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Tony Grist

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Trusting In Allah [Nov. 9th, 2008|10:22 am]
Tony Grist
The prophet had very little patience with funerals (though he was known to weep at them). He wanted them conducted immediately after the death and with a minimum of fuss. Women were forbidden to go to the burying ground because they couldn't be trusted not to wail. The period of mourning was set at three days (except in the case of widows, who got a little longer). Grave markers- even grave mounds- were dismissed as so much vanity.

Yesteday's funeral was a robust mixture of DIY and tradition. The car that carried the coffin was a silver 4X4 with a cow catcher on the front and a sticker reading "Another fucking cyclist". The undertaker wore shabby clothes, a back to front cap and had a blue-tooth in his ear. The ceremony took this shape: an hour for the women to gather round the coffin and keen- and then a quarter of an hour for the men to recite the traditional prayers (which are largely silent). There was no bloody clergyman and no bloody homily.

Death happens. You deal with it and and then move on as quickly as you can.  Life is an illusion- which means you shouldn't take death too seriously- and too important to waste - which means you shouldn't spend more time on death than is strictly necessary.  The dead are in the hands of God.  Trust him to know what he's doing.

[User Picture]From: qos
2008-11-09 03:01 pm (UTC)

Obviously I'm Very Biased on this Topic

I have an intense dislike for the sales industry surrounding death: expensive coffins, expensive grave markers, expensive burial plots, expensive flowers. . . But I do think there's something to be said for spending some time memorializing the person who died and acknowledging grief.

However much faith someone may have that a divine power is now taking direct care of the dead, there is still a loss from our lives, and that loss requires time to heal. What that looks like and how long it takes is intensely personal.

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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2008-11-09 07:37 pm (UTC)

Re: Obviously I'm Very Biased on this Topic

Talking about the sales industry surrounding death, I've just discovered Six Feet Under.

I've been to very few funerals I've "liked". This was one of them.
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