Life is fragile and you never know when your time is up. This Friday I attended the funeral of a dear old gentleman from our church who finally succumbed to his ailments leaving behind his devoted wife who had spent the last many years caring for his every need.
Their marriage was one of beauty to behold. Such devotion, care, love and attention was showered on him by her and the look of pure, unadulterated love that shone from his eyes when he looked at her took your breath away. There was such love and respect and admiration for each other.
Her loss is enormous.
My husband and I were asked to sing a song at the service to honour her husband, something special just for him, which we were glad to do and her appreciation was profound.
To me it seemed such a small thing to grab my guitar and stand up the front to sing a song that we'd sung many times before, but to her, it was everything and her gratitude was immense.
A funeral is such an important time for those who have lost a loved one. A time to grieve openly. A time to share the wonderfully unique and special qualities that made up their loved one. A time to establish the significance of their loss and have the pain of loss acknowledged. A time to receive comfort. A time to say goodbye.
As we walked away from the graveside after the committal, I slowly made my way along the rows reading the plaques that covered the ground for as far as the eye could see, and wondered about the people who were buried there and the loved ones who had faced the pain and sorrow of having to say goodbye. I wondered about their life and what it had meant to someone else and hoped that they too had been loved and adored by someone. I wondered about their death and hoped that their funeral had also been attended by many who had loved them and wanted to honour them.
As I pondered these things, it brought to mind something my mother wrote years ago and so I thought I would post it. She too is sadly gone and greatly missed.
Names in silent columns on the printed page.
A name, a date, an age
What agony behind these words concealed.
So little of themselves revealed.
Yet, they were there, in every corner of my world.
I knew them not.
But still I feel the ache of sudden loss
And sadness too.
They died today, these folk I never knew.
Written by Valerie Hazel Torning