Confessions of A Funeral Director

Confessions of A Funeral Director: How Death Saved My Life By Caleb Wilde

Luke 21:5-11 Common English Bible (CEB)

The temple’s fate

“5 Some people were talking about the temple, how it was decorated with beautiful stones and ornaments dedicated to God. Jesus said, “As for the things you are admiring, the time is coming when not even one stone will be left upon another. All will be demolished.”

They asked him, “Teacher, when will these things happen? What sign will show that these things are about to happen?”

Jesus said, “Watch out that you aren’t deceived. Many will come in my name, saying, ‘I’m the one!’ and ‘It’s time!’ Don’t follow them. When you hear of wars and rebellions, don’t be alarmed. These things must happen first, but the end won’t happen immediately.”

10 Then Jesus said to them, “Nations and kingdoms will fight against each other. 11 There will be great earthquakes and wide-scale food shortages and epidemics. There will also be terrifying sights and great signs in the sky. ”

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Wild’s book Confessions of  A Funeral Director is about his journey of faith, from a fundamentalist view, to doubt, and finally a holistic perspective. It is a journey that our  materialistic society in general has not taken, and hence is very infantile in its approach to death.

Caleb Wild saw death at first as a means of getting to heaven—demonizing earth, and worldly existence, and finally arrived at seeing death as a part of our life experience, valuing and honoring  all of creation. He sees death in light of our Great Communion of Saints, where our relationships continue, calling us forward on our life’s journey. Life is lived in community and realizes community in death.

There are times people do not know what to do with the way in which I live my life, it scares them. I see many deaths, many are violent, each year, one young man this year I held in my arms  as he died from a knife wound, their are threats on my life, and I have been beaten and shot at this year. I seem not to worry about my own life. The reality is that  I have come to see the thinness between  life and death, When we embrace it, and simply live with it, we embrace our lives in all of its fullness, and death becomes simply a movement in the process of life. We are all going to die, recognize that fact, and live your life in community with others.

Dr. Nicola Davies writes on her website:

“Imagine being at the bottom of a deep, dark hole. Peer up to the top of the hole, and you might see some of your friends and family waiting for you, offering words of support and encouragement.  This is sympathy; they want to help you out of the pit you have found yourself in. This can assist, but not as much as the person who is standing beside you; the person who is in the hole with you and can see the world from your perspective; this is empathy.’

This is the way I view ministry, and seek to live my life as one of empathy.  I see and experience physical and verbal abuse, I experience rejection, and hate, for me to walk with people in these circumstances is what Jesus did on the road to Calvary.  This is what makes us human. In walking with one another we become community that is not tribal, but oneness in our humanity, setting aside all  race, poverty, religious  affiliation by creed, and age, we become human beings on the journey of life.

All around us today our Gospel seems to literally be coming to fulfillment–fire, bombings, poverty, and the and the lack of empathy that moves us to care for our environment and others.

We can choose to walk the way of community and support, and find healing in our world, setting aside our difference, sharing of our goods until poverty is ended, living simply,and with respect to all of creation or we can continue our present journey of division through race, creed, religion, age, sexuality, and economics and we will bring the end of time. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

Fr. River Damien Sims, sfw, D.Min., D.S.T.

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164

www. temenos.org (pay pal link is on website)

415-305-2124

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