DevaTree Blog

Attend Your Own Celebration of Life: In loving memory of Margaret Simpson

Posted By Lotus Why on Mar 07, 2018

Recently I attended a Celebration of Life for a dear friend.

Margaret, who was dying, attended her own event. 

Celebrating someone present in the room is very different from celebrating someone who has passed.

It wasn’t about recounting all her achievements (which she has many), but instead, she shared her life with us through people who walked alongside her. And wow, did she have lots of people in her life.

I learned so much about Margaret at that event. A force of passion and compassion, she was continually inspiring women to express their voices. She was a visionary.

Her former husband honoured her so cleverly “I taught history at UWO, but Margaret made history.”

She was a connector and community builder.

Margaret wanted levity, laughter, poetry, music, stories, and food at her Celebration. We had all that and more! As the stories were shared, my biggest revelation was how beautifully she embraced death. Not only how to live, but also how to die with grace.

Margaret made me feel comfortable and helped me open up, a true confidant. She had the capacity to be an advisor, but always let me find my own way. I am still a student of her mindful listening and talking.

During her last days, I visited her at hospice and she was her usual amicable self. She wanted to know how I was doing. Imagine that—on her death-bed and fascinated with how life was going for others.

She had lost a lot of weight, but her spirit was still very bright.

I always left feeling enlightened by Margaret. That day was no different—that’s who she was.

Margaret taught me that a celebration of life is also a celebration of death. She embraced death the way she embraced life. 

She shared that when someone is about to die, loved ones can be overcome with euphoria. Margaret died in the evening and I received the news the following morning, and remembered a profound feeling from the night before. I would say it was euphoria.

Her crossing has left me with this inquiry: Can I walk through life knowing that death is also walking beside me?

No matter who we have with us when we die, the last walk is never alone. Beside us are all the lives we’ve touched, directly and indirectly. It can be euphoric.

I hope Margaret’s life and death touched your heart today. If so, I’d love to hear from you, in the comments below.

In celebration,


Lotus Why directs the 50-hr Yoga for Longevity Program at DevaTree School of Yoga.

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15 Comment(s)

Elaine Andrews on March 07, 2018
Margaret was a teacher until the very end. She left this world with a smile on her face. I worked with Margaret in Hospice (she granted me permission to talk about our encounters). We did legacy work together and I learned so much about this remarkable woman. I will forever cherish the short but invaluable time together.
Lotus Why on March 07, 2018
Dear Elaine, thank you for sharing this with the readers. Margaret's legacy is alive and theses stories becomes part of the fabric of our lives.
Gabby on March 07, 2018
Thank you for sharing this heartwarming story Lotus. Such a beautiful tribute to your dear friend. You've presented such an interesting perspective on this phase of life giving me much to ponder. Your wisdom is such a gift to me!
Lotus Why on March 07, 2018
Hi Gabby, to ponder death is a daring inquiry. Glad your brilliant mind is on it :)
Darlene Graham on March 07, 2018
I loved Margaret’s beautiful spirit. She always received life exactly as it was presented to her , never wanting it to be any different.
Lotus Why on March 07, 2018
Dear Darlene, Margaret certainly had great presence.
Annie on March 07, 2018
I'm really moved by the way you are honouring my mom. She certainly was a radiant light with a deep well of wisdom and courage. She always saw the best in people and died with an incredible grace that I will always be blown away by. Thank you Lotus and DevaTree xoxo
Tamika on March 07, 2018
Annie, sending you so much love and warmth. ❤️I feel your mom in your grace and kindness, and your beautiful family. What a wonderful legacy of love to leave behind. My thoughts are with you all xx
Lotus Why on March 07, 2018
Annie, love heals all and Margaret was all love. Thanks to you and Nora for sharing your mom with us.
Lynda Neil on March 07, 2018
Perfect timing for sharing this insightful wisdom Lotus. For me, this is 'synchronicity' in it's truest form.
Lotus Why on March 07, 2018
Hi Lynda, I believe we transcend many deaths and then the final one –making it our best.
Karin on March 07, 2018
I absolutely LOVE this idea. How beautiful to leave this world knowing how much you meant to people and what you contributed. Hearing it straight from the heart. Thank you for sharing this Lotus❤
Lotus Why on March 07, 2018
Karin, from the hearts of all those we’ve touched –how grand is that!
Brenda McMorrow on March 07, 2018
Beautiful, Lotus. Thank you for sharing this inspiring story. I'm touched by this.
Brenda on March 14, 2018
Oh my goodness Lotus - how incredibly beautiful & powerful. I’m touched by her courage & grace. Thank you for sharing your heart & vulnerability

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