Death is the good universal reality of life, as universal as birth. It rings down the curtain on each and every human play, sends every person household in the finish. We all know this we are all overshadowed by what G.K. Chesterton known as the final impossibility. It is curious that we do not take death a lot more seriously than we do. Our well-liked culture overflows with glib platitudes, all catalogued in our books and films.
You know the platitudes. He lives in your heart. She lives in your memory. The departed is – effectively, take your choose: inside you, inside all of us, about us, in the like or legacy or memory she left behind. The dead are anyplace but gone. Our culture, as manifested in well-liked books and films, does not appear to the blazing dawn of the very first Easter, but generally it is equally unwilling to appear at the cold finality and ultimate aloneness of the physique in the tomb. What we finish with is a well-liked culture that will face neither the darkness nor the light.
I would not propose, as a curative, that each and every instance of death in our fiction be expanded to include the fullness of Christian doctrine on the topic. There is undoubtedly no purpose to frequently elide the Resurrection its riches are as well hardly ever mined, even amongst Christians. But not each and every story has space for the doctrine or the riches, and such factors are not to be forced. I wouldn’t ask that each and every story with death be a story about Easter. But I would like to see a lot more books and films get beyond the normal Hollywood cant.
It is doable to catch some rays of light, to hint at hope or even just mystery. J.R.R. Tolkien hinted at hope when Aragorn, in the face of death, supplied this consolation: “In sorrow we will have to go, but not in despair.” Not that we have to have such exalted contexts as Lord of the Rings to come across the hope and the mystery they are doable everywhere. Emily Blunt’s “Where the Lost Factors Go” dreams of an unknown spot, perhaps behind the moon, exactly where lost factors could possibly be discovered. Gone, yes, the song concedes, but gone exactly where? – and that really hard query is a lot more comforting than the glib answers.
If a story is not to have the light, I would take even a measure of darkness more than artificiality. Sincere sadness is far better than false comfort. I’ve heard the cliches so quite a few instances that all I can believe, when a book or film trots them out once again, is that no one desires the folks they like to be Inside Of Them. The greatness of like is that it gets you outdoors of oneself, that it brings you into speak to with a further soul in this enormous universe. No a single desires a memory, an image, an echo. It is not the identical and it is not sufficient. We want a genuine, living individual.
We do not have to have courage to face the darkness. We have to have hope. Christ’s Resurrection teaches us that death is not to be accepted or dreaded. As we absorb that reality into our hearts, so might it be reflected in our stories. We are not to be driven to the pale ghosts that haunt our hearts for comfort, nor will have to we pretend that death is not hideous. For Death is an enemy, but a conquered enemy.