A blessing upon the passing of a family business member

Matthew 5:4

When a family business member passes away, it can feel doubly painful because we have lost someone who was part of two overlapping families: our extended family and our work family. The person who has died – whether they started the enterprise, maintained it, or if they were the future of the business and died prematurely – leaves a large gap. The theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer noted that God leaves the gap "unfilled, and in this way he helps us to maintain our true communion with our loved one, even though it is painful.”

Here is a blessing when a beloved family business member passes away. (To listen to the blessing, click here.)

Your leave-taking from this life has been hard on us
Mingled feelings of sadness, celebration, relief, and regret
Our past, present, and future shaped by your spirit
In this enterprise we recognize as both a blessing and a burden.

We treasure the gifts you left to us
Not simply money or property or personal effects
But a true wealth of stories, of values, of sacrifices
Molding the foundation of our own character 

We did not always agree or act kindly toward one another
We regret what we said in anger, or what we should have said but didn’t 
We missed chances to heal some wounds before they became scars
Yet all are important in the ties binding us together.

Now, as we recall your life with us,

May any peace that eluded you in this life be found in the next
May any pain you carried in your mind, body, or soul be healed
May our recollections of our time with you cause us to smile
May God’s presence connect us until we see each other again.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. (Matthew 5:4)

Prior blessings: For rest, for the next generation’s return, for the senior generation letting go, and for the new year.