What do I need of the living?

Please note: this is a post of death viewed from a distance.  if you have recently suffered bereavement – or a loved one is ill – please close this post and move on.

And if you are simply overwhelmed by death, please also move on.

Thank you.


I prayed for our dad to be cured of cancer
I prayed for my dad to be my dad again.
I asked the God who listened to us all
I asked my God to not let him fall.

His cancer got worse and I doubted my prayer
His cancer got worse and I doubted myself.
I prayed the way we had all been taught
I prayed that way and it came to naught.

I prayed for our dad to be cured of cancer
I prayed for my dad to be dad again.
My dad died.
Our dad died.


I prayed for my dad for a load of reasons.  My dad – our dad – died very much to (approximate) medical expectations.  My dad died not when he thought he would but when he – when we – didn’t think he would.  Not on that day, or that time of day, and not in those few long minutes as he died.

He was my father, our father, the only father we ever had. He created me and us.  He worked hard to bring us up – he and our mother – our mum and dad.  The only mum and dad we ever had.

We became orphans that day. Adults all and still just orphans in that moment.  I never blamed God. I never asked God why.

Just as I never asked mum or dad why my perfect Christmas list never happened each Christmas.  Just as I ponder the course of my life – if “these decisions” had been “those decisions” – how I would not have met “these people” – the people who are my life and living.

I prayed to God because I thought I should.  I prayed to God because everything I had been taught and learned that a Christian should and does. And I was – so I did.  And more than that I loved our dad.  And he died.

In the years since – I have pondered resurrection.  How the bible celebrates victory of life over death.  How bringing a dead loved one back always goes with a great party.

I ponder now how the resurrected one feels … There I was dead and knew nothing about it.  Here I am living as always and wondering why all the fuss.

I ponder why young people are resurrected.  Why are young people worthy of more living?  Why should a mother be given a son again?  Why should a parent be given a child again?  Why not the other way around?  Just like my dad – our dad.

Because we had a younger brother.   He died young. His whole life ahead of him.  We never got to pray for him to live.  There was no warning when a great big lorry wiped out his car and him inside. So there were no prayer requests for his living.

But if he had been resurrected – what about his body?  Would that have been restored to before?  And how far before?

Or our dad – how much “before” would his body have been restored to or not?  And why do we imagine a youthful resurrection without the complicated bits?

Which is why I do ponder the biblical resurrections.

Literal events (as taught) or imagery (as thought).  I was never taught the complicated reality – just the simplistic imagery.  Because the literal is really the imagery.


So why does questioning the “literal which is imagery” make the bible literal and not imagery at all?


2 thoughts on “What do I need of the living?

    • Thank you Don ….

      (I was just trying to explain how this post “wrote itself” … and couldn’t. Not with any clarity)

      The “historically reliable conversations” are still echoing.

      Liked by 1 person

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