Saturday, 2 January 2010

Today ...

Today the sun shone. The views were beautiful, snow again topped the Jura after the previous fall had been washed away by days of mild rain. The frost is back.
We attended a funeral of a friend and former colleague, presided by a Lutheran pastor in a small French village Catholic church. We spoke a mixture of French, English and German. As we walked uphill behind the hearse to the cemetry we had glorious views but this was not easy grieving. Resurrection will be hard struggled for even as the snow clad peaks and sunshine spoke to us of a possible different dimension.
Her grandson threw roses into the grave, two: one for his grandmother the other for his mother with whom she now lay ... and a letter.
And after chatting and trying to say how sorry we were, we came home. Everyday grief for all of the family, it's not special, it's hard work. And it can break your heart.

At the service we read a confession of faith by Ion Karakash that I must try to try translate into English, it offered hope in ambiguity.

Yesterday in a conversation about grief someone else who has recently lost a close relative sent me this powerful hymn by Fred Kaan which moved me deeply. He was about my age when he wrote these words ... So we all try to take up the thread of life ... in many ways today has not been a sad day for me but a gentle and joyous one. I had time to think and pray and be.

Today I live, but once shall come my death.
One day shall still my laughter and my crying,
bring to a halt my heartbeat and my breath.
Lord, give me faith for living and for dying.

How I shall die, or when, I do not know, nor where,
for endless is the world's horizon;
but save me, Lord, from thoughts that lay me low,
from morbid fears that freeze my power of reason.

When earthly life shall close, as close it must,
let Jesus be my brother and my merit.
Let me without regret recall the past,
then, Lord, into your hands commit my spirit.

Meanwhile I live and move and I am glad,
enjoy this life and all its interweaving.
Each given day, as I take up the thread,
let love suggest my mode, my mood of living.

Fred Kaan © 1975 Hope Publishing Co


J. K. Gayle said...

"let love suggest my mode, my mood of living."

Thank you for sharing here the work that is hard work, the work of grief and sharing grieving! You make our hearts want to break here. And thanks for the lines of comfort you offer here. I'm memorizing the one above and reciting it as I breathe through this day.

Jane said...

Thanks JK Fred was a great, talented and flawed human being. I'm not sure which tune these words can be sung to but I have his collected works upstairs (somewhere) and intend to find out.
Fred's daughter Alison shared them with me. It is three months since he died.