an-offering-e1456341100462.jpg

I just returned from the funeral of a friend’s friend at the Cathedral. I had never met the young man who died. I cried anyway-- along with the 1,000 other people in attendance who had been chatting and visiting just moments before the funeral began. We cried because the violin played a solo, because the paper on the bulletins is always the same cream-colored paper at Cathedral funerals, because the prayers are old, because the family was crying, because the stained glass windows were shining the afternoon light in the window, and because we are human. We sat and cried because in remembering our brother was dust, we were remembering how close to dust we can be. It is good and right to sit and cry at funerals, even for people we never knew. I know that communities have done that forever for each other. Maybe it is the last offering of the dead to the living-- to let us sit and cry for how sweet and tender life is sometimes.