And even though
It all went wrong
I’ll stand before the Lord of Song
With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah
I’ve had my fill of funerals. I know way too many details about hospice care and exactly what it means when a friend moves into the stage of needing it. I walked this path closely with one friend last year, and today, I said goodbye to another, one whose journey took him too far away for me to do the things I did before–the organizing and food provisioning that seems to come as second nature to Southern women. This time, I could only sit and cry as I watched a young widow, her six-year-old daughter, and a young man who still needs a father as he himself launches into adulthood, say their last farewells to the man who made their world complete.
The army took our friend away from Suburbia and off to faraway places in the name of duty. Cancer brought him home for today’s service and burial in a local cemetery. His faith remained strong throughout his illness, and, as Adventure Guy said on the way home from the burial, “You know, if anyone had a chance at a miracle, I thought it would be him.”
I did too. I wish it had happened. But instead, we came together this afternoon, brought in to the service by the haunting lyrics of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah. A rather irreverent choice in some ways, the song suited the person it honored, especially when sung beautifully by another one of our friends. And, though obviously things went very wrong for a life to end so prematurely, I have my own faith that my friend now dances with the Lord of Song.