THE BLOG
12/26/2013 09:42 am ET Updated Feb 25, 2014

The House of the Dead

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What if all the dead have been there all along? What if they are crying about not being remembered? Family and friends flock to the memorial, but then it's done and people go on with their lives. No one wants to say it, but there's even a feeling that x or y are all better off now that x or y are finally gone. X or y had a long convalescence which was stealing the time and energy, not to speak of resources of their families. Now x or y's husbands, wives, children and friends are free to go on with their lives. Still the dead are jealous for being left out of the party. They curse the living and feel little satisfaction that those who are living can go through a mourning process in which they are finally able to leave the dead behind. Yes, having effectively mourned their dead, the living can go on living and even experience great joy. If only they knew, how unhappy their happiness made the departed, they would be stopped in their tracks. But they have no idea. They are so taken up with their trysts and workouts, their interviews and vacations that they only have time to pay lip service to the dead during prayer or therapy, if then. The dead are definitely crying. Death isn't what it was cracked up to be. Like the life of the prisoners in Doestoevsky's The House of the Dead, it's far worse.

(Portrait of Dostoevsky by Vasily Perov)

This was originally posted to The Screaming Pope, Francis Levy's blog of rants and reactions to c contemporary politics, art and culture}