Today a FaceBook memory came up on my personal page of this photo from 5 years ago. It was during a trip to Vancouver and in Stanley Park… near where my children and I left some of their father’s ashes. When my former husband and I were pregnant with the twins in 1998, we made our last pre-birthing trip to Vancouver and he LOVED Stanley Park. So when I took my twins to look at colleges, University of British Columbia was on the list, and part of that included our beautiful grown twins and I leaving some of his ashes and remembering him at that monumental time of their discerning what was next. Throughout the college tours, I had taken some of his ashes and put them in a plastic bag and put it inside a glove… I would hold it as we toured campuses so I felt like he and I were holding hands. He so would have loved that part of parenting, and watching our beloved twins fly toward their futures. As the realities of the Pandemic continue, one of those troubling aspects is how isolated people are at end of life; without anyone in their circle physically present. And now the tradition of laying our deceased to rest. In California, we are still allowed to have funerals or memorial services; however, it is limited to 10 people including those assisting and officiating. I received my first request to officiate a service under these constraints. I will say my heart broke a bit as I heard the family member state how they have decided who is able to be present; and those that are not. I am praying for how to support people with these sacred times with these limitations. I will say that today is the day my tears started flowing as I ponder how I am called to accompany people with these new conditions and circumstances. And how to do a services with “social distancing”, at a time when hearts are breaking. I have faith I am called and trust the spirit will guide me. And, I am human and praying often for divine guidance to do it well. Tonight I add a Psalm as a prayer… it is an adaptation of a familiar Psalm… 23. This is the version I included in the service for my former husband. I asked our twins and representatives of their friends to do a choral reading of this… in this tender night I remember their reading; and the power of the voices of these wonderful young people. Psalm 23 -- adaptation, Author unknown, from the book “Prayers for Hope and Comfort”
The Lord is my shepherd, That’s relationship! I shall not want. That’s rest! He leadeth me beside still waters That’s refreshment! He restoreth my soul. That’s healing! He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness That’s guidance! For His name’s sake. That’s purpose! Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; That’s protection! For thou art with me; That’s faithfulness! Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. That’s comfort! Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of my enemies; That’s hope! Thou anointest my head with oil; That’s consecration! My cup runneth over. That’s abundance! Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, That’s blessing! and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord That’s security! Forever That’s eternity!
Originally Published to Facebook on April 5th, 2020 at https://www.facebook.com/creativecarolcelebrant/posts/150931369730396