Sunday, 2 August 2015

There were a lot more hugs than tears

Kelly with a beloved cat that we are now trying to find a home for.

I don't usually go to memorial services for friends who have passed unless I know their families and I feel I can support them.  Perhaps it is because I find no comfort in formal, conventional services and I believe they are intended for the living not the loved ones we have lost.  

I remember when my mother suddenly died thirteen years ago a group of her friends had gathered around me in her apartment in Montreal.  We had eaten a meal that had been prepared and stored away in the deep freezer by my mother.  Peasant soup, cabbage rolls and plum streudel and then we cried.  One of them observed with a sniff, "you know we are crying for ourselves".  The implication was we were not crying for her.

Today I went to a gathering at the family of a friend and co-worker who passed away suddenly at the age of 51.  Kelly Mollins was a woman who loved abundantly and she will live on in our hearts because of that.  It was less than two weeks ago that I stood with her in Fred's Records.  To my surprise, I am very glad that I attended the sun filled event today. 

I sat in the grass and played with her one and half year old niece Nellie.  I marvelled over the progress of the garden during this cold bitten summer.  I discovered that a young man with whom I have discussed literature, music and tattoos at my local convenience store was in fact her nephew.  There were a lot more hugs than tears.  Kelly's mother and other members of her immediate family met her co-workers they had only heard about.  Memories were shared spontaneously as opposed to formal comments or eulogies.  Friends gathered to play music.  Together we all put together our piece of the puzzle and came out with a multi dimensional portrait of the woman we had lost.  Somehow, today felt more about beginnings than endings.

Born In: Hodges Cove, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada
Born: August 4th, 1964
Passed in: Paradise, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada
Passed on: July 28th, 2015
Kelly Arlene (Smith) Mollins
August 4, 1964 – July 28, 2015
Predeceased by her father, Lindo Smith and infant brother Gregory. Leaving to mourn, husband Gary, mother Kathleen Spurrell (King) and stepfather Jake. Sisters Dallas (Bryce) Dixon, Rosanne (Calvin) Churchill, Patricia (Roland) Spurrell, and brother Ron (Judy Jackson) Drover. Nieces and nephews James, Jesse and Dawson, Philip (Renee), Allison (Michael) and Josh, Julie and Nancy (Gareth), Blaine (Katrina) and Devin (Marichel). Great-nieces and nephews Lucas, Kenzie, Nellie Rose, and Brianna. Kelly also shared a vey special bond with her large group of cousins. Aunts and Uncles Florence (Hubert), Sylvia, Max (Doris), Janet, Philomena and Ramon (Esther).
Kelly was a passionate, unique person who cultivated a large number of friends the way she tenderly cultivated her amazing garden. From hosting “The Atlantic Ceilidh” radio music show in Toronto on CITU, to volunteering at The Ship and the Folk Festival, she shared her extensive knowledge of Newfoundland Folk and Irish music. Her interest in where we came from led her into genealogy and preserving our authentic local culture. Her inquiring mind filled her bookshelves with many books such as SciFi, poetry, and pottery. When she loved, she really loved - her many cats, cooking amazing meals for her friends, and the love of her life, Gary. Her departure has left a large void in all those she touched, but we know the memories of her beautiful soul will fill that void and we will be the better for knowing her. She taught us a lot about what a true, authentic person is.

A celebration of Kelly’s life will take place at 30 Janals Road, Paradise from 2:00 – 5:00 PM, on Sunday, August 2nd. Donations in her memory may be made to the SPCA or MUN Botanical Garden.

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