Marjory MacLean reflects on her experience of funerals during this time…
In the rhythm of our ministry of the Gospel, we are used to guiding the dying and the bereaved from that physical experience, from all that fills their thoughts, from the pain in their hearts, to what lies beneath all that. We commend the soul of the one who has died into the safekeeping of God, their empty body to the dust from which it first came, and their loved-ones to the love and compassion of God and those who surround them.
In these confusing times, those pieces are thrown apart, and our job becomes all of these things but much more. We have to reach those who grieve alone at the moment they most needed the presence and touch of others. We have to find new constructs of dignity and reassurance to make thinly-attended acts of committal seem less bleak. We have to flex all our creativity to make new gestures of letting-go of someone’s loved-on into God’s hands.
Jesus Christ, Easter reminds us, experienced our whole human experience, and that included isolation, compassion and testing. So we can do this.