The visitation and funeral were during the week and out of state, too far for any friends to travel. I know how important being with those who have experienced loss is from years of sitting and spending time with persons during those early days of grief.
Mike and I sat through two services, one visitation, and two funeral dinners, knowing no one.The church and funeral homes were filled with people, who knew my folks and my brother, but not me. I left Columbus and moved away after graduating from Ohio State.
I asked God to help me see another perspective during the first funeral, my father's. I felt God with me in close companionship, but I longed to see a familiar face and receive a hug.The services were held at the Greek Orthodox Cathedral, which is the family denomination.The ladies of the church prepared a nice luncheon and then the heavens opened.
One by one, persons who were at the luncheon (which was open to anyone) came and said , "I am praying for you." "You are in my prayers." "What a difficult time to loose two parents so close together." I didn't know anyone, but I received God's presence from the sincerity and deep compassion. These people comforted me even thought I was a stranger.
I came away with a new perspective. In the body of Christ there is indeed communion and companionship even away from home when it is needed most.