The service was lovely and moving. 30 people attended. Many had tears in their eyes at some point. Garnett, who was the officiant, did an incredible job, saying to people after they spoke, "God loves you and we love you."
In my homily I spoke of how my father never grieved for my mother because 'grieving' would have been too hard. As I was speaking, it came to me that the part of grieving that is the hardest is to forgive the person for leaving you behind. My father never forgave my mother and so he couldn't get past his pain.
I thought about that on the ride home and think it is absolutely true. "Forgiveness" is the key to 'moving on' after someone you love dies.
Forgiveness covers a multitude of sins and lets us move on.
One young man with his wife and young child said he loved coming to St. James because his mother was 'there'. She is. So many things around the church we things she did.
That's another aspect of 'moving on'--realizing the one you love is 'still there' in your heart and mind.
One woman gave thanks for a man whose name she didn't and couldn't know but whose heart was transplanted into a friend of hers. What an act of love, to give part of yourself so another can live.
The wife and daughter of a man I buried only a few days ago came and told me afterwards it 'meant the world to them'.
The people who I feel sorry for aren't the ones working through grief by coming to the service, it's the one who are, like my father, staying in pain because they won't complete the grief process.
Those are the ones I pray for.
Grief is real. So is moving through it to a place where we can 'move on' and have joy in our memories of the ones we loved who are no longer with us.
A wonderful service. Every church should do it around Christmas.
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