With Singing, Thanksgiving, Praise and Lament
The podcast I listened to yesterday and on the way to the funeral home for Mom’s wake was someone I quote here often author Kate Bowler. The topic this week is called Number Our Days with Reverend Tom Long about funerals. God’s timing is not ours but is perfect and always on time. It was the right thing at the right time followed by hours of family and friends sharing stories, long hugs, laughter, tears and celebrating Mom’s life and preparing for the final earthly good-bye today.
Tom Long shared many insightful thoughts including “there’s a great passage in the Gospel of John when Jesus says to his disciples, “Are you going to leave me like everybody else?” And Peter says, “Where would we go? You have the words of life.” And I think pastors find performing funerals, presiding at funerals, richly satisfying because they recognize that people are responding to the word of life that they bring. Pastors are the last one standing. The physicians have all fled. The lawyers haven’t arrived yet. And there we are. And somebody has to say something that has power and promise and comfort and meaning in this momentous occasion. And that’s what we get to do.”…”I think that’s why we break into song. That’s why the apostolic constitution, an ancient liturgical document, says in the death of the saints, accompany them with singing, not with explanations, but with but with singing, thanksgiving, Praise, lament.
Mom is reunited with Dad, her parents and brothers, all of the relatives and friends who went before, especially her Mom who she hasn’t seen in 76 years and my Aunt Marion who was her best friend.
Mom would always say “bye now.” So, Mom, bye now and bye for now. I’ll see you after today in people, places, daily activities, sacred spaces woven in each ordinary day, in my actions, words, in habits, in my family and mostly in my heart where Dad has been for 7 years since his homegoing. Thanks Mom and Dad for being my parents but perhaps most importantly, my best friends, the ones who saw me before I saw me.
“Surrender to the beauty of revealing yourself to yourself, and to the ones who saw you before you saw you.”― Carolyn Brown, Hummingbird Lane
The journey of Lent has an even deeper meaning this year. We don’t walk nor carry our crosses alone. The only road to the third day of resurrection is right through the middle of day one and two. We love you Mom. I love you Mom. Rest in peace, grace and light. May those who remain, number our days well.
“I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.” – John 11:25-26