What do you think of when you hear the word funeral? My Swedish church experience is that it is a sad and final event. Grief, sadness and solemnity. My mother's funeral felt like a business association of humanists; no faith, no faith, nothing more than an impersonal priest who rattled off their lines and impersonal ritual mantra.
On Friday, so I attended a funeral of a dear brother in the church. He had for years suffered from Parkinson's disease and experienced the disease as a monster who had taken over his body. For his missing relatives were mixed with relief that his brother now had it good.
As I wrote in other blog posts, I love Mormon funerals. When I arrived at the chapel, I had with me three roses to lay on the coffin; one red, one white and one gammelrosagul. Although I do not actively spent time with family in private, I experienced Fredrik as a dear brother in the congregation.
The chapel was completely filled with people. I recognized a few people who are no longer active in the church, some people I had never seen before. Each of us was assigned a meeting leaves. What I noticed was a couple of quotes that stood in the meeting sheet: "There is no such thing as 'can not' "as well as "Should something be done as it should be done properly. "
Frederick was a practical man and an incurable optimist. It was clear when the various speakers in a personal way told about Frederick. An older man told funny anecdotes about his antics with Fredrik. Both were northerners so it was good to hear earthy northern and stories about fishing trips. On a fishing trip as Frederick had a hand in plaster, yet he took in and rowed to the plaster came off. They both get to Tarnaby to Frederick would get new plaster and the older brother put it, all in Tarnaby from the janitor up to the doctor GIPSA. All the five children of Frederick was also up there and talked about her dear father. They talked about his scarred hands that is used extensively when he had worked as a carpenter, they talked about his stubbornness, his boldness to share the gospel and his eternal optimism - his ability to "think outside the box.”
It was a meeting full of memories, smiles and a strong faith. Frederick was now with his parents his daughter who died of sudden infant death and her granddaughter who died in the ninth month. There is no sadness, just missing, but also a great joy that Frederick had met his savior Jesus Christ and that he had a good life.
When the speeches were over and all the great hymns - Yes, I must not forget that our bishop Fabrice played guitar and sang Frank Sinatra's "My Way"At the funeral. The song was Frederick's special wishes - then gathered the immediate family in front of the coffin and held each other. Then we all go to the coffin to say goodbye and lay our flowers on the coffin. It was a true light, what a joy and such a gratitude over the funeral. It felt like one big revival meeting where the speakers are not just talking personally about Fredrik, but also testified about God and Jesus Christ and how close we live our deceased. They are with us, on the other side of the veil. The hymns were sung Where Thee Every Hour, Only one day in moments and Great Thou Art. It was a powerful encounter with the Spirit's presence and I am thankful that I got to be with.
After the funeral, wrote the eldest son in the family this on facebook:
Thanks for all the warmth and participation of this special day when we took leave of our beloved husband, father, relative and friend. We feel a regret, of course, but at the same time a great peace of mind knowing that Fredrik is where he should be now. He has certainly started the new major construction projects in our Father's loving kingdom and welcomes many cherished reunions! Thanks to many special year Dad and all the best - you will be missed!