Seven Funerals and a Wedding
I realised a startling truth recently.
I’m getting older.
Big deal – so is everyone.
How do I know? Over the last twelve months I’ve attended seven funerals and a wedding. When you are young, the reverse might be true. But as you age, one tends to be called upon or feel duty bound to attend a growing number of funerals, and less weddings. That’s a fact of life.
What struck me last week when I attended a wedding on the Saturday and a funeral on the Monday was the power of words. That’s why I am a writer, and have a passion for writing. The wedding was the traditionally worded “until death us do part” type. Beautiful words of commitment, familiar to many and very powerful as this middle aged couple pledged their life-long allegiance to each other. The ceremony was very traditional but the reception after was far from traditional. Again, words played an important part as various family members spoke of the two being married.
The funeral was quite different. This time family members paid tribute to the mother and grandmother they had so dearly loved. The words were simple, heart-felt and very powerfully conveyed the deep love for the deceased. Sense of family was strong. Love and loyalty was expressed and a deep loss felt. The minister leading the service skillfully relaxed the congregation in their time of deep grief. Deeply meaningful words of comfort from the Bible were read, words I’d heard or read perhaps dozens of times but now were dripping with poignancy.
The Power of Words
The well worn cliche about the pen and the sword have been proven down through the millenia. The power of words is unchallenged and can be used for good or evil, for persuasion or rejection, for love or hatred, for passion or indifference. They can be used to cheer on a winning team or ridicule a child. They can soothe and comfort, inspire to action or devastate in a sharp retort.