Saturday, May 9, 2009

Detachment and Fears

A few days ago I went to a funeral and noticed a distancing trend of funeral participants. In the past, people would stand right at the front, close to the mourners, the body and the Hevrah Kaddisha rep conducting the ceremony and then close to the grave itself. They would watch the body being lowered into the grave and covered with earth. They would actually participate. Not anymore. People stand at a distance, barely there, as if detaching themselves from the ugly details, would send death away. They want nothing to do with death, they are afraid of it. Or at least that's my interpretation.
I am afraid of many things, mostly of sudden incidents that would change my life in a split second. I'm afraid of plane crashes (leaving orphans), of animal attacks (not clear where would I meet them), of cockroaches (actually, I'm more disgusted than afraid), diseases, unemployment, false arrest, loneliness and war, although I'm pretty sure I can cope with most situations, should they occur. Now that I mentioned them, I'm even surer.

1 comment:

John Hyams said...

People tend to detach themselves all the time. They see a nice steak on the plate; they don't care where it came from or who has suffered/died for it. It's not pleasant to connect to death, especially in our atheist times in which there is no connection to a "heaven's path". In our lives we somewhat fool ourselves that we are going to live forever, but the truth is that we and everything we see around us, including anyone we know - will all be gone one day without a trace or even a memory. The keyboard that I'm using right now - how long will it exist? 10,000 years? A million years? 500 million years? I realize that eventually it will be gone without a trace, along with our entire human civilization. My only comfort is that everything we do, think and feel in life will be embedded forever in the fabric of space-time.