Reflection and Prayer on the Death of a Parent

Becoming a parent can be an accident.

It can also be an act of generosity.

And so it was in the beginning.
In the millisecond of time from which all things emerged,

God’s act of generosity gave birth to the universe.
And so this vast evolving, expanding universe had its beginnings,
a universe of possibilities:
of joy and pain, of beauty and disaster, of life and death,
of inanimate worlds and self-willed beings
able to share that generosity or thwart it.

It is quieter, not to have babies who cry.
It is tidier, not to have clothes and toys strewn across the floor.
It is less stressful not to have to deal with teenagers going through adolescence.
It is simpler, only to think of ourselves.
But it is not love and it is not generosity.
Today we celebrate mum’s generosity and goodness,
her life in the life we all share,
her journey in light and darkness, which has enriched us all.

Let us pray:

O God, in the beginning you gave birth to this vast evolving and expanding universe.
You unleashed the possibilities of chaos and creativity,
of joy and sorrow, of life and death.

We come together to celebrate mum’s life, the life of Elizabeth Loader.
We come in sorrow and joy, in grief and celebration,
opening ourselves to your love and generosity,
which was in the beginning,
which will be there for us in the end,
and which binds us together now in the midst of life and our moment of shared grief.

We acknowledge the light of your love,
which shone in creation, in the compassion of Jesus,
and wherever it shines,
in whatever religious or non-religious context.

So shine on us and our celebration and our remembering,
that we may see our way to walk with you along this part of our journey,
for you are our shepherd and guide. Amen

prepared for the funeral of my mother, Elizabeth Loader, on 6 January, 2012, aged 100 years
by William Loader