This sermon was submitted by Rev. Phortis Nespin and we are grateful for his contribution.

 

I was at a funeral this week for the mother of a neighbor. This neighbor is also a Commissioner with my wife in the park district. He is a great guy, very hard working, and generous. During heavy storms when the power would go out, he would go from house to house starting generators and refueling them when they ran low. Once he went into my garage and started my generator when I was in Ohio and the power went out. He is a good man.

It was heart breaking to see him so distraught at the passing of his mother. As I sat in the Catholic Church and listened to the priest give a very nice homily, I could only think that the message was not quite right. Although he said the right things and he was very personal (he knew the family a long time), he was not comforting the family as well as I expected. I tried to think what was missing in his talk and I finally came up with an answer. At least I think it is.

The priest talked of how she was a good woman, a fine wife and mother, outgoing and caring.  He talked about how she was going to be missed. The priest told a story that the couple met at a wedding, each having separate dates. He told of how the man asked the woman who would become his wife, to wait right here while I take my date home. The story goes on to say that the wife waited at the wedding hall for his return and he did. The priest then says how she is waiting for him in heaven.  

Should you say that to a grieving husband of 65 years that is not ready to move on without his love? What would keep him from taking drastic measures to see her now or to purposely let himself go, withering away until death finally takes him?

There was no hope in his speech for the future. There was no talk of her being with us as spiritual energy. There was no acceptance of the inevitability of death and that one must continue to love and support the family that remains.

But then, one of the mother’s friends spoke at the end of the service. This woman that spoke, was a long-time friend of the family, which had spent many hours with the woman, her family, and her now grieving husband. She spoke of family ties and sticking together to support each other through this difficult time. Her words were simple and delicate. She called the five children by their names and quietly said;

"Your mother is not gone, anytime you need her, just talk to her!"

 

Comments (5)

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Words...powerful when spoken properly at the right time, meaningless when not...they are powerful tools and weapons...and more importantly a powerful source of comfort from the right source.<br /><br />I've never been a fan of eulogies that...

Words...powerful when spoken properly at the right time, meaningless when not...they are powerful tools and weapons...and more importantly a powerful source of comfort from the right source.<br /><br />I've never been a fan of eulogies that recite accolades and actions of the deceased, at a funeral the friends and family don't need those sort of reminders, they need the comfort that comes from the knowledge that we never truly lose our loved ones, not while we hold the love they gave in our hearts...<br /><br />I've been to too many funerals this past decade and they've all been just like the one described...afterwards I've had to tell my nieces and nephews that their loved one is only gone in body, never in spirit

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I love this, Phortis.. thank you for sharing it!

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It seems to me that one of the messages in this sermon is something on the lines of "People often focus too much on the afterlife that they forget to be comfortable in the current life". <br /><br />Thank you for this personal story, Phortis. I...

It seems to me that one of the messages in this sermon is something on the lines of "People often focus too much on the afterlife that they forget to be comfortable in the current life". <br /><br />Thank you for this personal story, Phortis. I enjoy learning with real life examples!

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Great Sermon Phortis...<br /><br />Thank you...

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My father passed a few weeks back and the pastor did the same thing that priest did. I didnt want to be reminded of all the great and fun things I had done with my dad, things I would never get to do with him again. I wanted some sort of comfort,...

My father passed a few weeks back and the pastor did the same thing that priest did. I didnt want to be reminded of all the great and fun things I had done with my dad, things I would never get to do with him again. I wanted some sort of comfort, knowing that in some way he was still here with me. Maybe it just took reading this to realize that, but now I do realize it. Thanks! It puts even more faith in to my new found beliefs.

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