1989 Story Diane Lambert
Wausau Daily Herald, Tuesday, July 11, 1989 A 1 . . : i'v Family funeral: Byron waited to release his balloon funeral for his mother, Diane, W Z7 . H ettino reaclv Family planned mom's funeral MILWAUKEE (AP) - In death, as in life, family came first for Diane Lambert. When her husband prepared to change careers and went to law school, Mrs. Lambert juggled three jobs to help support the family. And when her children needed clothes, or Halloween costumes, or Cabbage Patch dolls, she made them. Even after she was diagnosed as having cancer four years ago and her condition steadily worsened, she was always making something, her family said. And six months ago, when it be f t ' l r- i If mtSy 1 : : f wc.e- a. l i 1 - I t Hit p i. v .Til. t Lambert, 18, cer. She wanted Sunday after the dren to plan her funeral with her to ease the pain who died of can- of her impending death. came apparent she was losing her battle with Hodgkin's disease, a cancer of the lymph nodes, Mrs. Lambert took on another task preparing her five children, who range in age from 5 to 18, for her death. . She began by having the whole family participate in the planning of her funeral, with the help of a funeral director forcing them to confront the inevitability of her death. Although Byron, Stacie and Jodie, who range in age from 16 to 11, understood the concept of death, it was more difficult to explain to the two youngest girls, -r M'l -I 1 1 k r : '. - . : l A P photo her husband and their five chih Gina and Martha, who are 5 and 7 years old. With that in mind, Mrs. Lambert decided to include balloons at her funeral, in part to keep the occasion from becoming morbid and to serve as an instructional tool for the children. Mrs. Lambert believed the balloons could serve as symbols. After the ceremony she wanted the guests to be given balloons that would be released outside the church. She explained to the children that once she died, her soul, like the balloons, would float heavenward.