Mer, rhymes with bear (merriehaskell) wrote,
Mer, rhymes with bear

safe from the winter storms

I usually feel like a pretty brave little trooper or whatever you might want to call it when faced with news of death--not that I don't mourn or grieve, but I typically feel like I know where death fits in with it all.

Maybe that comes of being scared crapless of death between the ages of four and eleven? I've talked a little about my apocalyptic fears from being raised evangelical, but not lately--suffice it to say I was a morbid little kid, certain I and my mother were going to hell, and Jesus was coming, just not for me.

Maybe it comes from being a member of a large family in general (it seems like someone is always dying), or being very close to the holder of the Death Office--you know, the person who always ends up arranging the funerals. Maybe it comes from having been born with grandparents already in their 70s.

Maybe it comes from parental issues--my dad faced down his first bout of cancer when I was eleven, and had several in between before he died at the young age of forty-six (literally only ten years older than I am now). --And my mom worked with terminal patients for the better part of my adolescence, and it wasn't just worked with them, but brought them to our home, socialized with them, etc.

Whatever the reason, while I feel compassionate towards people who lose others, and while I feel grief when people die, it still doesn't usually strike me with a big "WHY GOD WHY" very often. Pretty much only when children die--or, in a weird paradox that I consider vaguely selfish and maybe even narcissistic, people I knew as children (even when I was also a child). A distant friend from high school passed away today, and I find myself vaguely inconsolable--far more grief-stricken than I potentially shoudl be, since I remember very little about this man other than as a genial math-class buddy.

I've been thinking a lot about the sparrow in the hall lately--even before this. It seems strange to me that after spending so much time rejecting any notion of any real God that I find convinced that I'm just a sparrow, and I am uncomfortable, perhaps even unhappy, with the belief that there is no storm outside the hall. I don't want or need an omnipotent, watchful God; but I do want a universe that will open up when I die. Actually, no--it's not for me. What I want is a universe that will open up when my friends, and family, and most especially the people I knew as children, die.

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