Redeeming Blood 1 - Robert Godfrey
Have you noticed the careful euphemisms that we use? I seldom here any more that anyone dies. They pass on--an interesting euphemism originally coined, I believe, by the Christian Scientists who deny the reality of death, and so you just pass on; you don't die. Christian Scientists had a terrible time when Franklin Delano Roosevelt died. What headline should be in the Christian Scientist monitor? Headline read Truman becomes President.
You see, we go to very great lengths to avoid having the face the reality of death. Even Christians are sometimes guilty of that. He went home. Now, I've been admonished by some of my Christian preacher friends that this is a Biblical notion, and I shouldn't attack this. I'm not attacking it. I'm just saying, it can be a euphuism that we use to avoid having to face the reality of the solemnity, the finality of death. Sometimes we say we lost someone. Oscar Wild had a wonderful comment on that one. His prospective mother-in-law asked him about his parents, and he said I've lost them. She said, well losing one parent is understandable, but losing two seems careless. So there is this determined effort to avoid facing death. This has been a fairly long standing problem in America.
Sixty years ago the great English novelist, Evelyn Wall, wrote a masterpiece comic novel about funeral practices in Southern California called The Loved One, and in that he describes funerals at the great cemetery in Southern California. He changes the name, but it is clearly Forest Lawn. The viewing rooms for mourners of corpses is called the Slumber Room. The deceased are always referred to as the loved one, and they are laid out in appropriate poses as if they're sleeping. As much as possible, laid out in familiar poses. So one woman was laid out holding a telephone. All you see, to try to avoid facing the reality of death.