Today we said goodbye to a much loved and highly respected member of our congregation. Taking the Funeral of someone you have grown to love through ministering to them in times of sorrow as well as working with in the day to day of Parish life is hard. Perhaps it shouldn't be, if we hold to the truth of the resurrection and the hope and promise of eternal life.
Someone said as much to me at the 'do' afterwards. "Why so much sadness if what we believe in is true?" It is not whether or not I believe it is true, it the sadness of parting.
I am not sad that this much loved person is with God somewhere beyond my understanding and comprehension. I am sad because I shan't see them any more. They won't be there to laugh with us, to be a trusted confidante, to hear and hold and share our concerns and worries. These are the things that we shall miss. This is what makes me sad.
So this lovely person has died and we have bid her farewell.
Words with which I closed today:
This is a sad day, a day that many of us will have come to with a sense of disbelief, but I do encourage you, as I will do, to look beyond, as *** did, to look beyond to the hope and promise of eternity. This moment of loss will pass, the pain will ease and the gentle laughter and smile – as well as strength of character that we knew and admired – will be the memory we hold on to and from which we will gain solace and inspiration.
Let us bid our farewells but let us also remember and live and love all that was lovely and good and God-given in *** – and for these things give thanks.