on having the memorial service on Mother’s Day. As the time got close to when we would need to be sending out invitations my sister and I made a decision for the family that Mother’s Day wasn’t the right day to have the service because it would always be a memory of Mother’s Day that may not be the best for the little kids. So we had the memorial service on June 27 which what would have been my mom’x 81st birthday. The day was perfect, the weather was great and we had about 60 people attending.

    We served all of my mom’s favorite birthday foods. Her homemade, raved about potato salad, a Dairy Queen ice cream cake, Kentucky Fried Chicken and her favorite candies were out in a basket. It was perfect and the best way to say goodbye to mom. A fewweeeks later we all got together to sort through and clean out mom’s bedroom and spread some of her ashes.

    So no, there is nothing morose about planning your own service right down to the food you would want served. It’s really the deceased person’s day to be remembered the way hey want to be. So before one passes away they should give it some thought if they have the time to. A woman I used to work with sang at her mother’s request Amazing Grace at her funeral. There wasn’t dry eye in the church once Judy began telling how her mother always loved that song and wanted her daughter who is a fabulous singer to sing it at her funeral.

    Sorry I started to ramble here but I think this is an important thing we all should take care of while we can.


  2. Avatar February 14th, 2011 at 8:11 am kath Says:

    Thank you Jackie for sharing what is close to your heart.


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