Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Funerially Tired

I have averaged a funeral a week for the last 4 weeks.
But today I have two. And as I walked into the office between the two funerals I discovered that I have another on Thursday.

It is hard doing this.
Because I meet with the grieving family and offer comfort and support. I help them plan an appropriate celebration of the life for the person they have loved. And I think of ways of providing pastoral follow-up after the service
But at the same time I too am saying farewell to people I have loved.
 Audrey Smith: a petite 88 year young lady with a will of iron. She walked two km from her flat on arthritic legs to help us feed street people every Tuesday morning. And if we sold boerewors rolls on a Saturday morning she came especially to buy one. And every Sunday she always sat third row from the front…and her place is empty.
 Mercy Ricketts lost her Australian son very suddenly. Mercy turns 90 this year and he was to have come for her birthday. And she is grieving the unfairness of it all: because mothers ought not to bury their sons.
 And others: a family shattered by the suicide of one they loved. And a son having to bury his father. And a man of 96 who has spent a year grieving the loss of a wife of 66 married years.

So far I have had 19 funerals this year…number 20 on Thursday.
And I am emotionally tired…..
Tired of saying goodbye.
Tired of seeing empty places.
Tired of grieving the loss of really good people.

I will get over it.


digitaldion (Dion Forster) said...

Strength my friend. I can only imagine how much your ministry means to those who are grieving!

Hang in there - you're in my prayers!


Scout with the Cross said...

This is one area in my future ministry I know will be hard at times, which was brought home to me today with a friends funeral. I take my strength from people like you and the great work you are doing.

My prayers are with you.

The Listening Hermit said...

Hey Grassed Rock,
Thanks for the reminder of the pain and passion of the pastorate. You are a saintly unsung, service provider.
Much Love