Our days may come to seventy years, or eighty if our strength endures; yet the best of them are but trouble and sorrow, for they quickly pass, and we fly away. Psalm 90:10
I attended his funeral as a community member.
I did not know him personally, this strapping young man, but only of him and his young sister who attends the school I work at, and in support of her and school staff and simply as a member of the community, I attended his funeral.
Approaching the edge of the thousand strong crowd huddled on the vibrant green oval, the deep and fierce love of his family, of his community, is painfully palpable, radiating out in shocked, silent grief.
Above us is a piercing blue sky, a massive expanse stretched out high above us, brilliant, clear and blue.
Strangely, the weeks prior had been terribly gloomy – very cold with days and days of rain – but today, of all days, the skies are blue and the sun shines?
The day in fact is wonderfully warm, sunshine beams down on us all, glaringly incongruous with the heartbreaking agony of the day.
Or is it? Perhaps the sun bathes us? Shrouds us? Soothes us in our shock, sorrow and disbelief?
Perhaps it is not entirely out of place. Perhaps it is a small tender mercy midst the sorrow of the day.
Perhaps it is a symbolically-laden hope-filled reminder that though this world is full of sorrow – sorrow, upon sorrow, upon sorrow -yet still there is light.
To love and to be loved is surely life’s noblest pleasure, life’s most wondrous gift.
To bid farewell is surely life’s darkest hour, love’s most painful task.