It was on Tuesday that Gordon Handcock gave me the Quarterly Reports with his notes. As I was preparing for a Parish Lenten service, on Wednesday evening, plans and preparations were changed. Earlier that morning I was informed of a death in the Parish. As we finished supper, I was made aware that likely another member of the Parish had died in an accident. Plans are only plans and alterations were made, individuals affected directly had to be seen too.
It is at such times that all one can do is be there, even the parish priest can only be there. Prayers may help an individual who is a consistent church goer. But for those who are occasional a short quiet prayer and a parson's presence is what is required.
Wednesday was a day of quiet prayers. Of fears realized. Of questions with no answers. Of the love and support of family and friends that will wrap many days.
Today one individual was "laid to rest."
One elderly gentleman, who was very gentle, would say "stowed away." He did the work of a funeral director in his time, assisting families and clergy in the process of mourning and honouring the life of the individual who died.
Today one member of the Parish was buried — tomorrow two members will be buried. One a young mother who died suddenly and tragically. The other is an individual of immense knowledge and a solid member of the community.
As well two individuals are to be presented for baptism tomorrow. In baptism we die to self — in death we rise with Christ!