Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Honoring the Dead

Now I'm on page 40 of the Zusak book.  This thing is full of good stuff.

The narrator is at the barbershop getting a haircut. He asks the barber if he was ever married.   The barber replies, I had a wife but she died a few years ago.  I go down the cemetery every weekend, but I don't put flowers down.  I don't talk.  I like to think I did enough of that when she was alive, you know?

A few paragraphs down he says, It's no good once a person's dead.  You gotta do it when you're together, still living. 

I totally agree with all of this.  Although I'd probably take it a step further and not even visit the cemetery.  I mean maybe I'd visit every so often, but definitely not every weekend.

It would be nice if we treated each moment with someone as the precious last time we'd ever see them.  But that's not realistic.  And besides, it would probably make us extremely anxious. 

I do kind of think that way. though  If I get in a fight with someone I love, I worry.  What if one of us dies?  What if things end between us on such a sour note?

I don't know.  I think it's fine if we try our best.  Things can't be perfect, but we can put some effort into letting people know we appreciate them.

What bothers me is when someone is pretty neglectful towards someone alive. Oh, no sorry. I can't talk right now.  I'll call you back.  They never call back. 

Oh no. Sorry. I can't visit you. I'm SO swamped.

Sorry I didn't come to your dinner.  I  fell asleep watching TV.

Let's say things like that keep happening.

Then the neglected person dies, and suddenly he, who was too busy before, is now making a huge spectacle of his grief.   

THAT annoys me.

I understand it might not be all selfish and malicious.  Sometimes we fail to realize we appreciate something until it is torn from us lives.  But then what if the dramatic mourner then neglects OTHER people in his life because he's too busy writing blog post tributes to the dead person and putting flowers on graves?