Tuesday, December 18, 2007


How important it is to get it right for a funeral! And how difficult at this time of year - or is it? Especially if the person who has died was suffering, or had obviously felt that their time had come - for then a late Advent funeral can be full of a whole range of emotions. I was at a funeral today, and yes, it was well done. There was a great sense of peace in the church, and the utter tradition of the graveyard seemed fitting as the low sun slanted through the trees in the Bishop's Glen and a single bird called from behind the church. And because one of the organ pieces played before the service was the trigger for a poem I wrote last year, I repeat it here:


The days that followed your quiet end
were filled with bright, hard-shadowed light
and cold cut drily to the bones
and froze the tears as yet unwept.
The world seemed lit as if a stage
which you had left, your part discharged,
and music played like distant bells
heard on the road beneath the stars.
Was it to set the music free
you turned away from struggle then?
For if you chose the path you took
you left this lightness like a gift
with which we joined the search of those
who brought the myrrh, and bring it still.



  1. Anonymous10:38 PM

    Beautiful poem.
    Thank you.

  2. Even for a 'poetry reactionary' like me, this is powerful.

  3. Chris, my heart stood still within me reading your poem...it is so beautiful!

    My FIL passed away January, 2005, just after Christmas. Although he seemed "healthy", he was a very sick man, which no one knew. I do believe he held out until after Chrsitmas, as he so loved the season!