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Monday, April 20, 2009

Meh...now I need to write about death. One of the reasons that I'm "not a minister" is that I do not relate to it well: read: "at all".

 Here's the thing: when someone dies, they are out of my life. That's all. I do not grieve, as a rule, whether friend or family. No, I am not a tight little bundle of neuroses; I do not suck my thumb, nor cry myself to sleep at night. The departure of a person in death affects me as little as a person leaving town on a trip. Maybe this means I am very well adjusted insofar as death is concerned. I have not shed a tear over my father's murder, nor the death of my wife's mom and dad, both to cancer. I lost it when my mom died, but I was only four or five. I found my eighty-six year old grandfather dead in his bed when I was in eighth grade, and had the presence of mind to call the hospital and get the arrangements rolling, only then going upstairs to awaken my grandmother. No tears. I have cried over The Dread Dormomoo's sister's death, years after the fact. As to Public Figures, there is one whose departure affected me deeply. Beyond that, nope. They are gone, and my attention is now elsewhere.

The obsession with Death and Heaven in many churches is beyond me. There is an amazing amount of work right here to occupy us 24/7, without cow-eyed singing about "over there", and "crossing over Jordan". Ummmmm, people, nowhere in Scripture is the Jordan River a metaphor for Death, and Going to Heaven. It is an entry into Kingdom life, either in a figure, as in Israel crossing Jordan to enter the Promised Land, or in the image of baptism in the Jordan. Jesus has defeated death in the Resurrection, period. For the believer death is a Customs counter as we move from one realm to the next. The Bible is relatively quiet about our life in eternity, sufficiently so that we really don't need to yammer on about it. Jesus came that we might have life, and that more abundantly. That's what the Kingdom is about. Let's work with that.

This week also brings us to celebrations, that of the Oklahoma City Bombings, and Columbine. These masochistic parties are also beyond my ken. Everyone burbles on about closure and healing, but every year that rolls around, we give the lie to that. We tear off the bandage of closure, and peel off the scab of healing. Pointless. Shall we get on with our lives, please? This cannot be healthy. Oh, Happy Holocaust Awareness Day!
Because I surely wouldn't remember the Holocaust without video of traffic stopping in Israel in memory of it.


A local custom which eludes me, but which does bring in some shekels, is remembering the Dearly Departed by purchasing shirts with their picture on them. Add to that the "In Loving Memory of (insert name here)" vinyl lettering on back car, truck, or SUV windows. It's just creepy to me, and does not seem conducive to getting over it. I guess tearing off psychological scabs is just so deliciously painful and rewarding.

One more thing: I DO NOT GET these execrable roadside displays where fatal road accidents have occurred. You know the ones: a white cross with the decedent's name on the patibulum, with faded plastic flowers draped thereon. They make me consider legislation. To echo a Scroogian sentiment, "Are there no cemetaries?". That's what they are for, you know, the whole gravestone and flowers thing. My belief is that they are a sufficient distraction to cause MORE road accidents. The writing is sufficiently small to cause inattention to the road as you squint to read it. They either need to be a billboard (you have to pay for the sign, which stimulates the economy, too), or they need to be gotten rid of. If you care enough to vomit your grief on the public roadways, then you can pay for the privilege.

Hmmmm...no takers.



Rigel Kent said...

When it comes to death, I grieve, but I do it privately. I do not share it, with anyone.

And when I'm done, I'm done. Example, I could not tell you where either my Mother or Grandmother are buried. I know the town, but not the name or location of the cemetery. Even though I was at both of their funerals.

Cunning Dove said...

Add to that the "In Loving Memory of (insert name here)" vinyl lettering on back car, truck, or SUV windows.Oh yea. I have often wondered what do they do if they trade or sell that car? What an honor to the dearly departed. Has anyone seen my single edged razor???

I have come to resent the execrable roadside displays where fatal road accidents have occurred. Once upon a time... I thought they might be a good idea. Ya know, put a marker on the road to let people know "this is a dangerous intersection."It does not work. When I was a Senior in HS, a local boy died in a car wreck. He was on legit prescription pain killers & drunk. He decided to drive home anyway. His truck flipped, he was thrown from the truck. The truck landed on the train tracks. Otherwise, who knows how long he might have laid out in the woods. Did any of my friends stop getting drunk, and then driving home? No.

People make bad decisions all the time for any number of reasons. No one can save them from themselves. Trying to do so is just a naive, feel good, emotional yard sale. I'm not interrested.