When Sorrows like sea billows roll (book review)

There aren’t many certainties in life, in  fact it’s often said that the only three are birth, death and taxes.  The middle of these means that at some point we are going to experience bereavement.  What does it mean to grieve well?  How can our faith sustain us through difficult days and how can we… Continue reading When Sorrows like sea billows roll (book review)

Talking to children about death and grief

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It is said that the Victorians had a taboo about talking about sex but spoke freely about death and dying.  In our age we have reversed that.  Yet, life is fragile and death can come at any moment.  So, it is important that we should be able to talk about it and this includes with… Continue reading Talking to children about death and grief

Don’t make it about …

In my other article this morning I talk about the grief and mourning process thinking about what happens when this happens in a wider public context. Of course one of the emotions that can be part of grief (though doesn’t always have to be) is anger. I don’t think there has been much of that… Continue reading Don’t make it about …

Her Majesty … Our Queen

Yesterday evening it was announced that Queen Elizabeth II had died aged 96.  I was in the city centre when the official news came through.  Even though we knew she had been increasingly frail and even though we had known through the afternoon that there were health concerns for her and her family were gathering… Continue reading Her Majesty … Our Queen

We need to talk about death

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I’ve lost four friends during the past year.  As it happens only 1 of those deaths was recorded as COVID related. However, the presence of the pandemic has made us more alert to death. There is something grim about the arrangements of funerals with the restrictions on who can attend and the required social distancing… Continue reading We need to talk about death

Happy people – those who mourn

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Our second beatitude promises blessing or happiness for those who mourn.  In Matthew, the reason that they are happy, or blessed is because they will be comforted. Luke 6:21 sets an even strong contrast “Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh.” Jesus here is picking up on an important Old Testament theme… Continue reading Happy people – those who mourn

The absence of mourning?

A few years ago, one of our young mums had sad news, her sister back in her home country had died. Due to her immigration circumstances, she could not return for the funeral. So, we offered the opportunity for a memorial service here.  It hopefully eased the pain but clearly was not the same as… Continue reading The absence of mourning?

The ugliness of death

Yesterday, Steve Kneale reported on new restrictions concerning burials and funerals that are being imposed in West Yorkshire. Grave-side mourners will be limited to 10 maximum (nb it is 6 here in Sandwell) but now, no mourners will be allowed at the Crematorium. Instead the Council will offer “direct cremations” with no mourners present and… Continue reading The ugliness of death