Today I have been preparing to officiate at a local funeral at Mortlake crematorium, a funeral for a lady who had lived a good life and died at the ripe old age of 86. I have also been reflecting on a week in which grief and death have been so much in the news. Recalling the first anniversary of the unspeakable atrocities at Borough Market. Being reminded of the horrific loss of lives at Grenfell Tower. So when I received the following message in my email today from Jean Vanier, founder of l’Arche Community for people with disabilities, it seemed very poignant to me and has given me much food for reflection. He writes as follows:
Every human being has his or her secret and mystery. Some lives are long, others short. Some people seem to live through stages of growth, others do not. But I believe that every person arrives at true maturity at the moment of death. It is very easy to see the purpose of some people’s lives; with others it is more difficult. But I believe that every person’s life is important, whatever their limitations, poverty or gifts. There is a meaning to every life, even if we cannot see it. I believe that each person, in his or her unique beauty and worth, lives out a sacred story. For me a person exists from the moment of conception. He or she exists even if…he or she has a profound handicap.
With every blessing