We had an unusual talk for a festive day today. After a beautiful, blustery Boxing Day walk and a couch-to-5K run for me, our conversation turned to funerals. Little One had been asking about the grave stones she saw as we passed a church, remembering her Great-Grandpa’s burial early this year.
I confessed to my family that I already have a file on my laptop entitled ‘Funeral’. I didn’t aim to write this in a macabre way, but in the hope of arranging things to celebrate good memories when the day arrives (hopefully many, many years in the future).
Maybe having been very close to taking my own life has led me to think about things this way. When the time comes, I want my family to experience grieving in the most thankful way possible. It could have been so terribly different.
One of the things I’d love is for a family member or friend to sing these verses from the U2 song ‘Grace’ as part of the service.
Grace, she takes the blame
She covers the shame
Removes the stain
It could be her name
Grace, it’s the name for a girl
It’s also a thought that changed the world
And when she walks on the street
You can hear the strings
Grace finds goodness in everything
Grace, she carries a world on her hips
No champagne flute for her lips
No twirls or skips between her fingertips
She carries a pearl in perfect condition
What once was hurt
What once was friction
What left a mark
No longer stings
Because Grace makes beauty
Out of ugly things
Grace makes beauty out of ugly things
We listened to this song on Spotify in the car and I got a pang thinking about my Christmas Eve blog.
Do I believe in a Grace which makes beauty out of the ugliness of the Trump administration? Out of the ugliness in the way I feel justified to judge the religious people I consider to be judgmental?
Grace finds beauty in everything… not only those who share my world-view.
This should be part of the message at my funeral – that Grace not only found me, but Grace changed me.