silhouette of graves
Photo by Micael Widell on

When my husband and I married all those years ago, cough…my mind wasn’t prepared for how well acquainted we would become with death, he especially. So much church and ministry life happens quietly, behind the scenes, as it should, and there are these extraordinary, jewelled moments, of being with people before, and as they die. These privileged moments of intimacy, I would not normally have had, and for the most part, I am very grateful for them.

One of my most precious life experiences was to type up the memoirs of one of our dear elderly church members, for his family. He dictated to me his life story. It is one of the most profoundly moving experiences I have ever had. His humility often moved me to tears. And on one particular day, it struck me just what an intimate experience it was, being privy to things no one else in his family knew about. But he died before we were finished, which devastated me.

It has been a few years now, since he passed away, and I still miss him immensely. His wife was, and still is, one of the organists for one of our churches. After his death, she still insisted on playing, even though her intense grief affected it. I remember one Sunday when she simply stumbled to a complete stop during the liturgy. The congregation kept singing, even louder than normal for her sake, and it was one of the most beautiful and heartfelt moments I have ever been a part of. It also made me think we should sing unaccompanied a lot more often! It was divine.

We are currently in a time of death – deaths always come in, at least, threes. And I have posted about this before, (my third post I think it was!) with this monumental clip, which I wanted to post again. So that it is in my face for a while.
And I hope you will enjoy it, too, even just for its gorgeous artistry.


26 thoughts on “

  1. Simply beautiful! Death is a part of life and we all must face it. I have a close friend’s life story on audio recording. I spent six weeks, sitting with him and listening to one of the most interesting stories I’ve ever heard. A few years ago, he passed away and I recently had the opportunity to forward the recordings to his family. There were about twelve hours of recordings, unedited – the good and the bad. It felt good to share them with his family. Your beautiful piece reminded me of this. Thanks for sharing!


    • Thank you!
      And what a wonderful experience for you to have! I am sure his family would have been very grateful!
      It made me realise the amount of precious stories that are lost, and how important it is to hear these stories before it is too late.

      I am glad if this resonated. I was planning to write a poem about something else, but I had total writer’s block, and then this came out instead. I guess I needed it. Funny about that. 😝
      Thanks so much for the comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What a gift he gave you, as well as to his family. Your moment of the congregation singing without the organist reminds me of the end of a Swedish film I can’t remember the name of now, but I’ll look it up. I think you would connect with the touching ending.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Ortensia. Thank you, that’s a lovely thing to say!
      It is sad, and can be so draining. But I also really appreciate the authenticity of it, the fragility and paradoxical beauty of the profundity of death. The way it connects people, and gives perspective.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I used to be terrified of death and of loosing people I love but with age I learn that death is part of life weather we like it or not and in particular if it is a natural death most of the time u are ready to let go.
        I agree it can really be a bond between people and can make you think about what is matter.
        Have a good day dear❀️

        Liked by 1 person

        • Yes, it’s unavoidable, and if we are honest, and give it the time and respect it deserves, and allow ourselves to grieve etc, it can be such a valuable experience!
          And I love funeral receptions! Every time, weddings too, we so often say, we should all get together more often! Such a healing experience.
          And thank you! You too!

          Liked by 1 person

  3. A beautiful and touching post Vanessa and you must have felt blessed to have shared a part of that persons life. Thank you for sharing this and giving much thought for reflection.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I agree about death. We had a period too when death seemed to be all around us. It makes you think though. I almist died once, and it was a most beautiful experience. Nothing to fear!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes. It’s always a good reminder of our fragility and mortality, that life really is a gift!
      It sounds like you really have been through a lot! I’m glad it was peaceful for you. But I’m also glad you didn’t die (smile) I’m not afraid to die, it’s more about the how of it. But come what may, I know I’ll be in God’s hands.
      Thank you for your visit and comment!


hi. friendly banter is always welcome.

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