My aunt Estelle died three weeks ago. It really shook me up and what was incredible was the sermon which the priest gave at her funeral. I want to share elements of it as I think it is so empowering in the context of mourning anyone who has past away as well as give us things to think about in the healing from divorce or breaking up. I learnt a great deal in the context of divorce about how important it is to grieve and feel your emotions.
After her death, I subsequently made a list of everything I want to do before I die and as I cover on Day 19 of the naked divorce – it’s important to take a step back from life from time to time and revisit your dreams and the things that really matter.
I have edited out bits of the ceremony – these are the parts that I wish to share with you.
Remember Her – a sermon by Kerryn Barton from St John’s ministry in South AfricaTo the living, SHE is gone.
To the sorrowful, SHE will never return.
To the angry, SHE was cheated.
But to the joyful, SHE is at peace
And to the faithful, SHE has never left.
SHE cannot be seen, but SHE can be heard.
So as you stand upon a shore, gazing at a beautiful sea – remember her.
As you look in awe at a mighty mountain and its grand majesty – remember her.
As you look upon a flower and admire its simplicity and its
delicate perfume – remember her.
As you hear melodic harmonies in the music she loved – remember her.
Remember her in your heart, your thoughts, and your memories of the times you loved, the times you cried, the times you fought, the times you laughed.
For if you always think of her, SHE will have never gone.
Grief can isolate us …. even here among family and friends. We all grieve differently…
Grief can silence us … when the pain is beyond the words we can use … when it silences us from song
Grief can bring anger … sometimes passionate and overwhelming for the future that we have lost.
Grief stretches us to our limits … and from this awful experience, we learn a profound appreciation for the love and compassion that can be freely shared and unselfishly given.
It’s hard to get your mind around death (or divorce) – because of the sense of loss one feels, and you may ask, why celebrate at the loss of a loved one, a friend. Well, while we acknowledge that sense of loss, we must also acknowledge the fact that She, in so many ways that perhaps you have not even realized, has touched your life, taught you something, shown you something, enriched your life – and for that we should celebrate what she has given to all of us.
We don’t realize that every time we connect with a person, even if it is a fleeting moment of meeting only once, we touch each other’s lives and somehow we are enriched by that connection – however insignificant it may seem – but that short-lived
relationship between/connection to our individual lives does make a difference – the thing is that we don’t realize what that person has given us and what we have given them until we reflect on it. Whenever we connect with someone – they and we cause
ripples in each other lives.
And the reality is – WE NEED TO GRIEVE – Talking about her will help. Having a good cry – taking time to reflect and chatting to people about our feelings is good.
There is one truth that gives us hope even in our deepest grief. Love never dies.
That’s true. You might not physically be able to touch and speak to her any longer but the love you have for her and the love she has for you is still there. It’s alive in your heart. Everytime you hear beautiful music you will find a smile breaking on your
face as your heart warms.
You will find you’re thinking of her.
You can shed tears that she is gone
or you can smile because she has lived
You can close your eyes and pray that she’ll come back
Or you can open your eyes and see all she’s left.
Your heart can be empty because you can’t see her
Or you can be full of the love you shared
You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday
Or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday
You can remember her and only that she’s gone
Or you can cherish her memory and let it live on.
You can cry and close your mind,
be empty and turn your back
Or you can do what she’d want:
Smile, open your eyes, love and go on.
Powerful stuff hey?
Sending you lots of love