Friday, September 2, 2005

End of the Line?

Death. It’s one of those unnerving topics that most people try to steer clear of. About the ONLY time most of us are willing to talk about it is when someone we know dies. We talk about it quickly in hushed tones. And we welcome anyone who can provide us with a diversion.

My wife learned yesterday that her foster grandmother (the woman was my mother-in-law’s foster mother) died. Both my wife & I have mixed feelings about the woman’s passing. On the one hand, we feel sympathy for those family members in grief. On the other hand, however, this woman was one of the most miserable people either of us have ever met, so there’s not much grieving going on at our house.

Grandma was miserable by her own choice. She was a Christian fundamentalist who viewed the world as solely black-and-white, no shades of grey anywhere. She was willing to be your “friend”, provided that you believed just as she did. If you didn’t (and even trivial differences counted), then she would x you out of her book.

Since no one that I know of agreed with her world view 100 per cent, as the years went by, almost everyone – children and other close relatives included – were cast aside. At the end of her life on planet earth, she was alone in her self-righteousness.

This woman missed out on weddings, births, first words and first steps, promotions and everything else her once friends and/or relatives experienced in their lives. In essence, by shutting her heart to so many people, she robbed herself of sharing in the joys and heartaches of the very people she should have held dear. In my book, that’s the definition of self-imposed misery!

All of this might not be for naught, if heaven is the kind of place she believed in. If it is, then maybe she will have the last laugh.

But what if her spirit rises up out the primordial mist and, instead of finding herself at the pearly gates, she is dropped down next to a simple handwritten sign, “You had your one big chance and you blew it”.

This is something I think more fundamentalists should ponder. If heaven turns out to be each of our lives here on earth and not some place in the hereafter, then it will mean that far too many lives have been wasted. Such people will have squandered their one opportunity for happiness and fulfillment, waiting for a day that had already arrived...the day they were born.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are unmoderated, so you can write whatever you want.