Thursday, 14 August 2014
Quaker insights into silence and grief
Not that sort. (Anyway, you can't make decent porage in a minute!)
I'm not one, but there is much about them I find interesting and rewarding. Here's a couple of quotes from a Friend's publication about funerals, sent to me by a dear friend who is also a Friend:
"Quakers do have something very special to offer the dying and the bereaved, namely that we are at home in silence. Not only are we thoroughly used to it and unembarrassed by it, but we know something about sharing it, encountering others in its depths and, above all, letting ourselves be used in it…"
I love the idea that we encounter others in the depths of silence; I think that can be very true in a funeral, any sort of funeral - or in a wedding, for that matter. And being used in the silence seems a potent idea, whether we think it is literally true, or a powerful metaphor for what happens to us in a profound moment.
And on grief:
"People so often talk of someone ‘getting over’ a death. How could you ever fully get over a deep loss? Life has been changed profoundly and irrevocably. You don’t get over sorrow; you work your way right to the centre of it."
This seems so true to me that it's a puzzle sometimes why more of us can't accept that and live with it; it is so helpful.
Both quotes were written by Diana Lampen in 1979, and if she is still with us, I thank her for them.