It’s probably around the time that Winston is standing near the casket of his aunt, saying things about her and saying things about you. Will you be with him in the midst of a long day of many feelings?
While you know the joy that comes at the entrance of one of yours into bliss, you know the mixed feelings of grief and sorrow and pain as well. Will you accompany him in the fragile experience of all these emotions and grant him a strong sense of your nearness.
You know the deep feelings of love, the memories, the jokes, the stories. Enable him to remember with truth and humor and affection.
You know all the things that make us love animals, all the things that make us good and bad at loving. Redeem every moment that he’s spent, and that his relatives have spent, combining those times into full experiences that help them support each other now.
You see those memories coming back when we see our loved ones, the remains of them, the last pictures of them. Give Winston and his family and their friends a host of things to see during this day.
May they see you in the midst of their tears and their prayers and their songs and their presence. May you be in the midst, drawing them all into your embrace.
Give them joy and praise and kindness. Let them eat well and restore each other through loving touches and long laughs.
And when the days pass, after others have stopped mentioning their relative, after they themselves have forgotten or begun to forget their loved one, make every spontaneous memory that arrives unbidden an occasion for gratitude and peace and anticipation for that last family gathering.
In the name of the One who conquered death. Amen.