Something wonderful happened today. Amidst all the gloom, uncertainty and upset caused by the pandemic I was witness to a heartwarming show of community spirit today whilst officiating at a funeral. The friends, neighbours and their dogs lined the street where the person lived and in the warmth of the April sunshine applauded as the hearse drove slowly by.
I have no doubt that this show of love and community was appreciated by the family who were following behind. I am certain that those who took the time to say goodbye would have been those who would, in different circumstances have attended the funeral.
The impact on funerals as a result of the pandemic have been substantial: Limitations on the numbers allowed to attend. The chance to meet up with family and friends to share memories in the pub afterwards can no longer happen. The opportunity to give a hug or even a simple handshake has all been taken away. This makes for a different service. You may say a more intimate service and for some this is fine, but not for all.
This isn’t my idea, but I think it’s a good one based on my experience today. If you see a hearse pass by stop and acknowledge it, consider the family following on behind. If someone has passed away in your street and you know when the funeral is, take a moment to step outside and say goodbye. You don’t have to clap or cheer or whistle, maybe just wave.