Monday, September 16, 2013

Bitter obituary flies in the face of 'honor thy father and mother'

Making the rounds this past weekend was the scathing obituary that was published recently about a mother of eight. The obituary was written by her own adult children.

According to the kids, the mother was extremely abusive, to say the least. The woman's son said the obituary was written "without doubt to shame her" and in the obituary itself, the kids said they hope their mother will relive every detail of her cruelty in the afterlife.

While I'm very sad for any abuse the kids may have suffered, after hearing the obituary read out loud over the weekend, I commented that it seems to me that unfortunately it's the kids who will be the ones to relive every cruel detail as long as they hold onto their bitterness. I also expressed that we shouldn't speak ill of the dead, especially in such a public forum.

While my comments were basically interpreted as being judgmental, they were more a simple reference to God's directive to us to forgive one another if we want Him to forgive us for our own wrongdoings. God also gave us the Commandment to "honor thy father and thy mother." Of course that doesn't mean we need or should give false praise to anyone, even our own parents. But being that our parents are the vessels God chose to bring us into the world, it seems that publicly shaming and excoriating your own deceased mother - who is unable to defend herself - fails to keep that particular Commandment. The kids didn't need to shower her with praise in the obituary to keep this Commandment. In this case, not saying anything at all would have sufficed.

If anything, I would hope these children would pray that God will have mercy on their mother's soul -- not only because we should ask God to have mercy on everyone, including our enemies -- but also so that these kids may hope to receive His forgiveness for their own transgressions in life. At the very least, working on forgiveness in their own hearts may bring them the peace they so obviously need, a peace they won't obtain through vengeful, public shaming.

I pray God will bless and have mercy on that woman's soul, and I pray her children will seek God for the forgiveness and healing peace that only He can give.

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1 comment:

  1. I agree! It is only through forgiveness that one can find peace. I speak often about the forgiveness that my sister and brother-in-law extended to the drunk driver that killed their son (my nephew). I feel a sense of peace emanating from them, which I believe comes from that forgiveness. Too often we hold on to anger and resentments that steal our peace and serenity. I can't express enough how important it is to forgive those who have trespassed against us...for I have been shown that that IS the pathway to peace.