We hear so often the expression 'the new normal', 'the world has changed', 'things are different now'.
Yes these things may be true, but life and love, and death and grief are still part of who we are. These days are different. The farewells we say are not what we want or what we could ever have imagined.
Today you have farewelled your loved one, they are now at rest. There is not perhaps the personal farewell you would have wished or hoped for. But still you are there with them in spirit and in thought, as small a comfort as it may be.
As you place this most loved person into the careful, and loving hands of those that will now take care of them, you do so remembering not just that they died but that they lived, their life was significant to you, that is important. How you remember them from afar is important to you and for you.
While you're not going to be the same for a long time; in this profound moment of farewell, from afar perhaps, you may find a different appreciation of that person you loved so.
Joy is found in the simple things, things that were, before this time, so readily available to everyone. But importantly joy is found in your memories. I'm not sure normal is an option, but if we do this right we will embrace the new abnormal together with those of like mind.
These days it is a matter of having patience with everything that remains unsolved, and perhaps unresolved in your heart. It is important not to look for the answers now. Answers cannot be given to you yet because you could not live them now. At present you may need to live the question. Perhaps you will gradually, without even noticing it, find yourself experiencing the answer some distant day.
And so today as you bid this farewell from a distance, hold fast to the memories that were this most loved one's gift to you. But you do not have to rely on memories to recapture the spirit of those you have loved and lost – they live within your souls, in some perfect sanctuary, which even death cannot destroy.
Finding blessings in this time is now up to you, but they are there, hidden in the depths of yourself and your relationship and relationships with those you love and who loved you.
Go well into a world that at this moment may seem alien and be with those who help your being.
I conclude with what better prayer than this –
Our father who art in heaven
Hallowed be thy name,
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven
Give us this day our daily bread
And forgive us our trespasses
As we forgive those who trespass against us.
Lead us not into temptation
But deliver us from evil,
For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory
Forever and ever – Amen