Death kick the bucket, disappear, bite the dust, get out and be pain free
It is very difficult for people to say the words “He/she/they died”. What an incredible number of euphemisms for death we have. We surrender, we croak, we kick the bucket, we go home, we run out, we give in, we leave, we meet our maker, we go to our reward, we waste away, we leave, we rest forever, we disappear, we end, we bite the dust, we liquidate, we are terminated and destroyed. We give up the spirit, we make the change, the transition, we get mercilized, we go to the other side, we fall asleep, we get picked up, we rub off and we fade out. We go over and buy the farm. We feel no pain, lose the race, win money, cross the Jordan and go with the angels. We expire, we become glory, we return to dust, we wither, we give up, we take the long sleep and the dirty bath. It could be curtains, a dropped body, six feet under and out of our misery. We find eternal peace, new lives in the afterlife, ride off into the sunset, and that’s all we wrote. But actually we are dead.
All religion is based on the fact that we have to go somewhere after death. “We” are everything from our spirit and energy to our mind and etheric body. We like it better if there is a good place for the good ones and a bad place for the fools. Although the idea of reincarnation lends itself to giving everyone their place after learning lessons along the way many times.
Western churches spend your whole life convincing you that their understanding is the only understanding of what happens when we die, and usually provide you with a program by which you can leave your worldly goods, you know the ones they told you in sermons not to hoard, to them. I have seen many families outside of the particular denomination of the one who has “come home” face the fact that all the extras go to their church and not their family. Let’s make it a rule that if a person gives their belongings to a church after they die, and sons or daughters protest, the Church must return them to the family. This will help the church practice what it preaches and give what actually belongs to a family to the family it actually belongs to. Beware of churches that have a program for you to “honor God with your death” or a “Your will, a way to keep giving after you die” program. Money given to the Church will be misspent, and it would be more satisfying to have your children misspent it than your church. amen
It’s funny how if you ask someone about quantum physics or how life works, it’s such an unfathomable mystery in the end, at least for now. But ask a religious person what happens after death and phew…that’s easy. We go to heaven, they go to hell, we are often reborn, we are deader than the dead, we wait in the grave until Jesus returns, we are resurrected in a physical body, we are resurrected in a spiritual “body”, we this and that they seemed to know, but the truth is they don’t know. Westerners would never doubt that the Bible knows what happens after death, even though you can find all of the above in one form or another within the pages of the Bible. Like humans, the biblical understanding of death evolved into what we see in the Evangelical Christian Church today.
The Catholic Church has done well with adding new places for the dead to go, such as unsaved babies, unborn, or not quite saved types, but it’s all nonsense. Since we can come up with questions like “what kind of God would throw an innocent child in hell because he doesn’t know…”, we have to come up with new pens for such categories of people. They’re not real, mind you, but they help us cope.
Missionaries rush to save the lost before they die, while acknowledging in some circles that if they are left in the dark, a loving God will automatically usher them into heaven after death. I mean they can’t help it they were born in New Guinea or the Great Plains. I loved when Geronimo was asked by the general who hunted him down and imprisoned him in Florida if he wanted to go to heaven when he died? Geronimo asked if the general would be there too? “Why, of course,” came the reply, met by a simple “Not then” from Geronimo. Hell would indeed be for many who have to spend eternity with those who drove them mad in this life! I mean, do you really want to spend eternity closer than ever to all the people in your church, including the same pastor day and night forever! I do not think! Heaven might just look like one big endless gathering of boring people who are still pretending to be what they never were on earth. It would be a forever mandatory Thanksgiving or Christmas with the relatives most never wanted to attend! No, if I go to heaven, please Lord, let there be quiet places where no one can find me and those I want to be around. You know, kind of like what we can do down here if we decide to.
