Becky Says...

June 2005

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Every Sunday - June 1

You may just as well be prepared that I'm in one of those spaces where I need to write what's on my mind to get it out of my brain. The theme this week is apparently going to be death, especially that by suicide, and the theme for today involves a child whose father committed suicide a number of years ago.

The suicide victim I didn't know. He was a friend of some friends, and to offer support and a little childcare I wound up going to the funeral. One of the things I learned while I was there was that the children had had a large hand in picking the hymns for the service. They were involved in the church's children's choirs, and they knew the hymns well.

An aside: after the service, as we all sat around drinking coffee and talking, the church music director, who is a friend but not one mentioned here before, made the rather profound comment that every time you learn of a person committing suicide it reminds you of every other person you've known who has done likewise. He was right.

Time passed. The horror of what had happened eased for my friends, and I heard through them that the widow and children were doing pretty well.

Then came the death of the music director's father. A group of us attended that funeral, and when we got together next it happened to be at the church where the music director worked. He had just opened his office mailbox, and in it was a note from the still quite young daughter of the suicide victim. My friend read it, then passed it to the next person. It went around the group.

The child had written a sympathy note, saying that she knew it was hard to lose your father since hers had died, too. She went on to write how much she enjoyed being in choir. She said it helped her remember her father, and we knew she did not mean God the Father when we read her final sentence: "Every Sunday I sing for my father."

Every one of us in the room wept. For the sadness, and for the joy.

And tonight I thought of that incident for several reasons, not the least of which is that this would have been my own father's ninety-ninth birthday. Much of the music in me came from his side of my ancestry, and many a Sunday after his death I, too, sang for my father, being sure and certain that he heard every note.

Text © copyright 2000-2005 Becky