This Week, of funerals and sorrow

This week will be consumed with funerals and sorrow. One of our beloved saints of the parish, a woman 88 years old has died of a fast growing cancer. She made the decision to go in peace, exclaiming to me, and all who spoke to her, that she had lived a good life, and was ready. For a short time she thought she had six months, but it’s only been one.
Also our parish administrator has left town for the week. She has two family funerals, her sister-in-law died Sunday, and then her nephew (son of the sister-in-law) died sudden, in his sleep, the next day.
I’ll be extra busy. I always am when the parish admin is gone – she does so much for us! I hope her week is filled with grace, although it will also be a very difficult one.
A week of grief and loss, a week of sorrow. A week of celebrating the gift and the fragility of life. I’ll get back to reading and reflecting on “Called to Question” sometime soon – but not today….
Love Sorrow
Love sorrow. She is yours now, and you must
take care of what has been
given. Brush her hair, help her
into her little coat, hold her hand,
especially when crossing a street. For, think,
what if you should lose her? Then you would be
sorrow yourself; her drawn face, her sleeplessness
would be yours. Take care, touch
her forehead that she feel herself not so
utterly alone. And smile, that she does not
altogether forget the world before the lesson.
Have patience in abundance. And do not
ever lie or ever leave her even for a moment
by herself, which is to say, possibly, again,
abandoned. She is strange, mute, difficult,
sometimes unmanageable but, remember, she is a child.
And amazing things can happen. And you may see,
as the two of you go
walking together in the morning light, how
little by little she relaxes; she looks about her;
she begins to grow.
Mary Oliver, in Red Bird

About Terri C Pilarski

I am an Episcopal priest serving a delightfully progressive, interesting, creative congregation. I have been married more than half my life to the same man. We have two grown children, plus two dogs and two cats, although the number of four legged household members changes from time to time. I love to garden, knit, read, and play on Facebook or with my blog. I have been a practitioner of daily meditation since I was nineteen. I practice yoga five days a week and walk every where I am able too.
This entry was posted in death, grief, loss, Love Sorrow, Mary Oliver. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to This Week, of funerals and sorrow

  1. Robin says:

    One of my favorite poems. Blessings on the week ahead.

  2. mmm prayers for you as you care for so many in person and in prayer in the days ahead.

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