Humor in the Midst of Death

In the past three years I have lost 7 members of my family, uncles, aunts and a cousin. Extended family is not so hard to deal with, but these were close. The latest was my mom’s baby brother. He was 60 years young. My age. We were raised together. My mom and dad are losing younger siblings, but they are still going strong at 80 and 81. Which brings me to my story.

My dad, at 81, is more active than I am. He is stubborn and very set in his ways. The night of my uncle’s viewing he decided that he was not sitting with mom. In fact, he decided to sit on the opposite side of the room with my uncle’s wife, children and grandchildren. I tried to get him to let me move his chair, but he refused to be moved again. Therefore, the family was crowded together.

My dad is a member of the Advent Christian denomination. They believe that when a person dies, they are dead. That man is unconscious until the resurrection. For them, death is the final curtain on the play of life unless there is to be a resurrection from the dead. For more information see HISTORY AND TEACHINGS OF THE ADVENT CHRISTIAN CHURCH By Lee E. Baker, D.D.

My night was definitely not boring. Daddy is a social person and talks to everyone. He started out telling the grandchildren that they could sit on the arm of his chair if they got tired. When people started asking why he wasn’t sitting with mom, he told them that I would not let them sit together. That changed after a while. He thought it would be fun to say that there were too many sisters on the other side of the room. There were 6 of them, I could see his point.

My uncle was a very outgoing and religious man. He loved God and talked about him and lived his life for him. His friends from church started coming through the line. They would say how loved he was and that he surely was in heaven with God walking those streets of gold. Someone made the mistake of saying to daddy that we all know where Larry is now. Daddy looked at them and told them that yes, he knew where Larry was. Larry was lying in that box at the front of the room and he guessed he was still there because he had not seen him walk off. It was so hard to keep a straight face. The man looked at daddy like he was crazy and said that Larry was in heaven with God. Daddy looked at me and said that he must have missed Larry walking out of the room. I spent the rest of the night trying to steer people that mentioned heaven away from daddy, but it didn’t always work.

I love my daddy and I know that one day he will be in that box at he front of the room. I hope that when I say that he is in heaven with God, watching over me and his grandchildren, he doesn’t come back to haunt me.