A Birthday & A Funeral

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.


Jeez said...

I presided at my grandfathers funural 2 years ago. My grandmother and aunts wanted me to and frankly I had a hard time seeing anyone else doing it. It was hard, it was bare and somewhat without distance but foremost it was an act of love!

And God does indeed lead.

Prayers for you!

Songbird said...

I think you'll do fine. Thinking of you.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry about your grandfather.
You'll be fine.

LittleMary said...

sister. I presided at the funeral of my cousin. it was perhaps the most insane funeral that i will ever, ever preside over. it was hard, yes, but more than that, crazy. that's a story for another time. conflict of interest...whatever life happens. wishing you a very happy birthday darlin!

more cows than people said...

i'm glad that preparing the liturgy was healing for you and that you find it a blessing to be able to preside.

for the gift of your life and the gift of your grandfather's life and death i give thanks.

apbs said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
apbs said...

thinking of you today. i preached at my husband's grandmother's funeral in august. (i had to delete my comment b/c i accidentally wrote your name in it).

Pastor Peters said...

ya'll are awesome.

thanks. it was strange to lead. my great aunt (my favorite aunt) wanted the liturgy and to know if i would preside over her funeral. that one would actually be much harder for me.

it still doesn't feel real. he shall be missed. but it was great to be there. it was a lovely sunny day. prayers for my step-grandmother. i'm most worried about her.

Pastor Peters said...

apbs, i know you are going to comment on where i placed the apostrophe. i'm sorry. i messed up.