a hard funeral


I got up this morning and made banana bread with the marked down bananas Eileen and I purchased yesterday. I can smell it baking.

I was surprised at my emotional reaction to Joy Huttar’s funeral. It’s always hard to watch people grieve. Her daughter ended her “homily” in tears. I, myself, began weeping and continued to weep for much of the service. I not only have inherited my father’s weird anger, I have inherited my mother’s emotionalism.


Although I wear my heart on my sleeve and am overly sensitive, I cannot always tell what exactly it is I am feeling, only that I am overwhelmed. It can trouble those around me, who can’t find an explicit reason for my tears (if they notice them). The weird thing is, I can’t find one either.

I didn’t know Joy that well. We were colleagues and acquaintances. We share a vocation for church music and that may have been some of it.

I had to smile as the gathering group talked loudly through the prelude. I began the prelude about a half hour before the service time, something I usually do. I played lots of Bach and bit of Brahms. Joy hated the fact that people talked during the prelude at the regular Eucharist services. I don’t. I like the fact that people need to connect with each other before praying. And I’m used to being ignored.

I play the music for itself and for myself.

The place was packed. I didn’t see many local musicians or AGOers, however. At the first thundering congregational response: “And also with you” or whatever it was, I knew that I would have my hands full leading this strong a group with my weak old organ.

I tried to set brisk tempos in the introductions to the hymns. The congregation picked up on them nicely. Good thing. Because I’m not sure I could too much to change a tempo they chose as group.

We did do some a cappella. I wanted to do much of “When peace. like a river” a cappella, but several singers from my own choir were not listening to the rest of the congregation and they got so far off that I was forced to come back in the with the organ. Again, a smile through tears.

I couldn’t stay afterwards. I know this is a pastoral weakness of mine, but after playing a service there’s really no one besides my boss (who is busy) in my community I feel comfortable talking with.



“That wasn’t so bad, was it?” Eileen asked me. And she was right. It wasn’t the circus I thought it might have been. I should have known better, I guess. My banana bread should be ready soon. I hope it came out alright.

The Rev Owen Chadwick obituary | Books | The Guardian

Owen Chadwick, Eminent Historian of Christianity, Dies at 99 – The New York Times

I found the Guardian link in the NYT obit. I’m sure I have at least one book by this historian but it’s not filed correctly yet in my library.

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