In this calender we add peoples birthdays mostly. Recent years, however, we have started to add other things as well, like dates of christening, first tooth, first steps.
And , and that is the topic for this post , date of death, or departure.
Today I add another sad message to this departurelist - John Hurt .
And, as it happends, also Lennart Nilsson, the very gifted photographer who won world fame when he filmed the forthcoming of life , human life, from the very moment of conception to the actual birth of the small new person.
The other departure is a bit more difficult to handle , sir John Hurt is another one of these talented and great actors that has brought so much joy to my life, being the cineast that I am!
John was born in Chesterfield, Derbyshire, in 1940, and studied, amongst other places in the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. He was knighted by her Majesty the Queen Elisabeth ll, in 2015, after he got his pancreatic cancer. He got several rewards, Bafta for instance, and recognitions and was also nominated for an Oscar with both Elephant Man and Midnight Express. Our children loved and remembered him mostly for his part as Ollivander in Harry Potter.
He has taken his leave and I for one believe that he is dwelling somewhere now where life goes on without magic wands!
Thank you, John Hurt, for all memorable moments!!!!
And yes, being a parish minister, I do follow many people to their departure. Sometimes I have the great privilige to be present when they go, those moments are very special. But every death must be noticed, every person leaving deserves to be cried over and spoken about. Every moment of grieving calls for comfort and listening. Whoever we are.
It's not only the departure of famous people that matters, but as I have said before, they are the ones that goes public whatever they do, and so we can speak freely and sincerely about death and how we feel about sorrow and grief without having to connect it to someone close.
There will come a day when we have to face close losses and heartbroken grief. Perhaps we then can recall what we spoke of when that famous actor or singer died, and see if it can be related, at least in part, to what we are feeling.
I speak of death as departure or separation from life as we know it, but dying is also an arrival. We wave goodbye and someone else greets with a warm Welcome, we are never abandoned. The gospel of tomorrow is from Mathew, when Peter tries and fails to walk on water, but the Lord reaches out and pulls him out of the raging waves, mildly scoulding him. Never abandoned, even if we fail. Never abandoned even in death, he will pull us out, that is my belief.
In our calender, life has it's ups and downs, its highlights and shadows, arrivals and departures, life is like that - always in motion.