Sunday, 28 April 2013


Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.
Max Ehrmann, "Desiderata"

Today I went to the memorial service for a friends grown-up son. It was a moving service so different to many others I have been to. It took place in a Quaker Meeting House and in Quaker tradition it did not have the clear structure I have come to expect from my upbringing in the Church of England. Many friends contributed their own warm memories of him which for me as someone who had met him on a mere handful of occasions clearly illustrated the sort of man he was. 

There were few overt prayers as such but there was a great deal of time for reflection and contemplation.  As an atheist I didn't have to sit there and ask why this young man was taken, I know there is no grand plan, "shit" as they say "just happens" and I actually take great comfort in that.

Sad as it is, he died. There is no reason, just friends and family whose lives were richer for his presence and whose hearts are torn at his loss.

I understand that not everyone in that room would have felt the same way and and I hope their faith can help and comfort them in their loss. It was an honour to sit in the silence with them.

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