This has been a challenging week in ministry, but nothing compared to what two parents have had to go through. Our prayers are with them at this time, and in the long journey that lies ahead. What words can be said? Like many, when one tries to open your mouth, the fear of saying something banal or trite is huge. Yet speak of death and loss I should, and offer reassurance, prayer, love and support. This is the privilege: to walk with the bereaved through their loss and to share their stories, memories and help them engage with those whom they love and see no longer. The reason is, as always, the Resurrection: the first fruits from the dead is Christ himself, leading the way through the victory won on the Cross and made manifest on Easter morn. We point to the resurrected Christ and see the hope for us all.
A write up in the local paper says more about little Lily.
At a private committal in a local cemetary, after Lily had been laid to rest, a handful of balloons were released into the sky. It was a bright and extremely clear morning and the balloons sailed away for ever as the words of the Nunc Dimitis echoed after them:
Lord, now you let your servant go in peace;
Your word has been fulfilled.
My eyes have seen the salvation
You have prepared in the sight of every people,
A light to reveal you to the nations and the glory of your people, Israel.
Glory be to Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen
The balloons remained in sight for ages. Like our memories, I suppose.