26 June 2009

Mourning?



This is the first time that I have been involved in mourning... The first time I have been a part of a family grieving together in the first days after a loss. It has been a dichotomy- fine, sad, fine, crying, laughing, sad, quiet, fine... back and forth we go. Striking the balance between ok and not ok ways to treat people when you or they are grieving. What do you excuse and where do you draw the line? It has been complex.

And from what I have seen, this modern way (American way?) of handling death is very detached. I read a lot of historical fiction where the death of a loved one, or anyone for that matter, is treated very differently than I have seen this week. We as a nation are very separated, protected, from images of death and what death and dying is like. I guess in a country with physical beauty as the end-all be-all death and dying isn't very attractive.

It makes me think about my own passing one day and what I want to do now to ease it for my kids, what I want to put in writing so there's no fighting or worrying about what I'd want. And I'm totally writing my own obit or at least listing what I think is the crucial information that I want in it.

Sigh. So much to think about, but the number one thing that's been on my mind: after. I simply cannot imagine what it must be like for people who have no hope for the afterlife. Or people who are utterly terrified about what is to come. That makes me unbelievably sad. And I want to make sure that everyone I love, and those that I don't even know, have a hope and a future and an assurance of what is to come. But you can't push it on people. You can't force anyone to believe, so you just have to try to live in such a way that you and your hope is so appealing that those watching you are intrigued enough to ask "what is it that you have?"

(by the way, the answer is Jesus)

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