I asked Greg Lawler to take some photos at the memorial service. Greg took the photo we used on the cover of the program and for her obituaries. I am grateful for his sensitive, lovely work.
Today started quietly and slowly for me. I am glad I went to church today -- it was a safe place to keep walking through these fresh days without dear Claire. Judaism has a longer practice of bereavement than most Christians traditionally do. One of my favorite authors, Lauren Winner, puts it this way:
[The Jewish pattern of bereavement] recognizes the slow way that mourning works, the long time it takes a grave to cool, slower and longer than our zip-zoom Internet-and-fast-food society can easily accommodate. Long after your friends and acquaintances have stopped paying attention, after they have forgotten to ask how you are and pray for you and hold your hand, you are still in a place of ebbing sadness. Mourning plateaus gradually...
I will be patient, and remember to "help others help me" if I am discouraged and burdened. Like Claire did, let's find comfort in the prayers of the Bible. Today I see Psalm 145 as poignant:
14 The Lord helps the fallenPhotos from the memorial service, Aug 20, 2010
and lifts those bent beneath their loads.
15 The eyes of all look to you in hope;
you give them their food as they need it.
16 When you open your hand,
you satisfy the hunger and thirst of every living thing.
17 The Lord is righteous in everything he does;
he is filled with kindness.
18 The Lord is close to all who call on him,
yes, to all who call on him in truth.
19 He grants the desires of those who fear him;
he hears their cries for help and rescues them.
20 The Lord protects all those who love him,
but he destroys the wicked.
21 I will praise the Lord,
and may everyone on earth bless his holy name
forever and ever.