Saturday, October 30, 2010

Death

I doubt anyone could deny they have not thought about death. This is especially true as you lose loved ones and get old enough you have to reckon with life and death yourself.

So show a picture of life, just like we saw this weekend on another trip "up north."

We had a good friend who lost her dad and made a trip for the visitation and funeral. The look on her face when she saw us it was sure worth the trip.

I remember all the good friends who came to support me ten years ago when dad passed away. Dad could never talk much about death. He was too full of life. I think Robert was the same way.

Me, being a different sort, have thought about what happens when you die all my life. It is not something I want to dwell on but it surely isn't something I can ignore and just let happen.

My faith tells me to prepare in a certain way. I try to do that. I don't understand the people who act like they will live forever. My faith says you can live forever and I am trying to do my part to get there. Yes, I fail, and you do too so we have to help each other all we can.

I have been to so many funerals in my life, so many the last two years. Too many were farmers just older or younger than me that I know it could be me. I only have a few family members left who are older than I.

It's not a great discussion topic but perhaps the most important one you and I can discuss?

Ed

8 comments:

  1. I have these discussions with my daughter. When she was four her grandmother died. She was very close to her grandmother and misses her very much. The other day she came up to me in tears and said she couldn't really remember Grandma anymore.
    So we sat down and went over some memories. We were actually implanting memories on purpose. But, somehow her memory of Grandma is important to how she see herself as a person.
    Interesting and sad at the same time.

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  2. I know where I'm going, so death doesn't scare me. It's the dying that I'm concerned about! I always ask the Lord to let me live 'til I die, and not half-die and then lay around for ten more years. Nor do I want a painful death, whether quick or slow. I also ask him to leave my mind intact as long as live, so that I might praise him and not be a problem for others. He makes no promises, though, so when my time comes, what will be, will be.

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  3. Boy, you both summed up my feelings so well! I think we must think a lot a like, is that scary? Really comforting to me. Gorges, me too, don't want to lay around half dead for ten years. I don't think we will. We are in a profession we have passion for, enough to get us through the pain and far enough elong we won't have to lay around like a vegetable. Who knows. We hate to talk about death while we are living but having some things in line is a good idea. You both give me comments just when I need them!

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  4. Interesting parallel to the day I'm having. On my way to a friend's funeral in my home town. I realized last night that I'm not going for his sake but so that his wife - who I grew up with - will see some friends who are taking part in all this for her sake.

    - Owen

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  5. LuAnn says the funeral is not for the dead, but for the living. I think I will have some people at my funeral for many reasons, Owen. How do we stagger that with my loved one's greiving? My family could never talk like this about funerals.

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  6. There mere fact that people show up for the funeral, I think, helps the family with the grieving process. Not immediately, perhaps, but later as they reflect on things. I know that it makes you feel less alone.

    I've had some interesting funeral experiences lately.

    A friend who was an atheist didn't have funeral plans, as such, but left instructions that she wanted a party given in her honor and that it was to be catered so that her family could enjoy it, too. Maybe 200 people attended.

    The friend who died over the weekend was born into the Jewish faith, became an Episcopalian during his first marriage, but never quite quit being Jewish. His main service was in the little Episcopal church in our town, followed by a Jewish service presided over by a very thoughtful young rabbi. At the end, the rabbi invited family and friends to make the last honorary gesture, to walk by the grave and throw dirt into it. I think that tradition has mostly died out among mainline Christian denominations, although at one time it might have been common. It certainly made you feel more a part of the burial and closure.

    Writing about this now, I recall a woman's obit in a Dallas newspaper years ago. At the end, it stated that she and her husband had always donated generously to various causes and groups. In lieu of donations in her honor, she wanted friends and family to go to a nice restaurant, order a meal and then then "tip the server generously."

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  7. One more thing worth noting...

    My wife, Debra Ferguson, visited a fellow photographer the other day. A guy who we know indirectly through a friend was in the studio having an obituary photo taken.

    He has terminal cancer, and I guess he wanted a very recent photo to appear with the announcement. It always seems strange for people to run 40-year-old (or older) photos with a love one's obit. This time, the guy got to pick out the photo that will appear.

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  8. Oh that is sad Owen, I have often thought the same. You see all kinds of obit pictures but usually way out of date. I am sorry he has a reason to get an up to date photo.

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