When an unusual sentence comes along, and you can apply it to yourself, it’s a shame not to blog it. I even managed to put sunscreen on before we left the car, but it wasn’t enough.
A crowd of sad people – from the closest family members to those who think they should be there. I watched as a lot of people placed flowers (mostly roses) and then rose petals on the coffin.
In death, everything is larger than life.
Coffins (I’ve seen a few, but never been to a burial before) are really big.
Graves are really deep.
The machine that lowers the coffin into the ground works almost silently.
And the sadness. Young people – too young, perhaps, to know what’s happening – crying for whole minutes at a time. Older people spending days beforehand; moving from crying to laughing, crying to laughing.
There’s some comfort to be had, of course: relative to how much you know about the person, and their faith. A strong Christian will certainly be in heaven; if you’re less sure about their faith, then you hope they’d made a commitment.
But comfort for the relatives? Much harder to come by. Where once a person walked in the house, they walk no more. Never again will there be a complete gathering of that group of people, of family members, of friends.
For me, I just try and do whatever I can to help, and avoid saying anything that will upset people. When it’s appropriate, I talk about Jesus to those who are left behind. When it’s not, I stay quiet, and offer food, drinks and transport to people.
And that seems to be enough, for now.