August 5th, 4:23 pm.
Death is final. Death is the ultimate line we cross as living things. Everything dies. It is a constant and unarguable fact of the world.
So why are we so afraid of it?
For many it’s the unknown. What happens after we die? Is there a Heaven or Hell? Will I see my loved ones again? Do we reincarnate? Do we cease to be? So many unknowns there aren’t answers for.
Others, even though they claim they believe in the life here after still show fear even when preaching to have no fear.
If you are a good soul and follow the word of God, have no fear and you will be rewarded in Heaven. Strong words said by those who are terrified of death.
There are others who are afraid of death because they have done nothing in their life or will die before they can accomplish anything of importance. Truthfully, they aren’t one hundred percent afraid of death. They are afraid of not leaving their mark on the world and being forgotten. They fear no one will ever know they lived or remember them.
So with all this fear it is necessary to note that some of the most expensive and lavish events can be and are funerals.
This is not sanctioned only to America, but many cultures. Some cultures even have weeklong or month-long celebrations for the deceased. They say it is to please the spirits of the dead to help them move on and not hang around and haunt the living. Also to bring luck and good fortune to those who celebrate the dead, even if the deceased was a horrible person or a complete asshole.
But what about those who don’t fear death?
Those who laugh in death’s face and perform outrageous feats or live as though they have a get out of death free card?
What about those who think about or commit suicide? There’s no fear of death there, right?
The fear of death is not a choice. It is a natural reaction. Our nature is to survive. Death is not surviving therefore we have an inherent fear of it. Even if someone acts as though they don’t fear death, deep down there is still a sliver of terror, though they may not consciously be aware of it.
I guess my point is this: Acceptance is the only way to end this pointless debate about death.
We all die.
We all will die.
Being afraid or not afraid won’t change that.
August 12th, 1:07 am.
I would like to respond to the flood of messages and comments I have received over a post I published on August 5th.
First off, I am not sorry for anything I typed. Just because you can’t look past the initial shock of something and see the meaning underneath is not my concern. Intelligence is based on the idea of observation and discussion. If you don’t even want to allow free and open discussions to be had get out. This may seem cruel, but the fact remains that you are trying to force your ideas and beliefs on someone who is stating their opinion. For those of you who are simply making an intelligent argument based on your beliefs, please disregard this response. You are doing it correctly. I speak mainly to the ones who have decided to simply call me names immaturely, denounce all of my intelligence, and hide behind masks of anonymity.
Second, you have choice. You have the freedom to decide to read or not read. Do not make it sound as though I am forcing anything onto anyone. I am not. You consciously chose to read my post. You consciously chose to instead of closing the window continue reading and become more offended. Do not blame me for forcibly offending you. That is your own sadomasochistic issue.
Third and I can’t believe I’m having to type this, no, I will not send you my personal information so that we may discuss this topic in detail. That’s not how this blog works. I’m simply recording my observations of the life I’m living and those around me. I don’t feel comfortable giving out my home address, phone number, or any other information that can, though not necessarily will be, used to locate me, attack me, or to cause my readers to become so dependent on me that they will be unable to live.
If that last one doesn’t make sense to you, good. I will not be explaining it.
Oh and for the one commenter who thinks it’s funny to continuously send me an invitation to a funeral, please stop. I don’t know what you’re doing or what you’re thinking will come of it, but I’m going to block you if I receive anymore.
* * *
“You keep pissing off more people when you respond, you know,” Laura said, sitting across from Jessica Dedman.
Jessica stared up at her ex-roommate from her computer. “How did you know I was responding?”
“Please, when you aren’t watching YouTube videos you’re working on that blog of yours. Why did you even put up that post? I told you people would flip out if you mentioned God in any form.” Laura handed Jessica her coffee.
“I didn’t say anything negative. I mentioned people’s beliefs and they immediately started calling me the devil’s harlot or some other medieval insult that doesn’t mean anything in the modern world,” Jessica said, angrily taking her coffee. She placed it on the table and pulled off the top to allow the hot liquid to cool.
“But you mentioned God. Some people only have tunnel vision in the worst way. They immediately assume you’re being negative about their beliefs. Plus, there are people who just like to start fights.”
“Anonymity is the worse thing in the world. People grow balls when they think no one can find out who they are.”
Jessica looked over her posts and started reading several new comments. There were those trying to defend her against the ones attacking her. Honestly, she didn’t even need to respond to any of the comments. People were willing to defend her even if they had no idea what she actually believed.
“What about that creeper who keeps sending you invites to that funeral? Has he stopped contacting you?” Laura asked, sipping her coffee.
