Bit of an emotional roller-coaster this week: after the institution, with its promise of a new day, we said farewell today to my uncle whose funeral we attended in the Borders. It was good that the minister had known him well enough to speak of him with affection and understanding, and it was good to have a chance to meet my cousins again - even if, as we remarked, this only seems to happen at funerals. It's a source of pleasure to me that though (or is it because?) we rarely see one another we seem to gel so immediately, as if that shared childhood, the memories of our parents, feed into something we are hardly aware of until an event such as today. I may be biased, but I'm glad I have such an interesting and attractive bunch of relatives!
A thought about funeral rites: how important it is that we are given a framework in which to let our emotions work. I wonder what training clergy are given in structuring these public events - are they taught about the use of poetry, silence and music to allow people to unclench? A delicate job, and a very responsible one, to help mourners who may have been run off their feet organising everything (and everyone) sit for a space and just 'be'.
But what a satisfying thing to achieve!