Aug 12, 2022 |
Rector's Blog, Scared of Death| The Rev. Philip DeVaul
Rector's Blog, Scared of Death
I am a Christian who is scared of death.
And back in 2009 I thought maybe seeing an autopsy would help. When I gave my explanation, two other chaplains raised their hands and said, “Actually, that makes sense. We would like to do this too if possible.” Our supervisor rolled her eyes, and reluctantly gave us permission to ask. My friend Wiley took on the responsibility of setting it up. I remember this because of what the morgue workers said when he spoke with them. They said they’d arrange for this to happen on one condition.
“What’s that?” Wiley asked.
“Pray for us,” these bastions of modern medical science requested.
“Well of course we’ll pray for you, but why?” Wiley asked.
“Because we’re all alone down here. We’re the morgue. Nobody wants to be around us or interact with us.” That blew us away. Even in the hospital, among professionals, the ones closest to death are avoided like death itself. We prayed for them every day. They told my friend they’d call us when a viewing was allowed. Several weeks passed, and I all but forgot the request. On my 30th birthday the call came, and down to the morgue we went.