People make fools of themselves around people who are in mourning. They just do. Some of the gaffes are honest mistakes. You don’t know what to say so you start spouting platitudes. Anyone who has suffered, really suffered, finds the one about God not giving us more than we can bear to be, well, unbearable. That quote isn’t even in the Bible, is it? I just looked it up. It is a spin off a verse in 1 Corinthians 10:13 that says you won’t be TEMPTED more than you can bear. That’s another thing altogether than getting smashed with horrible experiences. I am sorely TEMPTED to smack some people in the nose for spouting platitudes, but I can handle it, I can control myself. The temptation does not exceed my capacity to bear it. But the grief, I don’t see how my family can bear the grief of losing Raven. They are strong, they will bear up the for the sake of each other, but they are broken and no platitude will fix that.
Then there are the people who want to set a timer on grief. Last night I came on to Facebook to find requests from Raven’s mother and grandmother to flood Facebook with remembrances of Raven because some dimwit said that they shouldn’t keep posting Raven pictures since we lost Raven at the beginning of August and it is now October. Time to move on, the dimwit reportedly said.
Let me tell you something.
When I die, somebody sure had better mourn me loud and clear for longer than that. Okay, I’m not as sociable as Raven was, so I don’t expect wide spread sorrow for me. I’ll be happy if five people show up at my funeral, sincerely missing me, provided I even have a funeral, which I’m not really thinking I will. I figure to just sort of fade into the mist as though I was never here, leaving only a few wonderful books behind and several awful oil paintings -- whereas Raven’s funeral was like a funeral for a princess. Even Lilly Pulitzer sent a representative. Yes, the Lilly Pulitzer clothing company, who did a special design for Raven because so many people wrote to them telling how much she had loved their colorful fashion line. So I don’t expect to have as big a chorus mourning me.
But the thing is, when a person bothers to get born and become a person and live a life, it is the least a person can ask is that someone remembers them, sings them, dances them, speaks their name, posts their photographs and memories for a whole lot longer than two months after they die. Raven lived sixteen years, and by all accounts and according to the pictures, every one of those years was a joy and delight to those close to her. So I would say that she has at least sixteen more years where it is appropriate for the family to flood Facebook with Raven memories.
In memory of Raven Alexandrea White, great grandaughter of “Garnet” in PRECIOUS JEWELS, A SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTIST FAMILY SAGA. Raven died while boating at Lake Waccamaw, North Carolina.