Lately, I’ve been having dreams and fantasies of funerals. While this may seem like I’m a sick and morbid human being (maybe I am, we’ll see), it has come from a place of mourning. It seems to me, that human beings have two metaphors that are called upon them every to choose from, and, paradoxically they work together. It is that of wedding and funerals, both places of celebration and death.
The first place, I believe that one is called to themselves. It is a choice we make every day. Death may look appear as innocently as buying that chocolate bar to fill something inside of you that is enough. Death to ones self, is an extremely painful thing, as it comes to us in places of guilt, shame, contempt, self-annihilation. Its being exposed to the ways in our lives that are dangerously deep and dangerously dark. Its inviting life to fill in these deep and dark places.
The second place is that of dying for another. I think that this is and it applies to all, the definition. We sacrifice ourselves for another. We see the needs of another human being, and, we sacrifice of ourselves, place ourselves before them, and, die for the sake of them. I think this is what makes Jesus so wonderful.
Lastly, the place of death can be illustrated in one’s life are the moments in which we die with someone. I could illustrate this by quoting something from The Notebook, or something along those lines. However, I don’t think that does this justice. To me, this is wonderfully exampled in the movie The Wedding Crashers.
In the movie there is a character named Chaz, played by Will Ferrell. Chaz is a cheap skate, man whore, who lives with his mom and prey’s on women at funerals. Now, while we may not be this extreme, I think we can all say that we have all preyed upon weak people in vulnerable times. Owen Wilson’s character, John Beckwith, goes to a funeral with Chaz, and, while Chaz is putting on a grief show, to get some funeral tail for that evening, however, it is the introspective John who notices the grieving widow. The movie displays a sadness and movement, in which one notices and feels the grief of another. This is what it means to die with someone. To carry upon the burdens of another human being, while they’re unable to carry it for themselves.
Moments like these are filled with death, in which one mourns. Mourning, by definition, is a time in which one loves and loses. And, with death, remains the possibility of life. Paradoxically, the wedding analogy is the communion of two people who are called to bring forth life to one another, and, help destroy death within each other. So while death, and, the mourning of ones self, the mourning of another, and the mourning of each other remains a present reality, it is brought forth with equal opportunity for life to be brought to ones self, given to another, and shared with each other. At least, I hope, this is what marriage will one day be for me.