Feb 27, 2008

Ashes, dust, Texas wind, and Pneuma

"Ashes to ashes, dust to dust."

Meaning: We come from dust; we return to dust.

Origin: From the English Burial Service. Adapted from the Biblical text, Genesis 3:19 (King James Version):

"In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return."
While I don't recommend it, a glimpse at how an embalmed corpse decays inside of an airtight box might change your mind about having your loved ones cremated (or their having you cremated).

My father specified that he be cremated, and his ashes spread over the graves of my mother and sister. It was a very windy spring day on the Texas plains, so we had to dump his ashes in a small pile.
One of my young nieces walked over to the pile of ashes as the adults said prayers, and started poking the small mound with a stick. Her mother told her to stop, as those were the remains of my dad. She looked at her mother, then looked back at the ashes, and said, "That's not Grampa Harry."

Truer words were never spoken. Had she seen an embalmed cadaver, she might not have made the important disassociation.

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