God, the funeral service was grim. The minister was a sour old stick spouting fire and brimstone gobbledy gook, and all of them, what was left of my friends and family, all old and grey and withering away, were ground into the pews by the man’s pessimism and defeatism. I’m surprised that most of the congregation didn’t just pack it in there and then and join me in the grave.
So after that sombre send-off, the life-after-death (LAD) party was delightfully up-beat. Everywhere there was singing, laughing, clapping, chanting, all in that body-free way which I would have to get used to. The absence of substantive throats, mouths, hands etc made everything slightly different. But it all seemed to work. There was music although where it came from, I had no idea, and how I could “hear” was one of those LAD mysteries that no-one could be bothered to enquire about. This was about living to the full and not about worrying oneself to death, to use a phrase that nowadays meant very little, over miracles and mysteries.
And the place was packed, heaving, full to the rafters, like any good party should be. And they were all there, the energies, the ectoplasms, the astrals. Plus the rest. I had thought the aethers would be too snooty for this sort of thing, but not at all. Everyone was all very down to earth. If you know what I mean. And I spotted some shadows. Not always easy to see.
And what I really liked was the way old style hostilities seemed to have vanished. Christ and Mohamed walked arm-in-arm (so to speak – see earlier re substantive bits), as did sunni and shia, catholic and protestant. And it wasn’t only the spirituals dudes. Elizabeth sat chatting happily to Mary; I watched as Napoleon and Wellington exchanged a few jokes, and Hamlet and his dad and Gertrude and Claudius were getting on like a house on fire. Seeing Robin and Marion and the sheriff all pally-pally surprised me at first, but, hey, this is life after death, isn’t it. All that earth stuff is forgotten. David and Goliath shared notes on geology and elasto-dynamics, while Kissinger and Khrushchev were playing a game of non-competitive rock, paper, scissors. I half expected Batman and the Joker to be sharing a latte.
After a while I realized that not everyone was there: the Index is a list of some nasties – the Unforgivables – who aren’t invited to any of the parties. Makes sense. There are some people I would have difficulty getting chummy with. Y’all know who I mean.
So here I am. After a lifetime trying to fill column inches with comment and news for information-hungry pre-LADS, I’m now back behind a computer, figuratively speaking of course, doing some work for the Eternal Times, trying to compile an official History of Life after Death (Adam and Eve were first in – no surprise here; a bit lonely at the beginning; did you know that they died in an early ox cart accident? I only found that out when I interviewed them.) Can be a bit boring without wars and strife and everyone all forgiving and forgetting. And no obits.
But sombre it ain’t.