Her Name is Noel

And she was a gift from a dear friend, after Gabriel's death. The Same friend who sent a baby card and a sympathy card, separately, because she wanted to to acknowledge the baby that was and the joy he brought us all. Noel was hers first, given to her when she was given a particularly hard medical diagnosis. As she struggled to come to terms with it, she would hold Noel and cry.

She wanted me to have something to hold. And I do. Often.

I have read the struggles of others in the last few days, and I have wanted to comfort them. I can't send the Noel, but I can give them words. I'm an Anglican, and the words that comfort me are often from our liturgy, they are words to bound and limit and describe my circumstances, when I can't think of any on my own. They are humble words, offered out of the bedrock of my own faith and hurt, when my words for all of us are so few, so far apart and so failing. I know that not everyone shares my faith, but I hope the language of running a race, and belief that we will see our loved ones again, brings comfort, no matter how you dream of the after life.

"Who in the multitude of the thy saints has compassed us about with so great a cloud of witnesses, that we, rejoicing in their fellowship, may run with patience the race that is set before us, and together with them may receive the crown of glory that fadeth not away. Therefore with Angels and Archangels, and with all the company of heaven, we laud and magnify thy glorious name, evermore praising thee and saying:

Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Hosts, heaven and earth are full of thy glory. Glory be to thee, O Lord Most High.

Book of Common Prayer
Anglican Church of Canada