Wednesday, September 21, 2005


Body & Blood

I've just picked up Thomas Lynch's The Undertaking: Life Studies from the Dismal Trade and came across a nice passage. At the end of a page long rant against saying things like "It's OK, that's not him, it's just a shell" about a the dead body of a loved one. He writes:

So to suggest in the early going of grief that the dead body is "just" anything rings as tinny in its attempt to minimalize as it would if we were to say it was "just" a bad hair day when the girl went bald from her chemotherapy. Or that our hope of heaven on her behalf was based on the belief that Christ raised "just" a body from the dead. What if, rather than crucifixion, he'd opted for suffering low self-esteem for the remission of sins? What if, rather than "just a shell," he'd raised his personality, say, or The Idea of Himself? Do you think they'd have changed the calendar for that? Done the Crusades? Burned witches? Easter was a body and blood thing, no symbols, no euphemisms, no half measures. If he'd raised anything less, of course, as Pauls points out, the deacon and several others of us would be out of business...

The crucifixion was a body and blood thing...our deaths are a body and blood thing. Easter was a body and blood thing...and, praise be to God, our resurrections when He calls us forth from the grave will be a body and blood thing.

Just in case you read old comments, I thought this was quite a good book. People are so reluctant to think about death these days.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Lynch is a good writer. I immediately picked up his most recent book of poetry and have started his next book of essays, Bodies in Motion and at Rest.

I agree with you about people's reluctance in thinking about death. Although, I think I've thought about it more than most people, I've been forced to think about and deal with death, as I lost my brother in January.
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