This one will be tricky.

I’ve spent the last couple of days preparing for a funeral next week.  It will be the first time I have done the funeral of someone I know well.  We lived next door for ten years, and he was a very good neighbour.

I’m very aware of needing to do my grieving elsewhere, so that I can hold together a funeral where his family and friends can grieve.  My own family will be there too, which is rare for me, so this funeral is going to be trickier than most.  And he was well known in the community, so there is pressure to get it “right” – this is a community which is already posting tributes, and talking about making sure he gets a “good send off”.  

Logic tells me that as long as I am prepared, it will be fine.  But at the moment, it is taking a lot of energy to focus on anything else, so I have a nasty feeling that other things may go wrong next week, as my concentration and focus are compromised.  

The weird thing is that he wouldn’t have wanted me to feel like that.  He was a down to earth, matter of fact man, who would tell me to stop worrying and do something useful.  Wonder how well I’ll be able to follow that advice?

I’m aware I haven’t mentioned God much lately in this blog, but the answer to “where is God in all this?” is as usual, “right here in the middle of it all”.  

3 responses to “This one will be tricky.

  1. Two tips.
    While normally I'm sure you'd use quite alot of eye contact with the family in the front pews, it's really not a brilliant plan if they are people whom you know well and care about. You can say the words, mean them and carry God's love into the situation – but you can't manage all that AND keep your own grieving under control while looking into the eyes of weeping friends. It just can't be done.
    The liturgy WILL carry you…Those words, in that order DO THE JOB. When I was on ordination retreat before deaconing, the fab fab retreat conductor spoke of our being given “words of power”. Whenever I find myself commending a soul into God's keeping, I realise once again how wise and right he was. Trust the process. It was for this that you were ordained. All shall be well. xx

  2. Thanks, Kathryn, that's a really good point about eye contact. I might aim for the back wall instead – so it looks to everyone as though I am looking at someone (if you see what I mean).
    I agree completely about liturgy. Thank you so much for reassurance. xx

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