His holiness, Death

A short story about that uncomfortable and repetitive topic of conversation.
His holiness, Death

I happened to be born a couple of days after All Saints' Day, and I think that's why I keep death as a recurrent topic of conversation. Of course, it's an uncomfortable, annoying thing that ruins gatherings with friends. It's better to talk about the weather, achievements, or mischief before recalling tragedies.

Still, naming a day, like All Saints' Day, is a bit fanciful; I highly doubt that everyone was a saint. Death provides a protective cloak for the living who quickly forget the shortcomings, drunkenness, violations, bad moods, and abandonments. Only with that forgetfulness do the deceased become beings of light, angels flying high, magical beings who visit us in dreams and memories. It's normal; every time someone talks about one of their deceased, they decorate the past with an infinity of wonderful adjectives.

However, there are bad dead people: dictators, criminals, murderers, several politicians, and some tax collectors. They went straight to hell, and it's comforting that they are the minority. There are also those who hurt so much in life that they have no forgiveness, not even from God, but even those are avoided from being remembered. Rarely is a person remembered with all their goodness and badness; it seems that when one passes to the other world, there are only two paths: heaven or hell, left or right, up or down. Even purgatory is just a waiting room before going up or down. In the final judgment, like in any trial, it's better to plead the fifth; remaining silent is the best defense.

Being kinder to the analysis, I like the deceased who don't leave. Like my maternal great-grandmother Teresa, who, in the midst of preparing for her funeral, rose from her bed as if she were Lazarus and shouted to her daughter, "What are you doing walking like that, put on shoes!"

Her sudden resurrection almost caused the death of everyone present who swore they saw a ghost. The gravedigger, who was equally frightened, thought that instead of digging one grave, he would have to dig five. The doctor also wasn't very clear on what was happening and had to juggle his diagnoses. The resurrected great-grandmother died a few weeks later, this time for real. She closed the doors of her life leaving blessings and recommendations.

These days, almost no one remembers Teresa, and surely, in a few generations, her name will completely fade into oblivion. Everything will eventually cease; it's just a matter of waiting.

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