Death and Taxes — Reblogged

We are a big country. So even though our world does not contain many homicidal maniacs, we do have some, and their killings occasionally make a momentary splash in the news media. Thus, we become acquainted with the grief of fellow Americans who have lost loved ones for no apparent reason. Then there are deaths from hurricanes, random military casualties, and countless causes. So there is always the faint smell of death and dying in our news.

Usually, I am not in a big hurry to comment upon random massacres and disasters. There is enough futile talk without my adding to it. However, I thought this post by Doug (FPS/ worth reblogging.

Death & Taxes

We bemuse ourselves with this little idiom as being the only sure things in life we can all count on.  By and large there’s a measure of truth to it or we’d not all find in it a bit of sarcasm and sardonic acceptance.  No one really jumps for joy in paying taxes in some form but yet if we are still paying them it means we are still alive.  A paradox perhaps.

For the nation this has been a tough month when it comes to death.  Three hurricanes causing death, the continuing wars in the Middle East causing death, the massacre in Las Vegas causing death, in the last 24 hours three soldiers in an advisory capacity have been killed in an ambush in Niger.  Of course, in the midst of all that you still have the regular daily deaths due to everyday crime, medical maladies, the result of aging, and the various accidents of life.  For most deaths we tend to attribute it to some level of fate as a generic, non-denominational form of overall acceptance that bad shit does happen to people… and there is something to having been at the wrong place at the wrong time when death occurs.. the problem there is that we will never know when the time and place is wrong.  Oh to be sure we can knowingly place ourselves in life threatening situations or do things considered risky to our health, in which case should we reach our demise the living will pigeonhole it as an avoidable death… or even a heroic death.  Heroic deaths are usually avoidable but the result of making a selfless choice to save others from death.

What I find a bit crazy to the extent of bordering on the absurd is how we emotionally handle the death of others.  Quite honestly, and very personally, I find more solace in accepting the simple bromide… shit happens.  It’s an emotional sigh; the acceptance that death is a very real part of life… and we will all get there soon enough.  It’s also getting sober to the fact that there are no assurances in life and that life can be very short… and that we may want to “stop sweating the small crap” and begin accepting and engage more in simply living.  Then there’s religion.(continued here)

How should we deal with death? writes from the viewpoint of someone who spent five years working in the funeral industry. So his observations are interesting. Myself? I cannot claim any special experience with death or suffering. I left a few comments on ‘s post, but I doubt I said anything special. Perhaps I have not suffered enough to know what to say. Perhaps if I had suffered enough I would understand how little I have to say.

In his post, We can rise above every thing that threatens us, John R Liming offers a simple truth.

There is something … some force …. some circumstance …. some being …. God …. who comes at the exact right time to strengthen us in the midst of the worse possible ordeals that we can ever imagine facing and we discover that we are no longer alone and left to fight our battle by ourselves.

Whatever trial you are facing today I can assure you that the trial can be made more bearable and your victory over it more sure if you will look away from the circumstances of what is happening to you and cast your vision toward the eternal promise that you are never alone …. that if you will acknowledge Him and allow Him God will send reinforcements to help you win whatever battles it is that confront you ….Whether you actually believe in God does not really matter because He always believes in us …. He never leaves us nor forsakes us …. His rain falls on the just and the unjust … He helps the believer and the unbeliever …. Just stubbornly believe this and if you have trouble believing it then say out loud, “Lord, I believe … help Thou my unbelief.” (from here)

Terror is not an answer; it is just added misery. Faith gives hope life. Hope is what we have now. Love gives faith a reason for being. So let us pray in love for all those who have lost loved ones and the strengthening of their faith in love.

1 Corinthians 13:8-13 New King James Version (NKJV)

Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.

11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.

13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.


5 thoughts on “Death and Taxes — Reblogged

  1. I started to post on this topic this morning, and then ran out of time.

    I wanted to address this bit of Doug’s post:
    “The worst funerals for the families were those that had some member of the clergy there trying to assign a religious meaning to why “God took the deceased”. Once I entered the funeral business I immediately stopped using that one phrase.. the worse one possible… “God must have had a need for them in heaven.”

    I do not have the experience Doug has. Nowhere near. I’ve been to only a few funerals, two in the past year…both to very young people (one was a ten year old boy). In my experience religion brings a lot of peace to the grieving family. I’ve never heard that particular line (“God must have a need for them in heaven”) though. That seems an odd thing to say. What such services typically do is try to celebrate the life of the person as well as bring peace to those left behind. I’ve been to only one non-religious ceremony (my father’s).

    We don’t always understand God’s plan. Sometimes we don’t like the plan. Every person touches another in so many ways…both in life and even death. I know the young woman who recently passed touched many many people and they are forever changed for the better.


    1. Thanks for your comment and that very appropriate song.

      I suppose I have heard that line, “God must have had a need for them in heaven.” But I don’t recall hearing it from a member of the clergy. God ends our lives for our benefit, I think. I suppose that sound awful to someone who has seen another dying in misery, but think of what we say after they are dead. Their suffering is over.

      Because we tend to associate with people within our own circles, and we only live so long, we all tend to have a very limited experience. The is actually no one as wise and smart as some politicians would like as to believe they are.

      I don’t know much about Viktor E. Frankl, but I went looking for a quote that said what I could not figure out how to say. I thought these two good.

      Religion is the search for ultimate meaning.

      If there is a meaning in life at all, then there must be a meaning in suffering. Suffering is an ineradicable part of life, even as fate and death. Without suffering and death, human life cannot be complete.

      Here is a video I found interesting and relevant.


      1. Well said. 🙂
        I like that video (and the quotes). I read Man’s Search for Meaning (by Frankl) a while back. I should probably read it again.

        There’s a book entitled Love, Medicine, and Miracles by Bernie Seagal I often give to friends who are either very ill or experiencing terminal illness, or have a family member experiencing a terminal illness.


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