They say that once we are born there is only one certainty left in life: we will die. Well, the last month or two has seen the deaths of several members of our congregation, people we at Holy Trinity knew well. So death is on my mind right now.
Death is natural, an inevitable part of life, and we shouldn't shy away from it. But it's sad all the same. Each of these people who have died will be mourned. Each of them had their own personalities and ways which we remember, and which we will miss.
Clergy often say that dealing with bereaved families is a great privilege, & it's true. We meet people when they feel at their most vulnerable, & ask them to share with us the story of their loved ones' lives ... & generally they do.
It's an interesting experience, hearing those stories. And that's never truer than when you're hearing the story of someone you know. Often there are things you never knew ... maybe they surprise you, maybe they explain things you'd wondered about.
But whoever it is you're hearing about, whoever it is you're comforting, it's always a privilege.