Saturday, 25 June 2011

The End

Last week The Curate came across an incident on the moor where the emergency services were doing everything they could to save the life of a fit looking man, who was of similar age to The Curate. The Curate's role was to turn the traffic back down the road until the ambulance left. He didn't know the man's name but he knew that whoever he was, it was unlikely that he had survived. A shocking start to the day.

The following day, the pieces of the story began to unfold as a work colleague of mine talked of a good friend dying very suddenly. The Curate was contacted to arrange the funeral and over the last week he got to know the family - with two sons only slightly younger than ours. And yesterday, nearly 300 people met to remember a much loved husband, father, inspiring teacher and sports coach.

Over the week, I have watched from the sidelines as The Curate visited the family, helping them to shape the sort of farewell they wanted to give this man. As a trainee verger, yesterday I welcomed people into the church, many already in tears and others unable to hold tears back when they saw the photos on the order of service. There were so many young people - from the school where he worked, his sons' friends and  his relatives. I watched them being allowed to remember with tributes from a colleague, his sons and his wife, bible verses and hymns - and being allowed to grieve. I watched The Curate stand by one son and encouraging him to finish by reading with him. I listened as The Curate read out memories for some who felt they couldn't do it. And I watched the slow process of healing beginning. 

As they filed from the church - there were red eyes and smiles, chatter and sharing of recollections as well as the playing of a lively song which caused people to smile as they recalled its relevance in this man's life. It was clear that this service of remembrance had served its purpose. And I realised that this is part of what The Curate feels called to do. He would never have been able to describe the event to me had I not been there. And I now know, with certainty, that I want to be beside him.
For some time I have begun to feel quite differently about the life changes he made to become ordained. I have felt a huge cloud lifting since the travelling has stopped. - I don't think I realised quite how tired I really was most of the time. I sometimes stop and wonder what the strange feeling is that I am feeling more and more.- I think it is contentment! So, having toyed with the idea of removing 'reluctant' from the name of this blog, I have now decided to end this blog..........and start again with a new blog that will record the second half of being the 'Curate's wife'. 
Thank you for staying with me and for all the encouraging comments as I tried to make sense of where life was taking me. Do join me for 'The Other Half '. I'd love to see you there.



Jane and Lance Hattatt said...

What a very sad and moving occasion. We are sure that all those who attended this service will have gone from it feeling both comforted and uplifted. The death of anyone, of whatever age, is always very, very hard for those who are close and who are left behind.

Only on Wednesday of this week we attended the funeral of a young friend of ours, √Čva, aged 35, who died after a long struggle with cancer. Dreadful for her husband and, we felt, for her mother.

And now you too are moving on to a new and exciting phase of your life. We wish you well.

Elizabeth Rose Stanton said...

"Let children walk with Nature, let them see the beautiful blendings and communions of death and life, their joyous inseparable unity, as taught in woods and meadows, plains and mountains and streams of our blessed star, and they will learn that death is stingless indeed, and as beautiful as life." ~John Muir

Sounds to me not like "The End," but rather a new beginning...See you at "The Other Half!"

Shirlwin said...

Your post brought tears to my eyes for two reasons ... the sadness of a funeral, no matter whom, no matter where there are folks who mourn the passing of a loved one, but are helped by the ministering at the funeral. And secondly because, somewhere deep down, I feel you have arrived at a place of deeper understanding ... a place of blessedness?
See you at The Other Half:)

tootallburd said...

Definately see you at the "other half", it took me time to find my place as the Revs Missus,he had been in the job for years when I came on the scene. The Ministers/curates/vicars wife has a definate role and I love it 95% of the time. All power to your spiritual elbow,and it's great to be able to swap notes.

Perpetua said...

A wonderful post, Curate's Wife, which reminded me yet again what a privilege I always found it to be allowed to be alongside people at these most painful and difficult times in their lives.

So glad you're starting to feel settled and contented. I'll certainly be there with you in The Other Half.

Thecurateswife said...

Wow - what lovely comments - thank you. It's good to see you are all already at The Other Half.
I'd better get over there!

Min said...

Just ... brilliant, Harriet.
So true; so truly compassionate.

Min said...

PS Unfortunately, unable to comment on your new blog - for same reason as before (you haven't enabled non-Blogger users to do so).

Thecurateswife said...

Thanks Min - I have just changed the settings on new blog.

charlotte said...

Dear Curates Wife
i came across your blog by mistake and have enjoyed it. i was wondering if we could use your wonderful photos of a pony breaking ice on some water at Bellever for a leaflet we are making on the history of the ponies. best wishes charlotte Friends of the Dartmoor Hill pony