Thursday, August 31, 2006

Ashes

I`ve been thinking a lot about The Sand That Wasn`t.

I don`t think it is possible to accurately describe the mix of feelings I had when I realised just what it was that I was actually standing on. Horror at my own inadvertent irreverence was the main one, but also repulsion at the thought that someone who was made in God`s image was burnt, like rubbish, and just scattered into the wind, as if they had never even existed or mattered.

I know many people find the scattering of therir loved one`s ashes deeply meaningful and symbolic, according to them, but to me it is more than a little creepy. It`s certainly convenient in that there is no cost of a burial plot or a grave plot to tend and maintain and deck with flowers on anniversaries, birthdays etc, but.....Ewwww!

When my father and later my stepfather were cremated in accordance with their own clearly-stated request, we made sure their ashes were reverently buried in individual plots marked with a gravestone and we do all go regularly to place flowers and say prayers for their repose and to give thanks for their lives.
Their physical bodies are dead, but they are alive with God, and we rejoice in that.
How could we do that if their ashes were borne by tide and wind into unmarked oblivion and anonymity?


There is also the issue of the documented effect that occurs after scattering cremated remains on hills, causing previously barren rocky hilltops to sprout luxurious vegetation and altering the ecology of the areas.....
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2 comments:

see-through faith said...

this made me think

you see our eternal bodies do perish - and my faith says that eternally I live on with Christ - so I wonder why there is a need to dispose of our earthly body reverently,when it's served it purpose?

Elizabeth said...

We believe that when we are baptised, our sins are washed away and we receive God`s grace and are filled with the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38); consequently our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit: (1 Corinthians ch6, verses 19-20).

During life, our bodies as well as our souls are blessed and sanctified by receiving Holy Communion and the Sacraments, and though after death the soul leaves the body, the body is still treated with the utmost respect because it has been filled with the Holy Spirit, and is disposed of reverently, primarily through burial.

I found it disrespectful to be walking on the remains of someone who was once the temple of the Holy Spirit; I would not have walked over someone`s grave either.

Thanks for stopping by !