The man was 70 plus. He had been keeping good health; he went to play golf and felt ill....and didn't even make it to the hospital from the golf course.
The no-longer-the-man was stretched out on a refrigerated casket. Rites were performed which made no sense to me, because I firmly believe that what was dear to the family left on Saturday evening. Now it's only the empty shell that is being subjected to rites.
But the family was inconsolable. The wife yelled, "ask them not to take him away". I felt,oh my goodness,lady, don't cry now....the "husband" in that body went away two days ago. What's left HAS to be taken away and destroyed, before it decomposes. The flesh without the spirit is just...dross.
Do the prescribed rites give comfort to the family? If they do, that's all right. But today I saw the family being agonized afresh by rituals which did NOT comfort them at all. There was NO dignity to some of those rituals.
There were crowds of people. How many of them were there from genuine sorrow? How many to watch? And to mark their attendance? I heard two people quietly discussing how the lady would not like to live with either son because "she doesn't get along with the daughter-in-laws". Felt like telling them to stop...but they had a right to say what they felt like, so I kept quiet.
I was most uncomfortable, because to me, the fact of the man's dying without illness, without suffering, was a good thing. I would have been lynched if I had expressed that thought, though. So I kept quiet.
Life is SO chaotic...death even more so.
How am I going to take it if such a loss happens to me? Will I be philosophical?