the daily doyle


Rest in Peace? Me? Not on Your Life!
July 28, 2012, 2:36 am
Filed under: Philosophical stuff

Rest in Peace Denny.

I don’t even know Denny, never met him.

But he’s in my thoughts and prayers tonight. Ok, I don’t really pray usually, which is a subject for another article. But the dear departed Denny is in my thoughts; I’m telling the truth about that part.

And I’m thinking: “I hope he’s not resting in peace”.

Somebody wants Denny to rest in peace. My brush with Denny’s life (or death I guess) lasted about 2 seconds. As I was riding my motorcycle north on US19 in Clearwater, I spotted a car with white lettering all over the back and side windows. The largest text said, “Rest in Peace Denny”.

I’ve seen many such signs and even seen a few tombstones that literally say R.I.P. But this time, for reasons unknown, I got to thinking about it. And I’m a little confused.

“Rest in Peace” conjures up an idea that the departed are, well, resting, or their friends and relatives at least want them to be resting. The confusing part is… most people belong to some religion that holds a belief that people live again, that this one physical life is not all there is. Their views of where we go after the body stops living are pretty diverse – heaven, hell, back to Earth (which seems to be a little bit heaven and a little bit hell).

So with this belief system in place, why would so many people choose the “rest in peace” line? I’m stymied. I really do not know why this is the case. In a few cases, I could surmise that the person was such a troublemaker that you really do hope he is resting and causing NO trouble anymore. But that explanation can’t explain why they seem to apply the same message to everyone.

Someday, I will die. I’m not happy about this fact and I have every plan to put it off for many many years. But eventually, I’ll find myself at the wrong end of a gun barrel or something and well, whoever is left will gather around the Richmond/Callaham Funeral Home, admire the flowers, tell stories, laugh (I hope) and maybe cry a little. I sincerely and fervently hope that nobody says, “may he rest in peace”.

Amongst my friends and family, probably half or more are Christian or Jewish. Slightly less than half are Scientologists. And whatever single digit percentage is left is a mix of just about every religion on Earth. And, with the exception of a handful of atheists, they all believe, supposedly, that I will continue living in some form.

So please do not say, “may he rest in peace”.

I have no plan to rest. I’ll be up to something – you can count on it!

Even if it’s true that there is nothing else but this one life, if the Atheists are right, don’t wish me into oblivion. Give me some credit, and a fighting chance. If everybody who ever lived is just… gone, so what? Maybe I can be the first one to beat the system. Cheer me on! Say “Go Doyle Go! Don’t Stop Trying!”

Resting forever just really does not sound like fun to me. Even Hell sounds better than that. Eternal torture is preferable to just… nothing, in my book. And I suppose a lot of my friends will be there – IF there is a Hell.

So let’s change this odd culture of “may he rest in peace”.

I think B.R.B. (Be Right Back) would be awesome on a Scientologist’s tombstone!

For a Christian, maybe something like… “I’m in heaven, see you when you get here; take your time” or a simple, “on to bigger and better things”. Isn’t a more positive message than R.I.P.?

Denny, I hope you are having a great time, wherever you are. I hope you’re not resting in peace. I hope that heaven, or whatever you were promised, is everything you expected. Live on Denny, wherever you are!

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2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Funny and full of creativity, the article lead us to think about death but also about what we have been doing in this life. Regarding the only thing certain to happen, Doyle Mills had ability enough to deal the theme with no sadness, but humor. Furthermore, the author proposes us subtly to change our point of view and taking action in this life, as him, and even after death! Congratulations Doyle, I really enjoyed reading it!

Comment by giseleguimaraes

Why thank you Gisele. You get it! It’s great to hear that what I wanted to write came through. I was a little concerned with writing about death and whether it would come across as too gloomy or too disrespectful of the departed or something. I guess I did OK. I’m glad you liked it.

Comment by doylemills




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