This text was written by Rev. Kathleen W. Haynes in April 2020, after she officiated a
funeral which, due to COVID-19 restrictions, was sparsely attended and socially-distanced. During this time, mourners are compelled to find ways to connect with loved ones without the traditional practice of physically gathering together.
Vocal range: G3–D5. Arrangements for other voice types and piano are in progress.
Watch the Bowers Fader Duo performing Who will cry for her?:
I only learned of her death the evening before. I made a few phone calls out in the drizzle in the backyard because I don’t have good reception in my home. I prayed over the phone with someone as the church bells rang next door, drowning out my words and as I said “Amen” my voice began to break. I loved her but I hadn’t seen her in months. And I wept for her. The next morning, I woke to memories of her. She and I had talked about this day. It wasn’t much of what I wanted for her. But I was there. Her friend was there. Her daughter and granddaughter were there. There were almost more people from the funeral home than those to say goodbye. I was able to sing. The song she said many times she wanted at her funeral. And after we committed her body to the ground and I gave the benediction, I began to cry again. This was something I had been trained not to do. Something lectured against, something said to be selfish. But the words, “Who will cry for her?” rang clear in my mind and heart. I have learned over the years that sometimes it is I who needs to give grief permission to be here. “Who will cry for her?” I will cry for her. I will cry for her as one who loved her. I will cry for all those who because of this bizarre day and age cannot be present at her burial. “Who will cry for her?” I will cry for her. And as I cried, my eyes met her granddaughter’s eyes. We could not embrace, we could not stand close, but we could both cry.