I watched Waverly's funeral yesterday afternoon. I am not sure why, but I wanted to be in that space again. The thread that seemed to weave throughout the service was the idea of Joy and Sorrow. We wanted to create a space that was welcoming of both - celebrating the joy that was Waverly and the sorrow that she is no longer with us.
The night before her funeral, we hosted a get together at our home for all of our friends who traveled in from out of town. We had snacks and drinks, a fire going outside to stem the crowd. Our house was filled with dear ones who wanted to honor Waverly's life. We directed people to take time in Waverly's room. I had a photo album for those closest to us of Waverly's final weeks on hospice. We even tip toed into Oliver's room so they could see our sleeping boy, oblivious to the fact that 75 people were in his home. We wanted that night to be a celebration of friendship. A thank you for those who traveled to be here with us. It was one of the most special nights for me. I looked in each room and saw friends from childhood, high school, camps, college, work, and moments in between. I introduced friends who remind me of one another, who have similar interests, who write on the same topic. I felt loved that night. It was the shot of confidence and strength I needed to get through the next day.
Watching Wavey's funeral brought some tears to my eyes, but I found myself smiling. Beaming. So many gathered for her. One of my favorite photos was looking down at all of us. The room was filled with flowers and I remember the smell of lilies permeating the space. I was able to hear our friend Adam lovingly play Waverly's favorite songs on his guitar. I listened as our rector welcomed those who assembled. I loved that in that moment we were new to our church, only six months in, yet they surrounded us with love and support. And I celebrated the fact that we have been there for almost three years and we are known. Oliver is known. I watched as Matt, Oliver and I walked in carrying Wavey's urn. I listened as our friends read scripture. I marveled at Matt's ability to deliver the most moving eulogy, something he knew he had to do for his little girl. I was grateful to my friend for reading a letter I penned for my daughter and the image of aspen trees. I thanked God for bring our friend, David, into our lives. His homily was outstanding and people still reference his way of honoring the sacred space of grief. I sang along to the music, my lips moved as the Apostles Creed was said. And I felt confident in the commendation.
"Receive her into the arms of your mercy, into the blessed rest of everlasting peace, and into the glorious company of the saints in light. Amen."