He was at the same church which he frequented growing up. The same church he received first holy communion, Confirmation. He was in the same church where some 57 years ago he and his bride said those words which bound them together "Until death do us part.". This was the place that was the start of so much of his life. Yet lately he found himself in the place where so much of his life marked "beginnings" celebrating lives that were ended. It wasn't so bad when the people he knew lived a full life and finally came to that point where they had to say goodbye and enter that great mysterious beyond to start another journey in another dimension. But it hurt when he found himself in that same church mourning the death of someone who seemingly didn't get a chance for a full life as their ending came when they were still relatively young and so much more was left to be done, so many more were dependent upon them. There were children who still needed them, a spouse who would be lost without a partner so loved, so needed for fulfillment.
But upon reflection he knew from the experience of his own life that no matter how much it appeared that there was nothing but grief after a tragedy. Other persons entered a life, other experiences filled the void and if only those left behind would realize this fact the period of mourning would be less and the task and joy of living a new life would soon take hold.
Death separated him from his love and he thought he would never love again but he found that among the living love makes life more beautiful and joyful for those who are not afraid to take the chance. Even among those he knew that left children the child grew into the adult, a beautiful woman, a handsome man, full of hope with their lives before them ready to be lived to the fullest.
The immediate aftermath of death however had to be filled with a period of healing. The hurt inflicted by the loss most always seems insurmountable. There must be enough time to let the healing process take place through grieving. The seven stages of grief are very necessary because without this many would slip into clinical depression and mental illness.The five stages of loss and grief are:
Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance
Acceptance has to be reached in order to avoid clinical depression and to go forward with living the life that has been dealt to you. But isn't this true in anything one does in life where a great loss has thrown everything one has planned to go awry? At first you can't believe "this" is happening. Then you are mad as hell at the forces that has caused this situation. After you may try prayer or whatever else seems to have a chance of working. The fact of being alone with your loss lets you to finally accept the fact the loss has happened and nothing can be done to correct that fact so new plans, new jobs, new people and new loves have to be made or you will just dry up and fade away mentally or physically.
It seems that nature is always regenerating itself. Seedlings turn into flowers, gigantic trees, but after awhile all growth runs it's course seemingly dies but it really does not, it actually returns to it's simplest form and starts to grow again in some form or another. What is left behind continues to battle the elements, it's natural enemies or whatever but the struggle continues and only the strong survive until something stronger destroys it and everything returns to it's natural state to regenerate itself into a replicate of what it once was or something different, composed of it's chemicals seemingly left behind.
As he reflected on these things he realized the beginnings his life had in this church and the endings he is involved in as well as his own ending which is sure to come as everything in nature has a beginning and an end seemingly, but is never ending. All creation, whether by God or by forces of nature actually survives in some form or another. Our physicality is immortal then. For those who believe in another dimension, perhaps a place called heaven continues in a spiritual form which is much freer than this physical world.
The bier was wheeled to the back of the church to receive the Priest's final blessing before the coffin was transported to the cemetery for interment. Somehow he knew that all would heal itself as nature continues to function in it's inimitable way and joys await all those who never give up and continue to have high hopes that we are all part of a universe which will continue to function quite well and that was quite calming to him.