Sunday, April 26, 2009

Please God, Just Take Me Now!

Sometimes I get so caught up in myself that I make egregious errors in judgement. Sometimes I place so much confidence in my self-confidence, my supposed strength, that I forget to empathize with others; I forget that I, too, am subject to the viccisitudes of being. But I have been appropriately chastened.

During practically every funeral I’ve attended, there has always been at least one person to hurl themselves at the deceased’s casket and yell out, “Please God, just take me now!”. They wail. They scream out. They make a spectacle of themselves as they are hualed away by attendants.

Perhaps you’ve witnessed such a moment. I've witnessed a number of them. And usually I’ve tsk-tsk’d my way through such displays, writing them off as simple theatrics—drama. Smugly, I've decried the moaner for sullying the "dignity" of the moment and ceremony.

But recently I faced the death of a family member who I loved with all my heart. My much beloved grandmother passed away at the age of eighty-five. And the moment I received news of her death, I begin to understand the “Please God, take me now!” moment.

At that moment, at the very moment, the pain is so great, the hurt is so severe, that you cannot imagine yourself living another minute, another second, like this. The pain and hurt is so great, so severe, that nothing else matters. You simply want to slump down in a ball on the floor and weep, no wail. You want to scream out; you want to do whatever it takes to ameliorate your suffering at that very moment.

And people attempt to comfort you by telling you that eventually the hurt will fade, eventually the pain will subside. But it does not. The hurt and pain seemingly goes away for a bit, then at the most unexpected moment, it awakes again. And for a brief moment you clutch your chest, you choke back sobs, and you think to yourself, "Please God, just take me now!".

So to those people who I’ve looked down my nose at in the past, please forgive me. I, too, now know your grief, your sadness. I, too, now share in your sense of loss.


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