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Mourners' contribution at funeral services

19 October 2012


From Canon Andrew Bowden

Sir, - As one who inevitably takes many funeral services, I share the Revd Charles Howard's concern about mourners' feeling that they have to "do something" at the service (Letters, 12 October).

I also find that a number of passages now read on these occasions grate, because, with the best intentions, they skate over the reality of death and mourning. Occasionally, however, families come up with something that is quite exceptional. Here is one such that Joanna Lambert wrote for the funeral of her father, Michael Naylor-Leyland:

"I cannot say - 'Do not stand at his grave and weep' - as all those who know me know that I will weep and weep and weep.

"Death is not 'nothing at all'. It is, at this time, everything.

"But let us pray that it will not always be so, and that soon we will recognise that it is the beginning of something new."

Now, that is honest and it is real, and I suggest that others may wish to use it.

Washbrook Cottage
Caudle Green
Cheltenham GL53 9PW

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