All holidays dedicated to the theme of death should be abolished. All customs related to death should be stopped. In Croatia widows wear black for 7 years. If your parents die, you wear black 4 years I believe and a child, well, some women wear black for the rest of their lives. If you see a woman dressed in black you know she’s constantly being reminded on a daily basis that she lost someone she loved.
In Croatia, not a month goes by that we don’t honor/celebrate at least 1 holiday that can be Veterans Day, Independence Day, The Day of the Fallen Soldier, Holocaust Reminder Day, Remembrance Day, The Battle of whatever day, Easter time is the death of Jesus and tomorrow/this weekend, Croatians are rushing to flower shops and markets spending a fortune on flowers for the Day of the Dead. The topic in village amongst the women is what kind of flowers they bought and when they are going to clean/arrange the grave.
In Croatia, people spend a fortune building family Tombs, usually it’s parents, grandparents and children, so 3 generations. It all depends on how much money you have, your status is noted by the size of the Tomb. Death is the main topic today in my world because not one person alive doesn’t know someone who is dying or has a family member dying. I personally don’t know anyone in my surroundings that are not ill or suffering with something and if they are not, they talk about it all day long.
To be reminded of death from a mortal perspective is horrifying. Why do we need to be reminded of it everyday? What is the purpose of it? Catholics believe their loved ones will either go to heaven or hell, but will live in eternal peace. If they live in eternal peace, then they are not dead correct? They don’t really understand what they are being taught, but they believe the soul is eternal and it rests either in heaven or hell. Ok, I get it. It doesn’t matter whether you believe it or not, it doesn’t even matter what happens to someone when they die, but do you have to remind me of it everyday?
I don’t go to funerals. The exception is of course immediate family or a client I knew for a long time, but I’m living the dangerous line of being judged for not paying my respects, I am expected to respect their traditions and rituals, but they don’t respect mine when I tell them that I don’t believe in death, that we transition from this body into another. It matters not whether they believe it or not, but it does matter if they don’t respect my religion. If I don’t go, I am insensitive and don’t care about the family. If I go, I am stoic and unemotional, at times with a smile because the person dead is sending me messages: “Look at these idiots, spending all that money and wasting all those tears for me. If she knew I had a mistress for 20 years, she would not be here wailing and passing out from pain”.
I do try to hide my emotions because yes, I am sad that person is no longer here, but at the same time I know they transitioned from that body into another, depending on what their choice was after this lifetime.
“As a price for burial, the parish priest can demand nothing without incurring the suspicion of simony. Burial is a spiritual right belonging to the faithful; and the parish priest, in virtue of his office, is bound to perform this duty for his parishioners. Nevertheless, if there is a legitimate custom which allows offerings to be made, or if the bishop should have established a fixed scale of offerings, the parish priest may demand such fees provided he in no way incurs suspicion of extortion.” – Catholic Encyclopedia. Why even mention extortion? It’s used. The parish priest won’t perform the funeral ritual without being paid for it. A funeral mass is to be paid for. The last sacrament before death is paid for. The christening of your new house is paid for. Chiming bells in the village to announce a death must be paid for.
I have been told, for a mediocre funeral meaning a mediocre casket, buried in the village grave because the person was poor to build a family Tomb costs about 11,000 Kunas which translates to about $2,500 USD. This amount is the cheapest really, includes all the parish/church fees and serves right down to paying the village utility people to drop the casket with a rope, lower themselves into the tomb with already existing bones and not included music unless the family gets someone to volunteer for a band or group to sing. Keep in mind, this cheap funeral costs on the average 4 month salary in Croatia. For a medium sized funeral with all the bells and whistles with a coffin that guarantees the body won’t decompose for 50 years, it is 30,000 kunas and most people don’t have that kind of cash and have to borrow.
It’s ridiculous that I should be worried about my Tomb long before I die or just in case I die. Those that have money have their Tomb built long before they get old because “you never know”. The costs of death not to mention being reminded of it everyday is just too much to bear, and I often wonder how people stay sane in a world that is already challenged by false dogma, and a society that has lived through thousands of years of occupations and wars. As if that is not enough, they continue to live in the past and consider me to be insensitive to this.
I am. I have already made arrangements that should something happen to me before we transcend/ascend, I want them to cremate me and sprinkle the ashes over the ocean. I DO NOT want the leftovers to be reminded of me in any way shape or form because I am NOT going to be there.
I find it silly at times when I walk by the cemetery and see women sitting over the graves and talking to whoever is down there. I find it so heart wrenching to hear a mother who just lost her child utter that God needed another angel. She will put on her black and remind herself for the rest of her life that she had a child at one time. What kind of religion insists we be reminded of death and use it as a means of being good or bad? If you are good, you get to go to heaven. But what happens in heaven and where exactly is this? They don’t know.
If you’re bad you go to hell, but what happens in hell and where exactly is it? IF a person goes to hell for being bad, then why do they even bother going to Confession, telling the priest of your sins, being told to pray a few hundred Hail Mary’s? Doesn’t make sense, but then nothing in any religion makes sense. What religion does is re shape your mind into believing you are a worthless piece of shit, born in sin and god loves you conditionally, therefore, fear the god and fear death all your life. That sucks.
We need to stop living in the past and start living for today. I have no disrespect for people who died in wars or served their country or did big things in life, but come on, do we need to remind ourselves why they died for us? Such guilt, such fatalism, such suffering and such bullshit!
I AM HERE NOW LIVING A HUMAN EXPERIENCE. YOU ARE HERE NOW LIVING YOUR HUMAN EXPERIENCE. DEATH DOES NOT EXIST, IT’S A MYTH CREATED TO INSTILL FEAR INTO YOU.