Talking about grief can be a difficult task. Bursts of anger, loss and pain may rise as words but it is not easy to put all our thoughts together in a coherent manner, so they can be shared and understood by others.
When writing a funeral, I try to listen to these short sentences of grief and show my understanding by the way in which I include them in the ceremony. While it's extremely important to celebrate a person's life and a funeral may have moments of joy and even laughter, it is also a place where we may safely show and share our grief at the death of a loved one. As a celebrant, I can speak of this when relatives are unable to do so, due to the strength of their feelings.
Earlier this year I lost a friend to cancer. Jemma was a wonderful person, creative and beautiful, so loving and much loved. I miss her.
One of Jemma's friends, Frances Wright, wrote the following short piece about her feelings of grief and loss.
I think it is a perfect description and says so much of what I feel and I am grateful that she has let me share it here. I hope it may touch a chord with others.
"I don't know why, but tonight I am thinking about you a lot. I never got to see you after you found out how ill you were, and I never got to properly say goodbye, but I have so many memories of you my darling girl. So much laughter, so many years and so much time that passed without really telling you what you meant to me. There are so many questions I want to ask you, and my God, how much I want to hear you laugh again. Your joy when you told me how you had met Jim again, fallen in love, were so happy - I was so pleased for you, but I don't know if I ever really told you that.
Those we lose, who were precious to us, are forever there - voices in the quiet parts of our minds. It is always somehow, the really wonderful people who leave us, those we look up to, who inspire us, those whose laughter lives just beyond what we can hear.
I have words, I have memories, but I would joyously trade them all for a moment more with the people that I have lost."
Thank you Frances.