The week was a reminder to me of many things: One, the privledge we clergy are given, when tragedy strikes, to enter into people's raw emotions. Two, how important it is for everyone, when tragedy strikes, to have strong family, faith, and friendship nets to fall into. And, three, how important it is for me not to try to be a lone ranger in such times but instead to reach out and ask friends and colleagues and intercessors to "minister to the minister" through their prayers.
Intercessory prayer was particularly helpful in writing the funeral homily.
One of my intercessory pray-ers shared with me, over the phone, that she had lost a brother suddenly as well, and gave me words, and Words (from Scripture) that she found comfort in.
Thanks to the Holy Spirit, I was able to run with those thoughts and write a homily the family found helpful.
I share it here because if the comments from many at the funeral reception were any indication, these may be -- again, thanks to the Holy Spirit -- helpful words to anyone who has had a loved one die prematurely.