Written in May 2022
The window cleaners came and Tim and I can see clearly again out of our Railway Room office. The glass had got covered in sticky stuff from a nearby tree and then all the dust that is flying in the air came to stay. It gave rise to the thought of how many times we get sticky and carry debris in life and what we do to clear ourselves.
As I visit loved ones and families who are in shock and grieving, there are all sorts of questions asked. One evening, talking to a family gathered in their garden, the conversation took a turn into difficult memories. My heart speaks into the silence as they talk and share. I was asked what it was like to take what I heard home with me.
'It is all about love. I carry the loving memories home and create a ceremony of love. If the happy memories are elusive, then I will write poems and find words of love to celebrate life. Everything comes from love.'
Just before a funeral ceremony earlier this week, there was a moment that did not come from love. Everyone involved in supporting those who are shattered when a loved one dies is naturally kind. We all pull together like a team, no matter if we are independent celebrants, working for the funeral directors, the chapel, crematorium, registrar or ministers. We are a team. Someone chose to act from ego minutes before a ceremony started and I knew the outcome was going to cause a sharp moment during the ceremony. There was nothing I could do to stop it. The funeral director arriving by my side signalled that I had missed the hearse arriving, not been in the line-up to bow and pay my respects nor greet the family as promised.
A few things crystalised in a moment. I smiled at the funeral director and turned to the egotist saying I trusted in their experience and knew they would do their best. I clamped down hard on my emotions, found my heart centre and went out to hug the family. I trusted that if I had said anything about the impending sharp moment, I would wreck the whole ceremony for them, so I said nothing. I tried to soothe them afterwards, whilst not apportioning blame. All that matters is love and the rest of the ceremony was filled with love, tears, laughter and hugs.
I am keenly aware that each family only has this one ceremony. I have the gift of learning and hope these sharp moments can be headed off at the pass for future ceremonies before the runaway wagon comes thundering through, causing additional hurt.
I am touched by the love that flows every time I meet someone grieving. It is love that builds trust, lightens the load, gifts grace and above all, helps people to feel seen.
It is all about love.