Nov 19, 2009

I went to a funeral today. It was for an elderly woman, whose death was neither out of the blue nor unexpected. She had been dying for sometime. In fact, if you think about it, we have all been dying for sometime. It is just that in some cases it is more noticeable than in others. I'm reminded of the death of a prominent person some years ago. Actually, I can't remember the name of the prominent person, but he or she was prominent enough to have television reporters asking stupid questions about him or her on TV. One news person, no doubt trying to seem serious, asked the doctor conducting the press conference about the death of the celebrity, if the dead person died of heart failure? The doctor replied, "We all die of heart failure." Sometimes our heart fails because of natural causes and sometimes because something stopped it, but one way or another, the last thing that happens is our heart stops beating for good and we die. And another thing is that we all die suddenly, no matter how long it takes us. We might linger for months or years, but one moment we are alive and the next second we are quite dead. There is no in between. The nearest near-death experience was still life. But, I digress. I never actually met the deceased, but I am friends with her son, so I went to the funeral. As funerals go, this one was unusual. No minister, no music, just a short military tribute, because the woman had served in the military and a few words about the deceased written by her son and read by a funeral home guy. It seemed about the right amount of funeral to me. The usual speculation about what becomes of us when we are dead was confined to a release of doves at the conclusion. Symbolizing the release of the soul from its Earthly bonds, I suppose. No promises, no predictions, just the age old human hope that somehow we can cheat death. Of course we don't now what happens to the souls of the dead for sure, or even if there is really a soul. It is all speculation, whether based on the stories of the ancients or on the confidence of modern science. What happens to the "us" in us remains unresolved. What we do know is that with or without mortuary intervention, sooner or later we return to the cosmic soup from which we came. Then the elements that were us are mashed up and we are off again to become a part of something else, somewhere. Just about sums it up for me. Except that I plan on living til about 100. Things in this blog represented to be fact, may or may not actually be true. The writer is frequently wrong, sometimes just full of it, but always judgmental and cranky

8 comments:

Barbara said...

I like the idea of releasing those doves. That's what you call throwing it out there to the universe.

Ronda Laveen said...

Yep, on to become something else.

Reya Mellicker said...

This is quite profound, Merle. You are a deep thinker. I was nodding yes yes yes as I read your post.

What ISN'T speculation? That's what I wonder.

Kurt said...

I'm hoping they cure that death thing in the next few decades.

Bella Rum said...

I don't want a funeral, and I definitely don't want an open casket.

edward said...

i'm with Kurt!

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Steve said...

I love the doves -- that does seem appropriately symbolic, especially since they're all living beings infused with the same energy that left the deceased only a short time before.