REV DAVID FAREY: Easter story can help crystallise our thoughts on death

David Farey SUS-160113-102615001
David Farey SUS-160113-102615001

It is a sad and inevitable part of my job that I have to conduct funerals. Something that surprises me in my 30 years of conducting funerals is that I have only had Frank Sinatra singing ‘My Way’ twice in all that time!

I have had Shania Twain and Placido Domingo and the odd Frank, but not the oft requested funeral classic.

The music is all part and parcel of the celebration of that person’s life and important to the family, so is a highly personal and individual choice.

How we approach death is important.

It comes to us all and the Easter story can help us to crystallise our thoughts.

The story is that 2,000 years ago on a Friday Jesus, both God and man, died on a cross, and then on the Sunday came back to life again.

By faith in him and this act we are given an open door to eternal life in heaven.

But a recent survey of just over 2,000 people has some fascinating results.

Of those asked 46 per cent said they believe in some form of life after death and 46 per cent did not.

If correct, that means at funerals that around a half are just celebrating a life and don’t think my prayers for the repose of the person’s soul make any difference whatsoever.

I was heartened though by the fact that one fifth of non-religious people believe in some form of life after death, but completely staggered by both the third of professed Christians who said they did not believe in life after death, and the 43 per cent of active Christians who said they did not believe that Jesus came back to life again!

Something’s missing there!

The questions I would have loved them to ask though were not included.

I would have asked the 46 per cent who believe there is life after death how many of them believe it to be a positive and rewarding afterlife and how many believe it to be a negative one?

Christians should hopefully see it as positive for those who have faith!

I recall a particular pre funeral visit to a lady who had lost her husband of 60 years.

She did not believe in life after death, but more amazing when asked if her husband believed if there was anything after death said that they had never talked about it and so she did not know!

Neither of them had at any point in their long years together talked about matters spiritual.

All I can say is that in my years of funeral visits she was the most bereft, emotionally hurt and distressed person I have ever encountered.

It is something to think about!