Cyclothymic Cister

Before the Internet, I used to lie in bed at night composing thoughts as if I were talking to a wise entity. (An actual face never came to mind). I would re-word and re-phrase the thoughts till they were crystal clear. Now I can blog. And hopefully, there are a lot of wise people with real faces out there who might just comment back.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Free Spirit

Today is Dad’s birthday. He passed away six years ago. It may be odd that I speak of his death on the day we celebrate his birth, but you’ll understand after you read this.

Dad had a love of truth that goes unmatched. He deserved to be honored and revered as we grieved his passing, but instead he was upstaged, even in death, by a scandal.

The funeral director got arrested on the day of Dad’s funeral. He had swindled people out of their pre-paid funeral investments. My mother was one of those whom he swindled. Still the funeral director paid for Dad’s funeral, though my mother lost lots more money than would have covered the funeral.

Even though his arrest was forthcoming, the funeral director still prepared my father for viewing. (He did a very good job, I might add. Dad had on his trademark half-smile which looked as though he were privy to a secret delight).

Still, things were not up to par. There was no one to do the “in memory of” pamphlet to hand out to the visitors. So I did it. I think it turned out better that way. After all, who knows a father better than his children?

I chose to include a portion of a poem that Dad composed in 1966.

A Prayer

I do not ask for forgiveness for unbelief,
But enlightenment.
Rather, forgive me for all grief
I have caused, for each wrong intent.

If, while I sleep,
When the last starry furnace
In the last great wheeling arc
On the rim of space
Has grown cold and dark
And dead;

If I have found grace
And of me it is said,
“He abhorred the lie but embraced truth
And all loveliness;
Now, therefore, he has found immortal youth
And blessedness,”

I shall be forever grateful.

C.L. Jordan

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

My sister and I spoke at the funeral. In addition to the fond memories of his humor, his intellect, his generosity, I spoke of watching Dad die. I wondered why dying seemed so laborious? Dad’s breathing got more and more shallow as he struggled harder and harder with each breath. We knew it would be a matter of minutes before he quit breathing altogether. And dad was ready to go. So why did it seem to be such a hard task to leave this life? Why did it seem so hard for the soul to be freed from the body? Then it occurred to me: it is like giving birth. When a baby is passing through the birth canal, the woman’s body labors in pain to help the process along. So it seemed with Dad. His spirit was passing through the “birth canal” from this life to the next and the womb of his body was painfully laboring to help it along. When Dad’s spirit finally was freed from his body and the cord of this life was cut, it wasn't a death, it was a birth. The birth of the spirit. Dad was finally free as the wind.


At 7:46 PM, Anonymous David Nevins said...

Two days in a row this topic comes up, how strange! I was talking to a friend in St. Paul, MN, who mentioned that his minister spoke about how Jesus was challenging Nicodemus because the scripture "ye must be born again" has a component of word play in the Greek, also meaning "to be born from above." I told him I knew of another interpretation that I liked very much, that we are born out of the womb of this life into true and full life when we die, your father's version. And I just discovered your blog site and here it is again! well.


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