It is more than a week since Janet died, and the funeral is planned for next Friday, 21st September, with a service at the crematorium for mainly family members, to be followed by a service of thanksgiving at our church, Christchurch Stannington, at 1.15pm. We hope many will come to this, both to celebrate Janet’s life, and to celebrate our faith, which gives Christians every reason to face death without fear. We’re not immune to sorrow – that must be why Jesus wept at the death of his friend, Lazarus. We shall sing the hymns and songs chosen by Janet when we discussed the service – “The Lord’s my shepherd, I’ll not want”, “There is a Redeemer, Jesus God’s own son”, Before the throne of God above, I have a strong, a perfect plea”, and “Thine be the glory, risen, conqu’ring Son”.
I wrote this poem to express my grief – I have found this a helpful medium for grieving.
Poem for Janet
The doctor’s certificate read “lung cancer”,
Janet died on September the sixth,
but to me, she had been gone for many days,
her breathing, once so laboured, soon gave up.
People said, “Janet was always bright,
and kind, so wonderfully kind and generous,
a lovely nature, totally sincere,”
she used all these in helping those in need.
The Prof in Hull, who diagnosed her, wrote,
“We have lost a beautiful person”.
Not just a beautiful face, and gentle body,
but beauty of character, mind, and spirit too.
Words like “kind”, “gentle”, and “generous” recur,
and Janet would distinguish right from wrong,
she recognised a need, and did something,
felt the other’s pain, and suffered with them.
I feel numb, lost, and lonely, she’s not here,
and yet I know my Janet lives, in heaven,
the place of peace, all pain and suffering gone.
Hallelujah! The Lord be praised. Amen.
Peter Campion, written 1 week after Janet died, 13th September 2018.