Friday, 23 March 2012

There is a time for everything

My mum used to sing a song based on a passage in Ecclesiastes (a book in the Bible) that is running through my head tonight:

There is a time for everything, and there is a season
God has planned everything and he has His reason
A time to laugh, and a time to cry
A time to be born and a time to die
There is a time for everything, everything

I went to a funeral today for the partner of someone I used to work with.  It was incredibly sad.  I know, all funerals are sad.  But, even though this is only the 3rd I've been to, it seems that some feel an awful lot more sad than others.  And even though I only met the man once, I could hear and feel the pain felt by his family, and my heart broke for them.

Yes, there is a time to die, a time to mourn and weep.  But it can be an incredibly hard thing to bear.

In contrast, I spent a little time with my sister and her two boys this morning, and then with a friend and her 1 week old baby and two other children this afternoon.  The joy of new life was especially poignant after observing the despair of grief.

One night while I was painting cars over the past weeks, I watched "Eat, Pray, Love" again.  One line gets me every time I watch it.  It goes something like, "The funny thing about weddings is that they make us think of ourselves."

And I wondered today if the same could be said of funerals?  I don't think it's quite the same because at weddings we (girls especially) tend to watch those getting married and reflect on how we would or did do it differently.  Whereas at funerals, we can only observe the experience for those left behind, not the person who has actually died.

So, rather than imagine what it would be like to be dead, I found myself imagining what it would be like if one of my parents, siblings or husband died.  (Thankfully my imagination didn't go anywhere near my son, because that could have caused a scene and a half, which would have been entirely disrespectful!  As it was, I got quite teary - especially when the bagpipes played.)  And I hope that, when I eventually have to live through the loss of my nearest and dearest, I will be able to remember and re-tell the awesome experiences I've shared with them.

But more than that, I want to be able to share more of my love and myself with those I love now!  Because I'm not dead yet, and neither are they.  And we have so many more awesome memories to make!

Now is the time to say, "I love you".

Now is the time to give that big hug.

Now is the time to share a meal, or a coffee.

Because now is the time to live and to love and to share.

So that when the time to mourn comes, there is more joy in recollection to counteract the pain of grief.

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