I saw a lot of death as a minister. Sometimes enough time passed ex post facto to bury someone in a nice funeral service in pleasant surroundings. Sometimes I found myself standing on the banks of a river while they searched for a lost or taken to the morgue to pull the dead body of a child or friend out of a drawer for a private family view. I once even dug a grave on a farm while we waited for the family to arrive for a quick funeral and same-day burial. I took the mass, ugh what a word, from people I had just spoken to a few days ago, now down to about 10lbs. of gray sand. I transported a neatly wrapped newborn body to another city in the backseat of my car because the couple couldn’t afford the funeral home to do it.
I had once visited a mother, just social, who spent a large part of the visit talking about her daughter’s talents, skills and beauty, which is normal when a parent is very pleased. I specifically remember thinking on the way home “how was she going to cope if she lost this daughter who was the center of everything mom lived for? When I got home the phone was ringing and I was going back to the hospital where this young woman had just been brought in fatally struck at 18 years old while crossing the street the wrong way. Hard stuff. I lost a nephew on a train who couldn’t get his attention while carrying his walkman. I lost a son-in-law just yesterday.
I acquired paramedic skills as a hobby. I learned why so many paramedics are overweight and smoke like chimneys. Pure stress. Most paramedics are wonderful caregivers, but they often face the most horrific human deaths. They eat and smoke too much and party too much. I don’t blame them. I will not tell what I saw. Just know I’ve seen it. Death at worst. A soldier could certainly top that.
The dot seems to live in the moment, staying away from the past of our lives, where we tend to store our anger and pain, and also from the future, where we store our anxiety and all that is unknown. No one knows what happens at death. To say so is to stir the pot of religious certainty. I know, no one but YOU.
There are some great past life stories, recalled by some in unusual detail. Hmmm, it might be. Even the Bible gives the account of the blind man who made the disciples ask if the man’s blindness was the fault of his parents or his own sin, “that he was BORN blind.” At the very least, we must admit that there is room to doubt that if someone is born blind because of sin, the sin must have occurred in a previous life. No other explanation is possible. Some in the early church believed in reincarnation. General George Patton was famous for knowing where he was as a Roman soldier in a previous life while fighting again during World War II in Europe. He didn’t joke and nobody made fun of him.
There are stories of people who have left their bodies in near-death experiences, only to return and recount the experience in detail that only a “ghost” can provide. They were called to finish their lives apparently, and anyone who experiences such a thing never fears death again. Worth the experience if only for that bit of peace, I’d say.
There are many stories of people who have been transplanted with organs donated by the deceased, only to acquire the deceased’s mysterious taste for foods, books, or introductions to subjects they had never studied in their lives. This would lend credence to the idea that cellular memory can be transmitted. Wow..pretty inspiring stuff, not just a little spooky.
Stupid religions make big bucks from the masses who have to buy their places in God’s kingdom. I remember once digging out a car buried in meters of snow for a woman who then paid me Catholic indulgences. They gave me a full 90 days less in Purgatory. I told her I was Presbyterian. She smiled and closed the door. I almost pushed the snow back into the driveway.
I am glad that so many people can be so sure that they know what happens at death. Some just know because they read it in the Bible without thinking that even this book is just another attempt by people to understand this. Some just know it’s true because it’s “true for me.” Some think it just has to be true or what’s the point. One cannot just die for nothing after learning all these things in life. And some just know what they know to be true because somehow even science can prove it.
As I mentioned earlier, yesterday my son-in-law passed away just two days after being told he had three more months to live. If ever there was an example of a mind saying, “uh, no, I believe I must go now,” this was it. He just left and I believe on his terms. Or perhaps he has passed on, or gone home, or bit the dust, or left his world, or been honored, transcended, lost the race, redeemed, turned into glory, is on the shores of heaven, out of his misery, borne by Angels, found peace, went to the field of zero point, the great beyond, rode into the sunset, and that was all he wrote.
In any case, this man I knew as Jim did good in this life and, like tens of thousands on the planet every day, went somewhere, I hope, free now as a sentient spirit who had a human experience in a limited wet suit with five senses , based on carbon and is now free. Take it easy dear friend…call me when you can and tell me what it’s all about! 🙂
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