On the eve before my birthday, my grandfather died. He was my last living grandparent and died after a long, cumbersome struggle with Parkinson's disease. I'm grateful he is cradled in God's hands and no longer feels any pain. Praise be.
And yet, this happened on the eve of my birthday -- so my whole birthday was spent wondering what I might say about him at the graveside service on Wednesday. Now, I know that most of my readers are clergy with good boundaries. Rock on for you. But, I don't want to hear another critique that I shouldn't be doing the service. I know it's a conflict. I want to. I'm going to. It's happening. Get over it. So, I spent this morning writing the liturgy which I found to be so healing. My process (as for many other bloggers) is through writing. To write a liturgy about what this means and how to make sense of it means so much to me. This is why I love liturgy. THis is why I have such faith in it. This is why I wanted to do it. I needed to write it for this blessing. I don't deny that it won't be hard to preside -- but God will lead, not me.
I'm leaning heavily on Ecclesiastes this week in the midst of my week-long vacation. I need to be reminded that there are seasons. In death, there is a time to celebrate. In life, there is a time to mourn. I need to remember both. I need to treasure both and still go to my birthday dinner tonight with 11 of my New Yorker friends to wonder about the mysterious joy of life.