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Here are selected quotes from Barbara Crafton's meditations on "Death: The Lighter Side" at the 2007 silent retreat.

Meditation I - Death

    1. "As we age, we become like each other, look like each other."
    2. "We even wear their clothes to put on a part of them... we go into the closet to smell them."
    3. "When you are young, you don't know you're young."
    4. "You change about the big things; the trivia you keep."
    5. "Death is not an auction; you don't get to choose."
    6. "A dream of the dead is like a foretaste of heaven--the Kingdom of God"
    7. "We make up hell to put each other into submission."
    8. "The Kingdom of Heaven is huge and it's now; we are just not experiencing it yet."
    9. "The dialog with scripture is open-hearted."
    10. "There is no past, present or future in God; all is present."
    11. "In order to have a dream, a visitation, you sometimes need to ask for it."
    12. "A lot of things we have in life are the luck of the draw."
    13. "Some may also have a lower threshold of what they will take as a sign."
    14. Let's talk about morbid things until they are not morbid any more."

Meditation II

    1. "With God you never have a last chance; we never reach a bottom line with God."
    2. "In a relationship that's basically good, the irritants flush away."
    3. "We are more than the worst that we've ever done and less than the best we've ever done."
    4. "Our worst evil is not as big as God's least good."
    5. "All religious language is metaphor; nothing we say about God is correct."

Meditation III - Death and Time

    1. "This life is in a smaller basket. It sits in a bigger basket, which is the Kingdom of God."
    2. "Everything is in the big basket; when we die, the smaller basket crumbles away and the larger basket is where we are. We see we were always in the larger basket....In the larger basket, nothing is lost."
    3. "There are glimpses through the holes in the smaller basket."
    4. "The heartbreak of our lives is that we don't experience the larger basket now."
    5. "Our present may be a stars distant past... Perhaps God's present sees our past, present and future in the same way."
    6. "The archeological layers of Troy are an image for the psyche, except all the selves are alive."
    7. "Deja Vu, dreams and coincidences reveal time at once."
    8. "Time telescopes together when we think about our past; school was as if it were yesterday."
    9. "Telescoping our time means we can enjoy ourselves rather than 'it's later than we think.'"
    10. "All you have to do to be in the larger basket is to want to."
    11. "God has lines in your play; it's not a monologue."
Meditation IV - Our Death
    1. "There is an emancipation when our parents go; then the buck stops with us."
    2. "We need to get out of the way and let the next generation lead. ...New stuff can't happen unless the old gets out of the way. Obsolescence is not necessarily a bad thing."
    3. "We can't control how or when we die, but we can control who will die."
    4. "Life cut short is not necessarily an incomplete life...Our lives don't need to be long to be complete, but they need to be complete to be complete."
    5. "You bank love. And there is a time is a time for withdrawal."
    6. "It's silly to say we don't want to be a burden to anyone...You will be a burden."
    7. "To say you will not be in a nursing home or in a wheel chair is absurd."
    8. "There is a fear that thinking about death will bring it on."
    9. "We are all temporarily-abled; and we will become dis-abled. We need to stop priding ourselves on our denial."
    10. "Make [your family] fall in love with you; bank love... so they will take care of you."
    11. "What's your bottom line? If in a coma? If on machines?"
    12. "Disputes are when family members disagree [on what it was you wanted.]"
    13. "Talk about hospice; hospice ensures that your dying is kind."
    14. "My grandfather sat up on his death bed and said. 'I always knew you would come for me." Then he lay back and died. Come to know Him well now, so you will recognize Him when He comes for us."
    15. "Develop a spiritual routine now so in infirmity it can be by rote."
    16. "You learn to pray by praying. You don't need to be good at it; just show up."
Meditation V - Writing Your Own Funeral
    1. "Draft your own obituary."
    2. "Write a letter of instructions; tell your loved ones where things are."
    3. Ask for the St. Francis form for your funeral: email Melanie at
    4. See Rabbi Kushner's excellent book on the 23rd Psalm: The Lord is My Shepherd.

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Document last modified on: 03/12/2007

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