Attending a funeral yesterday the packed church sang Amazing Grace as we all watched the family of the dearly departed proceed down the aisle.
I usually don’t make it very far into the first verse before tears wet my face and blur my vision.
At our wedding, almost twelve years ago, in the same church as yesterday’s funeral we had the congregation sing Amazing Grace a capella. And just last year I taught myself the song on our piano. The simple notes draw complex emotions and stir me all up inside leaving me all weepy. Weepy but at peace.
There is something about singing it with a group – something about friends and strangers gathered together singing the familiar tune. There is so much beauty, so much grace in that for me. Perhaps reminding me we aren’t alone.
When I play the song on my own in our living room the same emotions don’t get stirred up as deeply. (Not usually one needing an audience to produce tears, they generally come on their own.)
During the eulogy, two of the six adult children, a brother and nephew brought us through the life of the man who touched their lives with grace. Family and community first. All the stories laced with humor and love.
I wonder how many people think about their own funeral when they attend someone else’s? I can’t be the only one. I’m not morbid, just human. I think it is an opportunity to check in with yourself and reflect on where you are in your life, where you’re going and the mark you will leave on this planet.
It’s not about putting yourself down and berating yourself for what you have or haven’t done. It’s about discovering the grace of it all, believing you are exactly as you should be, for it you let it, grace will lead you home.
by J.G. McGlothern