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Thursday March 11, 2021
Saturday March 13 marks one year since my wife’s death. Originally, we planned to have her memorial service a week after she died.
Joan had worked with our minister at the time to plan a service that reflected her preferences.
In the 15 years she spent working at the United Church of Canada’s national offices in Toronto, the most inspiring were as administrative assistant in the worship portfolio. She developed a deep appreciation for the church’s sacraments. Even though it is not normally included in memorial services, she wanted to have communion at her service.
She couldn’t have anticipated that the day after her death, the province would go into Covid-19 lockdown.
Somehow, I thought that the new rules would not apply to anything as earth-shaking as Joan’s death. We would have a service at our church, regardless.
Grief tends to over-react that way.
Categories: Soft Edges
Tags: death, memorial services
It all makes me reconsider the purpose of a funeral or memorial service.
It’s not simply an occasion for glowing eulogies.
The popular term “Celebration of Life” seems to me to be both a euphemism and a misnomer. We may indeed celebrate who that person WAS. But we do it because she ISN’T.
We don’t sing the “Hallelujah Chorus” at “celebrations of life.” Or warble “For she’s a jolly good fellow…” We don’t jive in the aisles, pop balloons, or light fireworks.
No. We gather to grieve.
Tags: grief, COVID-19, funerals, memorial services