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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: jackiejj
2008-11-10 02:02 pm (UTC)
I've been haunted by the thought of the baby lying there on oxygen, everything waiting.

I'm glad it's over, for the baby and the family.

Every time I drive by Mother's house--now being entirely renovated by new owners, so that the room where she (and, earlier, my father) died is now torn away--I remember those last long hours of her quiet dying, with rain falling on the low den roof and her shallower breathing, Janice stroking her forehead--it was like work, like labor. But finally, looking back, not scary.

Of course, I don't know what she was feeling--what was she seeing or experiencing that made her suddenly open her eyes and cry out "God help me!" and look terrified?

All we could say was "Everything is all right. We're here with you. Just relax. We love you."

But I wonder what she saw, why she reached forward, why she clutched the bedrail so hard (as if hanging on).

"The dead are in the hands of God." I think sometimes that she was seeing something at the foot of her bed, the tunnel maybe, and felt herself speeding up...but why didn't she let go?

Sorry to intrude into your own story with my own.
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