Archive for June, 2009

Post-mortem reflections

Friday, June 12th, 2009

Gwen’s funeral recently. On the whole a happy event. She was almost 90 and had suffered a long decline into Alzheimer’s disease. It brought the extended family together and that was the happy part. There was much reminiscing by four first cousins sitting at the same table afterwards, all in their 70’s. Only at weddings and funerals, it seems, do we all manage to get together.

It struck me during the mass that it is a pity the deceased does not get a chance to say anything to the congregation. Much is said about him, or her. Much is remembered, but it is all one sided. So I thought that when it comes to my turn I would prepare something to be read out. There are many references to ‘eternal rest’, ‘at peace’ and ‘resurrection’ etc., but all these are stale metaphors and convey nothing of the death event itself, what it might have meant to the individual (and surprisingly, what it must mean to the family). Nor, not surprisingly, apart from the conventional metaphors, is anything said about the post-mortem reality. So here goes.

(more…)