I take a deep breath and lead you in,
Carried by strong arms, the pain dented on their shoulders relieving pain.
You are placed reverently onto the stand that will take you to your final release,
But not until I have stood in front of all your people
Those you have loved and borne and wept and laughed with.
We bow, honouring your life and all that went before. No words, but
Giant unspoken gestures of respect; without performance or applause –
The volume of silence is all we have to say, to wish you well, on your way.
And then I stand in front of your people, and draw in breath once more
Knowing their pain and that they wish for this place to not exist –
I feel your eyes, your care, willing me on to complete my task.
With no hesitation but trust and knowing, I begin.
No prayer or verse or happy memory can bring you back
But non the less, saying things that soothe the surface, make things tender.
I see weak smiles through tears that cannot hide
Like triumphant wins – precious drops emerging from the ocean of their eyes
The lifetime of memories flashing through their very veins.
This final goodbye is like an unwanted gift
Your angel wings envelop all who need your love and without sight
I feel you circling all around
And so we come to the point of no return
A sweet and bitter, yet so poignant a farewell to burn
Into the memories of your loved-ones’ hearts.
I quietly thank you for your presence here today.
I think I could have done it without you,
but I’m so glad you came all the same
Showing me how to love and care even more
For all your loved ones, near and far away.
I leave the chapel close to tears, but smiling too
As you watch and nod in acquiescence at the truth
That all who live will die and then be born once more
And you will know the freedom of untethered joy.