Acquainted with grief

The church’s way with death

In a famous scene in the film The Sixth Sense, a haunted little boy tells his psychologist that he sees dead people. The doctor asks, “How often do you see them?” The child replies, “All the time. They’re everywhere.”

As a pastor, I know how he feels. I see them too. At least, I almost do. Years ago, at the end of a three-week stretch that featured four funerals, I went for a jog through my neighborhood. As I ran past houses and apartment buildings, I glanced at the ones where my parishioners lived, and I thought, “They are all going to die. Each one of them will have a coffin.” I don’t see ghosts. But I do see people headed toward the grave. They’re everywhere, especially at church. That is one of the things that church does. It introduces us to a bunch of mortals.


This article is available to subscribers only. Please subscribe for full access—subscriptions begin at $2.95. Already have an online account? Log in now. Already a print subscriber? Create an online account for no additional cost.

This article is available to subscribers only.

To post a comment, log inregister, or use the Facebook comment box.