Mourning has broken, somewhat

Henri Nouwen

mourning doveAs regular readers of this blog may have noticed, I’ve gone to a number of funerals this calendar year. Two members of my current church in January, two former fellow choir members from my previous church in February.

It’s not just my own mourning, of course. From those four funerals, there are three widows who I’ve known at least 18 years each, plus various other relatives. My wife and I went to the service of a mom of a friend, also in the first half of the year.

Somehow, I inserted myself as a source of information about the memorial arrangements for Charles G. Hill, e.g., Dustbury. BTW, his daughter had no idea about his favorite charity. She found nothing in his record-keeping. She suggested the Oklahoma City Performing Arts or maybe a mental health organization.

I should reiterate that donations for Arthur’s husband Nigel King can be made to Anxiety New Zealand. I would recommend you read Arthur’s blog, starting with the first of October, regarding his uneven adjustment.

A decade and a half ago

Certainly, there were lots of funerals/memorial services this year, expected as one gets older. My wife and I recall, though, the last third of 2004, when we attended at least five funerals. Two were for the husbands of friends of mine; the women were both named Mary.

I was particularly fond of Tom. We had similar sensibilities about politics and much else. I helped make sure he got to vote in that Presidential year, thus assuring the election of President John Kerry. Even this year, Mary and I have pondered what he would have thought of the 240 candidates running for President. Goodness, that was 15 years ago.

I came across this quote from one of my favorite theologians, the late Henri Nouwen. It’s what I TRY to do in these moments of mourning:

“The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing… not healing, not curing… that is a friend who cares.”