Jessica shrugged. “He stopped sending me invitations, but he keeps sending me letters asking for a response instead of returning the invites.”
“You always attract the weirdoes.”
“I don’t think he counts as a weirdo. Besides, it’s the Internet. Everyone’s a weirdo.” She tested her coffee carefully. It was still hot, but bearable enough to drink. “How’s your life? I’m sick of talking about this blog. That’s what the blog is for.”
Laura pointed a finger at her. “Careful. Is that really how you want to talk to someone who could let all your dedicated readers know who you are?”
“Sorry. What’s going on with you, Laura?”
“Same old thing. Trying to convince my boss that just because he’s one of the youngest employers in the building he doesn’t have to act like an ass. Especially when he starts blaming us for his shortsightedness.”
“Typical office life. Hmm, maybe I should write about that?”
“If you do, you aren’t allowed to use any of my stories. For all I know, he may be a fan. He spends a lot of time on his computer.”
“You make it sound like I have a million followers. I only have a couple hundred, if that. Though I think after this fiasco of non-existent bible burning I may be down to a dozen.”
Laura laughed. “Do you really think you have that many religious followers? Your blog is called Dead Man’s Dreams. Not exactly screaming out ‘Praise the Lord’ or ‘Bless the Lamb’, is it?”
“I don’t know what’s more terrifying, the fact you remember the name of my blog or that you said bless the lamb.”
“Oh, so funny. You should write that down for your next entry.”
* * *
The knock at the door, at first, Jessica thought came from her dreams. It wasn’t until she heard Laura’s angry groans she realized the knocking was real. Laura stayed the night because the drive back to her place was too long. Jessica mimicked Laura’s annoyed groans and got to her feet.
The cool wood of the floor leading to the doorway helped Jessica lose a little of the drowse from sleep. Her anger at being woken up lost the rest. She took a passing glance at the bright clock in the kitchen as she moved and gave a moan. 4 am. No one should ever be up at 4 am and whoever had woken her at this hour was going to hear all about how no one should be awake at this hour.
The knocking stopped as she approached the door and any other person would have gone back to bed, but Jessica wasn’t letting the rude awakeners leave without a word.
She unlocked the door and swung it open a little harder than she planned. “Someone better be dead,” she growled at the back of a man.
The man turned to her with surprise in his eyes. The surprise only made Jessica angrier, but after taking the man in fully her anger faded to confusion.
Icy blue eyes, which sparkled with surprise and excitement, and brown hair combed to create a clean look fit so well with the young-looking face, though Jessica had a strong feeling the man was older. He wore a well-tailored black suit, tie, and shined black shoes. The black tie was satin and caught what little light there was in the early morning. A black umbrella and coat hung on his arm and he held a pair of black gloves in one hand.
Jessica took in all the black and felt her face drain of blood. “Sorry…about the someone being dead.”
A smile brightened the man’s face, but his eyes became cold like ice. Jessica immediately believed it was the cold of anger, but when the man spoke his words were warm. “There is no need to apologize. I realize I could have handled this a little better, but time was running out. I figured coming myself would be the best thing. Jessica Dedman, I presume?”
“Yes.” Jessica looked inside the house. Laura hadn’t come out which meant she’d fallen back asleep. She was alone to deal with this.
“Very good. Well, come on then.” The man walked away and Jessica saw a large black Rolls Royce parked in front of her house. A chauffeur, standing next to the open door, waited for the man.
She didn’t know why, but she grabbed her keys from the rack by the door, pulled on her tennis shoes, and followed, locking the door behind her. She stopped next to the car and leaned over to look in at the man, already seated inside. “So, um, you’re not kidnapping me, are you?”
The man laughed and patted the seat next to him. “Get in, Miss Dedman.”
Jessica hesitated and looked up at the chauffeur. He bowed his head and smiled at her. She took a deep breath and climbed in.
* * *
“Where are we going?” Jessica asked, feeling strange sitting in a luxury car next to a man wearing a silk tie in her flannel pajamas.
“You need to change.”
Those icy blue eyes locked onto her and she felt her heart pound. The coldness behind it, she realized, was deep sorrow. This man was weeping on the inside.
“You can’t go to a funeral in pajamas,” he said it so easily and with such warmth it took a moment for Jessica to fully grasp what he had spoken.
“Funeral?” She wished her voice didn’t sound so small. “Why are we going to a funeral?”
The cold eyes looked forward and the man took a long, deep breath. When he released it, it came out wavering and he tightened his grip on the umbrella in his lap. “I have been trying to be polite, Miss Dedman. I understand you thought it was a practical joke or some kind of trick, especially after I discovered you wrote a post online along the same theme. But I assumed after the fifth attempt to contact you, you would have realized it was very serious.”
