Sunray – Dad – died suddenly, albeit not unanticipated, on 16 January.
- Am I mourning? No.
- Has it sunk in? Not sure?
- Am I still relieved that he died and did so quickly, rather than painfully and unsteadily like people dying prematurely of cancer, etc? Yes.
Sunray was a man who made a lot of mistakes in his life. (Admittedly, who hasn’t?) In his twilight years on particular, he had fallen out with pretty much all his siblings and two of his three children, something he had done for years and decades.
Since his death: what has happened? Everything I had expected.
None of his siblings would organise or pay for his funeral. Nor would his offspring. It’s your funeral, as they say. I could have, but I am more concerned with his soul than his body. I can only pray for God to show huge mercy on his soul.
Instead he gets a public health (pauper’s) funeral next Tuesday morning. Not even a proper funeral. Not even a service. Nobody in the end would turn up. (Maybe his former Squadron Sergeant-Major out of a sense of duty and loyalty to his men.) Nobody would meet the local vicar to prepare a eulogy. Instead the hearse will pull up at the grave. The pall bearers will lower his coffin into the grave. They may their heads to him. They may even say a short prayer. The wreaths from his old comrades will be placed on his grave. That’ll be it.
I will mark his life and death with friends here in Germany with an informal, structured, mini-service.
- To thank God for his life.
- To thank God for his death.
- To beg God for mercy for Dad.
- To beg God for love and forgiveness of all our sins.
When I next head home, I will stand by his grave and say a prayer for him and his soul. That’ll be more meaningful for me than a funeral service where kind words are said but not really meant.
Have a merciful day, won’t you!