I'd been peeling back the layers of accumulati adorning my desk when I rediscovered my "notes" from the recent funeral I attended. Approaching any ceremony or meeting without a writing implement and paper sends me into a wild-eyed panic. Swaths of exposed skin have been penned upon in emergencies. Praise Zeus funerals provide programs...
One of the peculiarities of religion is the need to speculate about god's motives. You know, god took the baby because she was too good for this world. Gramps died because The Lord decided to ended his suffering. (Presumably The Lord thought 10 years of exponential dementia and 3 years of grueling chemotherapy were just about right.) ANYWAY, at my aunt's funeral there were several references to the Virgin Mother taking her on Mother's Day. As if that was the best way to honor her. At her party. On the other side. I'm so perplexed by all this. I find myself daydreaming that the priest dies and arrives at deathland only to realize, "Shit. I was totally talking outta my ass."
Most religions are power-sucks–even if it is the comfort being sought–because they hammer home the concept that you can't do things without god's help. You can't overcome your weakness, you can't accomplish your goals, you can't face death, you can't get to heaven, etc. ad nauseum without following some prescribed behavior. Without faith. Without obedience. Without baptism and tithing. Which seems counterintuitive, if you buy this divine spiritual goal of attaining perfection. Shouldn't we be taught that we have incredible innate powers? Not reaching inward to tap into these fallow abilities should be a sin. On that note, epiphenita's latest set of commandments:
- Thou shalt use thy common sense.
- Thou shalt stop whining or I shall cast out all thy big white teeth.
- Thou shalt stop pestering me (god) about high school sports.
- Thou shalt figure it out. Make thine list and use thy holy gray matter.
- Thou shalt think about tomorrow before using all thy silver pieces for new togas and sandals today.
- Thou shalt use thy signal or suffer the wrath of my vengeful high priestess of traffic flow.
The sweet little incense-swinging priest was likable enough. He told the congregation that it was okay to mourn. He referenced Jesus' sorrow at the death of his good friend Lazarus as proof that grief was an approved response to death. I don't remember the details of this part of the bible story–but the priest should know, right? So I guess JC was pretty sad.
But not so sad that he resisted RAISING LAZARUS FROM THE DEAD. He responded to death by using his superpowers. Come on! That's cheating and absolutely no comfort to us resurrection-challenged mortals.
Okay. Those are all my notes. That I can share. Suffice it to say that as a religious service/tribute to my aunt, it didn't suck. These people knew her and her family. That's good. But as a religious service addressing the mysteries of death...pretty much what I expected. Lots of assurance about things of which nobody is sure. Nice stained glass, though.