Monday, November 19, 2012

Passing Away

Details removed, out of respect and privacy

Just over a year ago I reflected on the funeral of a dear friend, and now I come to another one, that of the husband of a sweet lady who occasionally joins in worship at my local church. This week she and her husband would have been married 64 years! Who can understand her grief and that of the family?

The order of service was headed, ‘A Service of Celebration for the life of DETAILS REMOVED, *th March 1926 - *th November 2012’.  The Crematorium was absolutely packed with family, friends and acquaintances. Everyone was dressed in black; colourful flowers atop the coffin were in sharp contrast. With clarity and an unfaltering voice the presbyter opened the service with a short prayer.  Then one of the deceased’s daughters read a poem she had composed:

I know we are all feeling a little bit sad,

That we’ve lost our grandad, our friend and our dad

Together we have cried an ocean of tears

As we feel so empty and hold many fears


But grandad would want us all to know he’s in a good place

And that he is watching us all with a smile on his face

As we have made him so proud, as proud as can be

That he raised such a beautiful and special family


Although he has gone we will always be together

And his spirit will live on each one of us forever

When you look to the sky, look for the brightest star

As that will be grandad looking down on us from afar


There was a short hymn and a second poem by another daughter:

Gone but not forgotten

We sat beside your bedside

Our hearts were crushed

And sore;

We did our best to the end

Till we could do no more

In tears we watched

You sinking

We watched you fade away

An though our hearts were breaking

We knew you could not stay.

You left behind some

Aching hearts,

That loved you most sincere;

We never shall and never will

Forget you father dear.

I’ll leave you to image the presbyter’s words as he summarised significant events of this man’s life and those of his wife and family – such a difficult thing to do within the time restrictions of a busy crematorium – and yet it was a dignified service, one of sadness mingled with joy over moving memories – a true celebration of a unique life.

The funeral is over. Times will be difficult, especially for his wife and close family for whom prayers will be said over coming weeks. The finality of death can be so hard, and yet for those who believe in a loving God who opens His arms to those whom He loves and those who love Him, there is a bright future, a glorious future. Our time here on earth is but a sojourn, but there is a wonderful eternal future for those who are willing to take hold of the Lord’s hand.

Matthew 11:29, 30 ‘Take my yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and My burden is light.’


Funeral Eulogy


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