Jessica’s body went still and she felt her throat dry. “You were the one sending me the funeral invite?”
“Normally, I would give someone time and then approach them, but due to the circumstances, I had no choice but to approach you in a truly inappropriate manner. I apologize for that, but it’s a very thin apology. The man who is being celebrated today was a very close friend and someone I respected more deeply than any other man. So if I seem to be rude at any point I apologize only because it’s impolite to ever be rude to a lady. If you wish to argue with me, please don’t until this day is over with. With that said, clothes and makeup have been provided for you. I’ll give you my word as a gentleman that I won’t peek as you change.”
He pointed to a box and bag placed on the seat across from them. The larger box was from Chanel and Jessica swallowed. She’d never worn a Chanel dress before. She felt her heart pound in her chest when she saw the Louboutin box sitting next to the dress box.
Before she could stop herself she looked at the man and said, “Who are you?”
“Corbin Wyght. Get dressed, Miss Dedman.”
Corbin was good on his word. As Jessica changed he covered his eyes with his gloved hands. She had trouble at first getting the dress on, mainly for fear of tearing the expensive fabric. She found it odd that it fit her perfectly and wondered how Corbin had known her size. The shoes, as well, were the perfect fit. She began applying her makeup, having trouble in the moving vehicle, but Corbin, after asking if she was decent, assisted her. Surprising her with his detail to makeup. She wanted to jokingly ask if he’d helped many women with makeup in a car, but the sorrow in his eyes kept her quiet.
The drive lasted for two hours and Jessica was thankful. If it took any longer she would have gone insane in the silence. Gentle rain fell and as the chauffeur opened the door, Corbin opened the umbrella and stepped out. He held his hand out to Jessica and she took it.
The first thing she noticed was the smell of the air. It was clear and she could smell the ocean. The cool air brought with it a peaceful sense and she looked at the small church in front of her. She didn’t recognize it, not that she would. She hadn’t been in a church since middle school, but something about this church was different than any she’d been in before. It was old. Very old. Older than it should have been, she thought.
“They’ll be starting soon, Miss Dedman. Please, come with me,” Corbin said. He held his arm out for her and she took it.
They walked around the church to the cemetery stretched out far behind it. Her eyes widened at the sight of the ocean and realized why everything seemed off. They weren’t in California anymore. The view looked more like the East coast, but she couldn’t believe that. They’d only been driving for two hours.
The rain drummed on the umbrella, growing more heavily as they walked towards a small gathering of people in black. Umbrellas blocked Jessica’s view of those standing around the open grave and white casket. A priest, his umbrella held by a solemn, young man in black, watched Corbin and Jessica approach. A few heads turned to stare at the two newcomers, but many were focused on the casket.
Corbin led Jessica to two chairs at the front of the group and they seated themselves in silence. The two seated next to Corbin stared at him with wide eyes, but Jessica couldn’t tell if it was shock or anger. Corbin gave a sharp nod to the priest. The priest smiled and opened his bible. He held it to the young man holding his umbrella. They traded places and the young man cleared his throat.
“A reading from the book of Job. Then Job answered, “O that my words were written down! O that they were inscribed in a book! O that with an iron pen and with lead they were engraved on a rock forever! For I know that my Redeemer lives, and that at the last he will stand upon the earth; and after my skin has been thus destroyed, then in my flesh I shall see God, whom I shall see on my side, and my eyes shall behold, and not another. The Word of the Lord.”
The group responded. The man seated next to Corbin stood and crossed to the young man. He took the bible from his hand and the young man took the umbrella from the priest.
The man licked his lips and changed the pages of the bible. “A reading from the first letter of Paul to the Corinthians. Listen, I will tell you a mystery! We will not all die, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For this perishable body must put on imperishability, and this mortal body must put on immortality. When this perishable body puts on imperishability, and this mortal body puts on immortality, then the saying that is written will be fulfilled: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.” “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. The Word of the Lord.”
The group responded. The man closed the bible and handed it to the priest before returning to his seat next to Corbin.
The priest closed his bible and looked each person in the eye before continuing. “We are here to celebrate the life of a man. Finley Tierney was a husband, father, brother, and to many, a good friend. In life he was a good soul who would help those who asked and many who didn’t. He found comfort in laughter, harmony in song, and happiness in life. He would not wish for any of us to mourn his passing. He would instead want us to remember the joy he brought and pass that joy on into the world. Now, the family will say a few words.”