Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Death's comfort

In the Discworld novels by Terry Pratchett, Death is personified. There's an actual walking talking skeleton in a cloak of absolute darkness, carrying a scythe, riding a pale horse, and escorting spirits from their corpses into the afterlife. In one book, Death's job is in jeopardy because some think he has become too personal. Death defends himself.
LORD, WHAT CAN THE HARVEST HOPE FOR, IF NOT FOR THE CARE OF THE REAPER MAN?
I've always liked that quote, but I never thought about why. With the passing of my mother, it makes more sense. I think what Death is saying is that those who are about to die deserve comfort. Death has also said, THERE IS NO JUSTICE, THERE IS ONLY ME. The only thing one can count on in life is death. There's no promise of justice or anything else. The only comfort the living can take is that death will be merciful, that Death will be considerate.
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