What do I do when someone dies?

Huw Thomas

Huw ThomasStory by Huw Thomas, Assistant Priest at Christ Church Pitsmoor. Photo courtesy of Huw Thomas.

The past year has been a difficult time for bereavement. Families were challenged by only being allowed limited numbers at funerals.

There have been interesting responses, I was privileged to take the funeral of a much respected local garage owner. The garage was a place where folks would gather just for a chat. In normal times this funeral would have seen a packed church, but we were only allowed thirty mourners, so the family decided that the cortège would stop outside his garage where more people could safely pay their respects. It was a wonderful tribute.

The past year has been difficult, but death always has the ability to knock us sideways. Aside from the grief there is that simple question: what do I do when someone dies?

My answer would always be, “contact someone.” Funeral directors are amazing, and of religious leaders or civil celebrants can suggest how the family might best say, ’Goodbye.’ during the pandemic.

Some folks have still had to say, ‘Goodbye’ to loved ones without their community around them. I wonder if Pitsmoor should find ways of remembering, as restrictions ease up. November, traditionally a season to remember those who have died. I wonder if we could give time and space to saying their names again and sharing some thoughts about them?

I also look to this lovely Messenger of ours and am grateful for the opportunities it provides for us to write up a life and remember a loved one of our community – and I encourage everyone to remember this.