Shepton Beauchamp

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"What's with the fork?"

Fr. Geoff

There was a lady who was diagnosed with a terminal illness and had been given three months to live. So as she was getting her things “in order,” she contacted her Vicar and asked had him come to her house to discuss her final wishes. She told him which hymns she wanted sung at the service, what scriptures she would like read, and what outfit she wanted to be buried in. Everything was in order and the Vicar was preparing to leave when the woman suddenly remembered something very important to her.

“There's one more thing,” she said excitedly. “What's that?” came the Vicar's reply. “This is very important,” the woman continued. “I want to be buried with a fork in my right hand.”

The Vicar stood looking at the woman, not knowing quite what to say. “That surprises you, doesn't it?”, the woman asked. “Well, to be honest, I'm puzzled by the request,” said the Vicar.

The woman explained, “In all my years of attending church socials and potluck dinners, I always remember that when the dishes of the main courses were being cleared, someone would inevitably lean over and say, “Keep your fork.” It was my favorite part because I knew that something better was coming…like velvety chocolate cake or deep-dish apple pie. Something wonderful, and with substance! So, I just want people to know I’m in that coffin with a fork in my hand and I want them to wonder, “What's with the fork?” Then I want you to tell them: “Keep your fork. The best is yet to come.”

The Vicar's eyes welled up with tears of joy as he hugged the woman good-bye; he knew that the woman had a better grasp of Heaven than most he, and most Christians, did. She KNEW that something better was coming.

At her funeral people were talking about the woman’s coffin and the fork in her hand. Over and over, the Vicar heard the question “What's with the fork?” And over and over he smiled.

During his tribute, the Vicar told the people of the conversation he had with the woman shortly before she died. He also told them about the fork and about what it symbolized to her. The Vicar told the people how he could not stop thinking about the fork and told them that they probably would not be able to stop thinking about it either. He was right.

So the next time you reach down for your fork, let it remind you ever so gently, that the best is yet to come.

From the Church Registers:

2nd February 2013Elspeth CorbettHoly Baptism at Cudworth

From Other Records

25th January 2013Margaret Stone101 yrsFuneral service at Yeovil Crematorium
church/vicars_letters/mar2013mag.txt · Last modified: d/m/Y H:M (external edit)