Much of civilisation rests on the proper response to death, simple unalloyed kindness, the desire to show sympathy for irrecoverable loss, the understanding that a unique and irreplaceable something has been lost to us. If we ceased to care, we wouldn’t be properly human.
And isn’t that what I have been talking about in the last twenty four hours, how our civilization—and various uncivilized barbarians—respond to life and death? Whether it was mourning the loss of a healer in Afghanistan, or contemplating the funeral oration quality of Schindler’s List, it has all been about how we respond to death.
Anyway, I won’t quote extensively from Peter Hitchen’s first stab at a eulogy for his brother. I will just suggest that you read the whole thing. And I will say this. I am convinced that he is in a better place today. I have always said that funerals were not really for the dead. They were for the living. And in that sense, I hope the friends and loved ones left behind will find peace.
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