Easter Afterlife


Folks, not so long ago, I worked in a crematorium and, “Are you scared of dying” was a question I heard at least once a week, along with every cemetery joke in existence; yes, including that one you’re thinking of right now.

Anyway, apart from the sensitive nature of the work, it wasn’t a bad sort of job. The park was quite pretty, I quite liked mowing and gardening, and really enjoyed the peace and quiet.

On the downside, I’ve never cried so much in my adult life and, telling people what I did for a living quickly got my name struck off most social lists. Still, working as a gravedigger taught me a lot about death, and life.

One Easter, on my first week on the job, I was helping a family bury the ashes of their much-loved Nan, when someone asked if I believed in the resurrection. I shook my head. Cemetery workers do not like thinking about the dead coming back to life, or anything else that could damage our painstakingly maintained lawns.

Then a little girl asked, ‘The Question’: “Are you scared of dying?”

You could have heard a pin drop as her family waited for my answer. Eventually I replied, “No, not really.” And to my surprise, I actually meant it!

She frowned, “I am.” Then an old woman behind her cried, “Me too! Terrified actually!” For some reason, this got a big laugh from the assembled relatives.

Brushing the dirt from my hands, I recalled a Mark Twain quote, “Well, you were dead a long time before you were born, and that wasn’t so bad, was it?” She nodded her head. “So,” I continued, “there’s really nothing to be worried about after you die is there?”

The little girl wasn’t convinced, but the old lady visibly relaxed. “Thank you,” she whispered.

Now, I might not believe in resurrection, and have grave doubts about what happens after you shuffle off this mortal coil, but I do know there are some things worse than dying, and living a long, fear-filled, life is one of them.

About Greg Bray

Greg Bray didn't come from Gladstone, and moved away from the place forever in his twenties then came back and settled down. He is occasionally surprised to discover he's over 50, still enjoying riding his battery powered pushbike 'Pubtruck III' and getting a buzz from writing and publishing blog posts. He is a huge fan of Bill Bryson, Terry Pratchett, Douglas Adams, Tolkien, Alain de Botton and countless other writers who have made him chuckle (or think) over the years (although he does feel a bit guilty for owning a couple of Jeremy Clarkson books). One day he hopes to bring joy to others through his own scribblings.
This entry was posted in On a Lighter Note... and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Easter Afterlife

  1. Venessa Spangen says:

    Well said !


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