Treated with compassion

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I AM surprised at the silence of the churches about death.

The first two chapters of The Book Of Wisdom are a comprehensive explanation of the Christian attitude – a belief in eternal life and an acceptance of suffering, which is summed up in the funeral notices, such as: ‘fell asleep’, ‘promoted to glory’ and ‘after an illness bravely borne’.

There are at least 18 recommended bible readings to choose from, for cremations and burials; the choice does not stop there, with consideration for babies, children and anniversaries of death.

In Mark’s Gospel, Jesus brought back a 12-year-old girl who had died, saying, ‘She is not dead, she is asleep’.

The modern church has become more compassionate; unmarked graves and burials at the crossroads have become a thing of the past.

People who end their lives are treated with compassion, given the cruel pressures of modern society.

In old age, nobody wishes suffering. It is very much a doctor’s discretion to ease the pain and encourage the patient to bear the infirmities and illnesses.

There is often consolation in the famous last words of somebody who has lived a long life.

A priest asked a Scotsman, ‘Do you ever think of dying?’

‘No,’ he replied, ‘It costs money!’

Andrew Somerville

Upperton Gardens.