The funeral this afternoon went well, at least as well as these things can. After being blown around a bit by the gales which are currently besetting the British Isles, about 280 or so people filled the chapel at the crematorium to capacity, showing how popular this young man whose life we celebrated was.
My concern was that we balanced our sense of loss, which was very palpable, with a sense of gratitude for all that he had given in his nearly 16 years in our lives. I think I managed to do that as best I could, and the contributions from the other full time ministers in our team, who both took part in the service, meant that it was an appropriate and meaningful farewell, and commendation of this young man into the arms of God.
i was very moved at the slideshow which was projected onto the wall of the Chapel where we had the 'wake' after the service. What made it all most real to me were pictures of this lad and his sister playing together when they were the same ages as my own daughter and son, and I realised just how real this all was. That's not to say that i was detached or unconcerned before that point, but that the reality of the love we feel for our children and the pain of losing them became a very visceral thing at that point.
i was encouraged, though, by the depth and strength of support for the bereaved family shown at the funeral and by many in the lead up to the service. These local communities have really shown their best side by the complete self-giving that has come about as a result of this tragedy as in both great and small ways people have sought to offer comfort and help to this family. If anything good can come out of such a tragedy this is it.
The funeral and wake was followed by some time at home, where i made a great fuss of my children, and then a Parochial Church Council meeting, followed by a trip to the local hostelry, where a pint or two was much appreciated.
So, that was my day. how about you?