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Sunday, September 07, 2008

Three funerals and Julie Burchill

Julie Burchill is not a person I'd ever have expected to have a lot in common with, but you never can tell, can you? I've been aware for some time that she is a passionate supporter of Israel. And now, I discovered recently courtesy of Laban, she's come out as an Anglican.

This from her Comment is Free piece rang bells:-

'But when my father died in 1999 and my mother in 2000, I stood in the same church twice in two years and felt the same sense of what I can best describe as joy as I watched the two coffins move away from me. While all around me wept, I was filled with the absolute certainty that they were on their way to a better place. It was all I could do to keep from laughing out loud, both times.'

This will certainly sound bonkers to many. But - well, my mother died in the faith of Christ a few weeks ago and, whilst I certainly wouldn't say I've felt like laughing (it might indeed be logical but my emotions don't obey logic), I can say that my faith has never felt stronger.

One reason why this might be comes from a passage I've just read in one of C S Lewis's letters, to a woman whose father had just died:-

'And for those who are left, the pain is not the whole thing. I feel very strongly (and I am not alone in this) that some good comes from the dead to the living in the months or weeks after the death. I think I was very much helped by my own father after his death, as if our Lord welcomed the newly dead with the gift of some power to bless those they have left behind; His birthday present. Certainly, they often seem just at that time, to be very near us.'

(from Paul F. Ford (ed.), 'Yours, Jack: The Inspirational Letters of C. S. Lewis', London: Harper Collins, 2008, p.163)

It may also simply be because of the overwhelming, humbling kindness and gentleness I have experienced from innumerable other people. People who, whether or not they consider themselves believers, instinctively recognize that when you say farewell to one of the lives that gave you life you are treading on holy ground.


Anonymous said...

May you be comforted after your painful loss.

And may your Mother rest in peace and rise in Glory.

Cyrus said...

Thanks Huldah