Friday, 9 April 2010

Saying goodbye. April 8th 2010

I wish you could have seen the church yesterday, dad. When we walked in behind your casket which was covered with beautiful red roses, for Lancashire, bright gerberas, and spring flowers, it was moving to see so many people.
Not bad for someone who was 91!
And we had your favourite psalm, 121, "I will lift up my eyes to the hills".
The hymns you wanted were all there.
And as I stood and sang, I thought,
"What a privilege to have had you for my dad"
I was speaking to someone last night on the telephone, when we had arrived home. The daughter of my mum and dad's closest friends.
She said, "I have been to a few funerals lately that have been very depressing, but this made us smile, laugh, and remember him as he was. It was such a lovely tribute to your dad. He was so well thought of by so many people."
It was indeed a celebration of a life well lived.
And when we went to lay you in the ground alongside my mother, looking out down the valley, and surrounded by the hills, we were all very touched when 5 of your carers from the Residential Home, and the two managers, came along, in amongst the family and friends who gathered for the committal . They all loved you, and enjoyed your stories and said you were a wonderful man. It was the carers' day off, and they made a special journey for you.
They brought a teddy bear and a Burnley scarf, which we placed alongside you in the earth.
Having dropped in a red rose, it was time to leave you there. That earthly part of you.
You had no fear of death, knowing it would be a fulfilment of your faith in the power of the Resurrection.
And I quote from the Message version of the Bible which puts this very succinctly and bluntly!
"And face it-if there's no resurrection for Christ, everything we told you about is smoke and mirrors, and everything you've staked your life on is smoke and mirrors.
Not only that but we would be guilty of telling you a string of barefaced lies about God, all these affidavits we passed on to you verifying that God raised Christ up- sheer fabrications if there is no resurrection.........
...........But the truth is Christ has been raised up............
Death swallowed up by triumphant life!!"

I will miss you dad terribly, but you are home now, all struggles over.
Love you.xx

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