Since you weren’t there I’ll try to write a summary of my extemporaneous graveside service:
When asked about death Jesus is said to have said that our God will say “come blessed one, I have been waiting for you since the foundation of the world “. What Jesus didn’t know that we now know is that the foundation of the world is at least 13 billion years ago, that fragments of dust banged and expanded for billions of years until one just happened to be where light and warmth was perfect to cause some molecules to become fluid. Then water ran for billions of years until amazingly, the first cell divided and life. Billions of years of creatures evolved into human. Humans have continued to refine and one day one perfect little one was born who was such a joy to everyone her parents called her Joyce. We here all have known Joyce. She had her own unique way of being and loving that the world before never saw and will never be duplicated. So we know that as we return this little bit of stardust to the earth that it miraculously came from, we are not burying Joyce. Joyce’s love lives in eternal life and lives in each of us. Take a minute of silence now to think of one way in which Joyce will continue to live in you.
After a minute about 5 or 6 people shared poignant remembrances then we concluded with everyone raising their hand in blessing. Our loving God, we are grateful for the wonderful gift of the universe, for our place in it, for all of our loved ones and especially that we have had Joyce in our lives. As we return this stardust to the earth from which she came, we trust your plan that we continue to love each other as Joyce did and as you give us to do. Amen.