Saturday, December 08, 2007

Life in the Midst

It is 2:15 a.m on Saturday morning and I just woke up on the couch. I plopped down here about 6 last night with the newspaper and the laptop. I made it through the paper, read my e-mail and my Friday Five comments. I remember some brief conversation with Dear One. And now it's halfway to Saturday morning.

B's funeral was Friday. It was unique and quite wonderful. Sad of course. He was only thirty. And beloved by so many. He had fought his way back from a six week coma only four years ago. Learned to do so many things all over again from scratch. Lived, by all accounts in an altered body in a radically new life with pretty good grace. His dad is devastated. I was worried that we were going to lose him a few times during the service. This is his youngest son, his baby as he said, whom he got back from death once, only to lose again. He asked M "why" earlier this week. Today during the service, during the time when people were invited to share memories of B, one of the professors brought in some of his course evaluations from a class where B had spoken. Clearly and simply, these students each said, "Because of B I will make a different choice when I drink...I will not drive. I see now that it is real. I saw B's videos from before he was in the accident, I see him now, how he must struggle to walk, to learn..." I don't know if his dad could hear that today, but the professor left those for the family to keep, to read again at a calmer time, to remember perhaps why B came back for this extra time, to remember those lives he touched.

The service itself was lovely. Because of our team ministry structure there are three priests on our team, all women, and we were all able to be there today. The family had requested a private Eucharist, so we concelebrated that for them. They run the gamut from evangelical Christians through Presbyterians to Catholics. We welcomed all to the table and all came. It was a holy moment. This was followed by the public memorial service using the prayers from the vigil, readings from scripture selected by the family, a lovely homily by M and sharing from friends and the commendation. Pictures of B surrounded us, and his spirit was clearly present.

Life in the midst of death in the midst of life. I had the most tangible sense of the reality of the promise of eternal life in that room today. A bit of early Christmas in Advent. Another gift from the life of B. Thanks be to God.


Rev SS said...

I too was blessed with that "tangible sense of of the reality of the promise of eternal life" in the memorial service I officiated for young woman last week ... thanks for expressing it so beautifully!

Gannet Girl said...

What an incredible sense of community in that service.

"PS" (a.k.a. purple) said...

It was all holy ground.

Diane said...


thanks for these faith-filled reflections, also so full of caring and understanding for his father.

Jan said...

Thank you for describing B's funeral. I feel so much sadness for his father. Sadness and light, light in the darkness, as is this season. You really expressed yourself so well; I appreciate your words.

mompriest said...

funerals are an invitation to stand on holy ground and it is always grace-filled when we are able to open up to that possibility...sad, tragic, hopeful, and of God. Lovely... must have really needed to sleep!