Iron Mountain ski jump

Iron Mountain ski jump

Thursday, November 16, 2017

OBIT PICS [R, 11-16-17]

 CHRIST IN WINTER: Reflections on Faith from a Place of Winter for the Years of Winter…

I look at the obits in several newspapers each day, because it is in the obits where news of my friends is most likely to show up. I appreciate the obits that include a photo, even if I don’t know the person. But does it have to be, so often, that the person has oxygen buds stuck in hisher nose? Is that the only picture you have of grandpa or mother? Did they never have a photo taken in an earlier time, when they did not look haggard?

I have preached at a whole lot of funerals. When it was an old person who had declined greatly at the end, I tried to remind the mourners that the last month or year was but a tiny fraction of that person’s life.

I appreciate the trend of the last 20 years or so of including at a funeral a slide show or photo display of the decedent’s life. When my grade school friend, Phyllis Graham Parr, died, her husband hung her t-shirts and sweat shirts on the wall of the hall where the funeral reception was held. They were in chronological order—schools, bands, awards, events. It was a wonderful way of recalling her life.

You don’t have to do any fancy remembrance for me, but I have taken a lot of good breaths in my time, so please don’t picture me with oxygen tubes in my nose.


Spoiler Alert: If you have read this column in the last 3 months, all that follows is old news:

The “place of winter” mentioned in the title line is Iron Mountain, in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula [The UP], where life is defined by winter even in the summer! [This phrase is explained in the post for March 20, 2014.] Having met and married while at IU in Bloomington, IN, we became Bloomarangs in May of 2015, moving back to where we started, closing the circle. We no longer live in the land of winter, but I am in the winter of my years, and so I am still trying to understand Christ in winter.

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