Hello, my friend. I trust you are well.
Two days ago Blook and I attended the funeral of a close friend’s mum.
Listening to the celebrant’s words, he said something – two things, in fact – that I found myself frowning at.
1 – “She was taken before her time.”
2 – “I don’t have any words of comfort to explain why God allows bad things happen to good people.”
These two things irked me.
Let’s take the first one:
She wasn’t taken before her time. Nobody is. Just as no leaf falls before its allotted time, no human form falls before its allotted time either. How can it? Everything is.
Saying that somebody was taken before their time is cheap; those words are said to help the bereft feel like they’ve been hard done by, and that their loved who has died was dealt an unfair hand. Since when does feeling like a victim help one grieve?
Does it? Does it help us grieve? Does feeling like life has treated us unfairly help us process the death of a loved one more easily?
I don’t think it does; though I could be wrong.
What do you think?
Now, the second thing the celebrant said:
“I don’t have any words of comfort to explain why God allows bad things happen to good people.”
Is death really a bad thing? By treating it as something negative, doesn’t it change the way we perceive it? Doesn’t it change the way we perceive our own death and dying?
Surely, if we looked at death and dying in a more positive, all-embracing light, we could (potentially) die more at ease, and the dynamics of our grief would change also; i.e we wouldn’t see ourselves, and our loved ones who have passed, as victims. We would have a deeper acceptance of life’s ways, and a better understanding and appreciation that life and death come hand in hand.
By inviting death into our life, by realising the fact that we have one foot in the grave and the other on a banana skin, as the saying goes, our lives can become richer, more vibrant and meaningful. At least that’s what I’ve found in my own life.
Look around. One day all this will be gone. Really believe it; it’s a fact.
Now, how much do you appreciate the flower; the blade of the grass; the sky; the sound of birdsong; your loved one’s smile, their presence; the fact that you can see, feel, touch, smell; the fact that you’ve just breathed in?
It all seems limitless but, really, it’s so unbelievably limited.
Have a nice weekend.
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