No one should die alone. This is often said. When one is young it seems like a very distant problem, and something that doesn’t matter. As I get older, and have friends who are even older than me who die, I think about death more. (And retirement, but that’s another post) If one believes that when one is dead, one is gone, and there are no Seraphim and Cherubim waiting for you with your personal harp, what does it matter what those last moments are? This leads to a rather nihilist perspective of what does any moment matter.
Meantime, the question at hand for me is: How much is one willing to forgive someone for their past deeds? Is it grey and dependent on the deed? Are there deeds which are not forgivable, even if the person asks. I am afraid that if too much time is spent pondering the matter, it will become moot. And that’s worse. I’d rather make the decision.
PS Mark Twain on heaven & singing & harps (from Letters from the Earth, where Satan reports back to Michael & Gabriel)
2. In man’s heaven everybody sings! The man who did not sing on earth sings there; the man who could not sing on earth is able to do it there. The universal singing is not casual, not occasional, not relieved by intervals of quiet; it goes on, all day long, and every day, during a stretch of twelve hours. And everybody stays; whereas in the earth the place would be empty in two hours. The singing is of hymns alone. Nay, it is of one hymn alone. The words are always the same, in number they are only about a dozen, there is no rhyme, there is no poetry: “Hosannah, hosannah, hosannah, Lord God of Sabaoth, ‘rah! ‘rah! ‘rah! siss! — boom! … a-a-ah!”
3. Meantime, every person is playing on a harp — those millions and millions! — whereas not more than twenty in the thousand of them could play an instrument in the earth, or ever wanted to.
Consider the deafening hurricane of sound — millions and millions of voices screaming at once and millions and millions of harps gritting their teeth at the same time! I ask you: is it hideous, is it odious, is it horrible?