Funerals, a chance to confess and redeem?

By , February 27, 2010 9:30 am

This is an extract from Father Bob’s wonderful website:

There were even more at a funeral on the same day – about 400, in fact. A working class man, David, aged 40, had succumbed to life’s pressures.

He had been in care for some childhood years, one of 10 siblings, but had, miraculously, gotten a trade, married and raised 3 children. The family had a house of its own.

The other siblings had struggled and battled just to survive. We buried one other brother late last year. David’s siblings asked me to state at the funeral that he had succeeded in his main aim of giving his 3 children the security and opportunity he never had.

They also asked me to tell the 400 mourners “No-one is to feel guilt over David’s death.” It was like a public confession and absolution.

Funerals, I believe, need that element of forgiveness and reconciliation. Funerals are like Lent – opportunities for “cleaning house” and starting a “bran nue dae”.
As we left the church for the cemetery, another local man approached to say his own brother, Mark, also aged 40 had been found dead that day and I should be ready to make arrangements for that funeral of yet another man I’ve known to struggle since we met in 1973. Rest in peace comrades.

RJM

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