Death Makes Us All Better!   6 comments

Obituaries bring out the best in people, both the writers and the subjects.  Hearing a genuine and discerning appreciation of someone, even someone I don’t know, draws my soul down into grace.  It breaks through the clouds of an otherwise mean and turbulent world to shine down kindness and love and acceptance, reminding me that deep goodness still threads its way between hearts that open to it.  When I hear it, I want to be part of that spirit of generosity, to appreciate the good in others without restraint or caveat.  So those eulogies not only bring out the best in writer and subject, but in listeners as well, a spreading contagion of grace.

But I am reluctant to make any commitments (like “memorial Mondays”) because I am a master at turning opportunity into burden, love into law.  Grace which is forced is just legalism in a tux trying to push its way into the party–it looks good till it takes over and puts all the guests in straight-jackets.  So it is just a hope that I can share some stories of folks, dead or alive, who have blessed me.  I’d love for readers to share stories of their own here as well, a column of living obituaries.  There is a lot of good out there for us to notice and appreciate.


Posted March 5, 2015 by janathangrace in Personal

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6 responses to “Death Makes Us All Better!

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  1. FIrst…”opportunity into burden, and love into law”…such a bold description which fits me so well.
    But on the other…my dad very recently passed, and I think one of things that struck me so was the wonderful things people said about him. I wish more could have been said “to” him, and some was in the final days; but you’re right…death brings out some very good indeed.

  2. Daddy was very gifted…he could do anything. A jack of all trades, and he mastered them all. Being the man’s man he was, it was unlikely that he would have an artistic side…but he did. He excelled in crafting. He crafted his way through life. Whether through pottery, carpentry, electrical, athleticism, plumbing, sculpting, rebuilding, he left his beautiful mark.


    Unintentionally, you may have stumbled across one of the all-time great bumper stickers.

    Reminds us of an absolutely horrible “eulogy” by Bette Davis for Joan Crawford (who weren’t terribly fond of each other):

    “One should never say bad things about the dead — only good. … Joan Crawford is dead. Good.”

    Well, that’s our culture in a nutshell (or hard shell, anyway). But Christ does call us deeper. It’s easy to be hard-shelled. Soft can be painful, bewildering. But it is so much more enriching for the exposure.

    We’re of that same age when we start to lose parents, even friends prematurely to disease. And we’ve found that death, much like the trials of life, draw us closer together, even to those who found it hard to express the bonds of relationship. So in the last few weeks you find a love that you may have suspected was there but had only seen in traces. What a gift is its ultimate revelation.

    Love from Harpers Ferry … from your old congregants at Bridgeway!
    Jill and Dave

    P.S. – email us back directly …

    • Well, hey! Thanks for joining the conversation. It sounds like you have lost someone recently. Life is full of tragedy… and depth of realization and connection as you say. Only the eternal perspective can give us the hope and sustenance we need. I hope you are well. My email is (still)

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