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Funeral Poem
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Funeral Poem
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My stepmother's funeral-at-sea is taking place in a few hours. She was better to me than my biological mother ever was, and I'm very sorry she's gone.

There are lots of things that one can say about mortality and the human condition. I prefer to take the view that causality, the strictly linear THIS then THAT then THE OTHER of life, is nothing more than an illusion imposed upon us by our own human limitations. I view space-time as a single unending whole, and figure that existence in any part or period of the universe is as good as immortality... in a four-dimensional overview, one is not long- or short-lived, one is either "bigger" or "smaller" in the eternal, unchanging, everpresent bloc of one's existence.

Eh, whatever. The arrow of human time points unswervingly to the future. I can't project my consciousness back and forth through my postulated four-dimensional physicality, so all my cosmological philosophizing is nothing more than a poor substitute for the religion that other people draw comfort from in trying times.

How I envy and pity them.

We have to deal with mortality as it seems to be, and not necessarily as it really is. Still, maybe there's some peace to be had in the reflection that all of us go down the same road, beggar and king, saint and sinner, brute and brainiac alike: born to live and die.

I wrote a poem about mortality for my stepmother (but mostly for my grief-stricken father, who, being coexistent with my poem, can hopefully take some sort of quiet comfort from it):

IN MEMORIAM: Elizabeth McClellan-Wilson

When all your thoughts have turned to days gone by
And dazzling dawn gives way to setting sun
Remember me, and know that you and I
Came to this place alone, and yet as one
There's nothing more to say. And still we speak
Of nothing this, and nothing that, and on
We ramble, pressing cheek to weathered cheek
Until our fading memories, too, are gone.

-M Otis Beard

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