Last week I was asked to preside over the funeral of a good friend. It was a wish she had asked of me many months ago and sadly brought forward due to a terminal illness. Whilst this was certainly a sombre occasion for all, I was only too happy to do this because I wanted to make sure her family and friends were able to partake in the best final journey possible. Unfortunately, Covid-19 played it's part. The ceremony inside the crematorium was limited to a small number of people but that didn't stop her wider circle of family and friends from attending. They congregated outside to watch and listen to my service outside, socially distanced and safe.
With this in mind, and with the current pandemic in full swing, I wanted to talk to you about funerals. The loss of a loved one will bring big changes to you, your family and friends and trying to come to terms with your loss may bring many challenging emotions, shock, fear, anger, regret, relief and love. But the finality of a funeral can sometimes bring peace. It's a chance to celebrate the life of the person, to understand them a little more and put their lives into perspective with the bigger world around them. And it's up to the person who delivers the service to make sure they are able to weave together a tapestry of their life, using information gathered from others.
For my friends funeral, I spent time with the family prior to the service and built a relationship - listening to wishes, hearing stories and memories and tried to gain a true picture of her as a person outside of my own knowledge. I took great care composing a truly uplifting service which was totally unique and, I believe, reflected her true character and nature, so I was able to accurately convey her to others.
This funeral isn't the first I've delivered and I certainly hope it's not my last. This is a celebration and to be asked to capture the life of a loved one with respect, to highlight their life, to aid reflection and support others through one of the most difficult days of their own lives, is an absolute honour.
Love and light.
Shaw Lane Sports Club
Barnsley S70 6HZ.
Telephone: 07736 942182