I guess it's reality, but you know, remains is a word that suggests that the necrotic tissue is just what is left. The remainder! That implies there was something else. What went ? The Vital Force! Thousands of touchings; millions of seeings and hearings; loving's and memories in abundance ; duties galore; and connectedness to the universe of ideas. The Journal came out the day before I wrote this long ago and I knew 10 of the 20 obituaries that were listed from our province. Some of us check the obituaries more frequently than others in order to stay in the loop!
It is not a contest to see who is going to live the longest, but to acknowledge and honour that passage of John, " That when you are old you will stretch out your hands and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go. "---(John 21: 18 } That was not just Simon Peter's future, but the case for most of us as well!
The careful ones who get to a ripe old age, may go like Oliver Wendell Holmes epic, "The Wonderful
One Hoss Shay". It remained in perfect shape for 100 years and then fell apart all at once.
Or, if we are still well enough to plead for more time we may act like blind Teresies (The Teresies from "O Brother Where Art Thou" , not Teresies the Mycenean Greek.} singing on the pump jigger on the track, " Oh Death, Oh Death, won't you spare me over for another year? "
Apostle, Physician, or Seer, better be prepared. Those of us who practiced medicine for many years may have fought against it but we accepted death as the norm in both our patients and ourselves.
Most people prepare for a new birth with all the paraphernalia for the newborn well in advance not knowing the time of arrival, but wanting to be ready. There can't be anything more important than the passage into a new life and the preparation of the family for the new Vital Force. The passage of the old life to "God knows where" has the same immensity. Why then do so many of us fail to get ready in the same way and instead operate by denial.
I guess like Simon Peter we probably don't want to be led where we do not want to go. Like Teresies we hope to defer for another year. Some hope, like The One Hoss Shay to remain in perfect shape for 100 years and clutch a letter from the Queen.
I'm afraid necrology is too much Pathology for me and not enough heart. Remains. to me, concludes that there is something else. Something incorruptible : the Vital Force