I was at a funeral last week, and it struck me once again how powerful words can be. The right words can make a bad situation all right again, the wrong ones can cause so much hurt that it is hard to undo. Quotes can bring back memories, so powerful that you can actually feel as if you were in that time and place again. I heard once somewhere (at a Sunday School I think) that words are like toothpaste - once you have squeezed them out of the tube, you can't squeeze them back in again - so be careful what you say.
At this funeral we were remembering a lovely lady who had died quite quickly. She was a grandmother, and the sort of person that always had a smile for you, no matter what, she always asked after you and your family. She never said a bad word about anyone, and she was just always there in the background watching out for people. Someone spoke about her and said that the light that shone out of her was dazzling (and it was) and that this light had now gone, but had gone on to become part of the greater Light that we are all part of, and that shines out of each of us. Somehow I like this thought, it reminded me of the sentiment that no one ever really dies, they live on in our hearts and in our memories.
I lost another very good friend earlier this year, and when we used to chat, she always said that her husband would never die as long as we remembered him and spoke about him. Every Christmas I gave her a card from Our Lady's Hospice telling her that there was a light on their Christmas Tree for her husband. She always told me how much that meant to her. This year there will be another light on that tree, for her.